I remember the moment I knew I’d marry Ruvim.
I took a marriage class (a prerequisite in the Bible school program) when I asked God to orchestrate my unique love story. I handed Him the reins of my current relationship and trusted all that happened next would be part of His plan. Although Ruvim and I were still dating, we decided to sort of “fast” while I was in school. We thought this would help focus our hearts and minds on God more.
Just moments after this prayer, the class got dismissed, and I headed out the school’s front door to greet my dad, who was visiting Oregon. Before I got to his car and saw him, Ruvim stepped out of the car! I was beyond surprised, and that’s when I first knew I’d marry him. After all, this seemed like an interesting, fun start, and the rest was history… sort of.
I didn’t know that within the next few months, I’d move to Colorado, we wouldn’t be together for a bit, and he’d follow me out there after my parents moved. Fast forward to 2016, Ruvim moves to Colorado and… well, here’s a snippet from Part 1 of our story before I dive into that.
The truth is… after my family moved in January 2016, things got hard. There was a lot of transition for everyone – misunderstandings and arguments arose. Hence, I didn’t feel like I had the time or energy to jump back into a relationship. Though we all knew moving was part of God’s will, we didn’t expect the process to be this hard. (Do we ever, though?)
My parents had to go back to Alaska for several weeks to seal some last-minute deals with their businesses and selling the house, while I stayed back with my five younger brothers. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only adult – one of our friends from Russia (Polina) visited us for a while. She played a massive part in keeping the house in order and the younger ones entertained during the day, which I’m grateful for.
I started work full-time at the end of January and trained to become a personal banker. Then I’d come home to a full house and work my other job, which included cleaning, cooking, and putting the kids to bed. Polina was worn out by then, and so I’d take the “night shift” and do all the undone duties (sounds like real marriage/family prep, right?).
I gave it a hundred-p at work, home, and ministry. Each area was unfamiliar to me, and before I knew it, I had a culture shock. On the outside, everything seemed fine. On the inside, though… I felt like I was lagging. Though I settled my spirit living in Colorado now, my mind and emotions had a hard time catching up with the new lifestyle. New city, new people, new culture.
My parents returned to Colorado, and shortly after, Ruvim came. I was glad to see him, but as I said earlier, I didn’t want to be in a relationship. I was on my way to building a banking career and wanted to be in ministry as much as possible. I didn’t see that line up with his vision, but little did I know.
I forgot about the first moment I knew I’d marry him. Although I was faithful to God and prayed A LOT throughout 2016, anytime thoughts or feelings for Ruvim would come up, I shoved them away (almost brutally). For eight months, I tried to convince myself I was better off alone. I focused on my family, work, ministry, friends, God… everything and everyone but Ruvim and myself.
It was a hard year. But I learned that it could’ve been more manageable if I organized my time a little better, ate healthier, and listened to God more instead of “praying a lot.” Sometimes we feel like we’re doing all the right things but not getting the right results, or the results we want. These are those moments when we need to slow down and listen to His voice.
It took eight months for me to set my pride aside and learn that I can’t fight God’s will. He knew deep inside that I wanted to marry Ruvim, eventually. But this was also His plan for us both. Throughout this time, Ruvim pursued God unlike ever before and learned how to love like Christ. He fell in love with God more than me (which was so important for me). God showed me I was worth the time and sacrifice and taught me how to receive this love.
By the end of 2016, my family had fully transitioned, and the chaos cooled down. It was only a matter of time that I’d relive the moment of knowing I’d marry him.
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:12