About 20 yrs. ago, in college, I read a newsletter article that my dad thought I might be interested in. It was by Art Robinson, who took charge of homeschooling his 6 children after his wife died. (In fact, that same article is broken down into 9 sections under the Robinson Methodology tab at www.robinsoncurriculum.com .) Well, on that day, the Lord put a burning desire in my heart to homeschool *my* future children.
Fast forward 6 yrs, to 1996 — the year of Roy. I did a crazy thing. I told God that I could not bear the thought of yet another deadend, painful relationship...that I could not bear to continue my friendship with Roy and have it grow into "something more" unless I knew up front that he was to be my future husband.
So, on Aug. 27th, I said this: "God, I'm throwing down a fleece (just as Gideon did in the Old Testament book of Judges, ch. 6). I am vowing to You this day that I will never mention to Roy my desire to homeschool. I am asking YOU to cause HIM to (1) bring the subject up AND (2) inform me that he wants his future kids to be homeschooled." I was so serious about this that I wrote it down and sealed it in an envelope, vowing to never breathe a word of it to anyone.
WELL!!! Are you ready for this? (*I* sure wasn't!!) The VERY NEXT MORNING!!! Roy came over to my parents' house to see me, sat at our kitchen table, and out of the blue, BROUGHT UP THE SUBJECT OF HOMESCHOOLING!!! He then proceeded to tell me that...take one guess...HE wanted his future children to be homeschooled!!! AND...he finished up with the comment that he had been having "these visions" of ME, Angela, up at our church, homeschooling my future kids, along w/ the children of other folks as well. (Yes, like a co-op, which I will finally be participating in this fall at a local church, 13 yrs. after the vision!) EEEEEKKK!!!
Honestly, I almost fell off my seat. I mean, you've gotta' understand. I thought I was making it impossible for God (yeah, right!) because I wasn't particularly sure that I wanted to marry Roy. But, when God, in His infinite mercy, gave me such a wonderful assurance of His perfect will for my life, it wasn't such a stretch to trust Him with Phase Two. I said, "OK, Lord...then it's up to You to make me love him." And, let me tell you, folks, God has answered that prayer a million times over! The hardest part was "pondering those things in my heart" for the next several months as we slowly entered into a courtship.
Well, when God finally made it clear that I was released to tell Roy about the fleece (4 mths. later), Roy told me that God had shown him something about me, too, before he ever met me in person. See, our 1st "encounter" was by phone. Roy's family attended my dad's church & knew that their pastor's daughter (yours truly) had also lived in Va Beach & might be able to recommend a good church for him, since Roy's job had sent HIM there just as I moved back to Ohio. So, I gave my suggestion—a Sovereign Grace Church in Chesapeake that my best friend, Katina, attended...which is a sister church of the one we joined here in Georgia last year.
Then, I got the brilliant idea that maybe, when he came up to visit his folks, he could bring my stuff that was still in a storage unit down there. (Boy, was I a user!!) So, I called him to make the arrangements (after his mom had contacted him and told us he agreed to do the favor). And, the moment Roy heard my voice on the phone, the Lord spoke to his heart and said, "You will be hearing a lot of that voice, and it will be a source of peace and rest to you." Wanna' know something funny? To this day, I often talk Roy to sleep at night.
So, after we each revealed our "advance notice" from the Lord to each other, we were engaged a month later, and married 6 mths. after that—almost one year from the day God had spoken to me. God is SOOOOOOO good! And, on those hard days through the years—when all at once I've had a baby screaming, a toddler taking his poopie diaper off, a preschooler whining and the 2 oldest girls fighting w/ each other and showing no interest in learning anything—I have the firm assurance that I'm doing exactly what the Lord has called me to do, and that our very marriage is based on that fact.