Dear Reader,

I follow these missionaries on Facebook, and it is two men who go around the world, and they go and share the gospel in lost areas (far away tribes, etc) and it feels like they are literally from one side of the world to the next in the span of a week.

"That is awesome," I remember thinking, "Wouldn't it be awesome to be with one other person, and God? Going all over the world and living out of a suitcase, and being able to completely and one hundred percent rely on God. Wouldn't it be amazing to just have that one person?"

Then I remembered how God had blessed me. I did have that one person, and God had blessed him into my life much earlier than the rest; God's timing is perfect. This person is Stephen, and we met online my freshman year of high school.

Throughout these years, he and I have gone through a series of trials that I believe that will strengthen me in my time to come. He and I have hit the bottom, where we thought nothing could possibly come out of this; that it would be better to separate and live our own separate lives, and we remembered; this is God's plan. If Stephen and I think that it is better to go our own separate ways, isn't that the devil trying to tear us apart? In these moments we can't help but feel frustrated, but reliant on God to follow through. And he does, he always does.

Meeting new people, no matter where, we are faced with the same response, "Statistically speaking, you guys will probably never work out.", "Why would you stay with just one person when you're so young and you have the rest of your life ahead of you?", "Life is going to change, when you go out into the real world, it probably will not work out."

Although I appreciate your love and concern for me, I can't help but feel discouraged hearing these things. I remember the day when I felt nothing could fix our relationship and I just sat there with silent tears falling down my face. I also love nothing more than working out things that people say will never work out with the blessing and love of God. So, if you plan to say these things to me, I caution you. Stephen and I have overcome so much, yet we have so much more to overcome. I remember there were two weeks when, if we saw each other, we were so angry we would argue immediately , it was to the point to where Stephen wanted to go see a marriage counselor; and we aren't even married.

Stephen and I both know that we are called to missions, in a place that is absolutely so far away. We both know that we have to give up our lives that exist in the US, that we have to say goodbye to family and friends, that we have to miss important events in life such as my sister's high school graduation, and who knows what else. We know that God might tell us that we have to travel to the other-side of the world, that we will have to learn a new language, that we might not have any money, that we might have no food, that we might not even have shoes, but something God does have in plan for us, is that we will go together. That God might send us to the ends of the earth but that he and I balance each other out, that we are a team, and that he will use us.

Matthew 9:35-28

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Today, I have been stuck in, "La La Land," imagining all the beautiful creations Stephen and I will see. God made such a beautiful planet, and yet he is calling us to go out, explore it, and invite others to his table.

I have no intention of breaking up with Stephen, and I have no intention of being in a committed relationship where marriage would be the next step, with anyone else. God knows my heart, and I know that he will continue to bless me in ways I will never fully understand.

Stephen and I hope that we can get married, he and I hope that someday we might even have a family; but ultimately when it comes to traveling to the ends of the earth, and following God's path, at least I know that I have the absolute, best friend to travel with. 

Do you have a friend to travel with?

Published by Ashley Chapman