A tale of two countries…..
I have a story to tell that sounds like a Christian fairy tale, only it is the truth and difficult for even myself to believe.
In early 2005, I was struggling with the desire to get married praying that the Lord would provide. I was even beginning to wonder if He would be gracious to give me the gift of singleness where I could be content if it was His desire for me to be single. I wanted and prayed that I would be content in the Lord. I did acknowledge my struggle to Him but believed in faith that He would provide.
Then one day I wanted to look for a website that was for reformed singles which would provide a medium to meet a reformed Indian man. I searched the web for several hours and found Soveriegngracesingles.com and signed myself up making it clear on my profile that I was only interested in Indian men.
Shortly thereafter, my best friend invited me on a trip to Switzerland (since she knew I had always wanted to go there and she was going there for work) and I leaped at the opportunity. We had a wonderful time, but people knew so little of Christ and his saving grace throughout the nation that I returned heavy hearted. I had been praying for 3rd world countries, yet Europe was darker than anywhere else I had ever visited. It grieved me even more because the reformation began there and looking at the plight of Switzerland, I could not help but be saddened.
I looked on SGS (sovereigngracesingles) for someone European and found the name Sovereigngrace, a 35-year-old man from Germany who wrote very little about himself, except how he was saved and how he had come to see the doctrines of grace. I was impressed and believed I would have an honest answer about how serious people are about their spiritual plight. I wrote to him, and a speedy response arrived. We then began writing about doctrine and our faith on SGS and shortly thereafter began to email each other. One day, he wrote and said he was going to Johannesburg, South Africa and could not have access to the internet so asked if he could have my phone number, since we also exchanged prayer needs and he was praying for a specific urgent matter and wanted to know the outcome. I gave him my home number. I did not get a call from Africa, but he called when he came back to Germany.
Our first conversation was 2-3 hours long and only became longer. It seemed that talking to someone never had been easier. We had no pictures posted online nor did we exchange pictures, so I did not know what we looked like. Andrej didn’t want to exchange pictures. I asked him, ‘what if you don’t like the way I look” to which he responded, “I know, no matter what you look like, God will make you beautiful to my eyes”. We talked about doctrine and without telling him my convictions, I noticed Andrej had the same convictions. When I spoke with him about culture, he seemed to understand different cultures, having traveled so extensively himself. I was amazed but guarded with my emotions. The fact still remained; he was not Indian!!
Soon Andrej wanted to meet. He flew to meet me in the US and I was excited, but the first encounter was very rocky. It became real that he was German, and looking at pictures of his family scared me even more, since I felt I would never fit in. I was so different from them. I cried for the first day that we met wondering if it would ever work out. Sunday morning, we went to church but sat separately and most people did not know we were together, and I must say, he fit right in. It was as if he was made to be in that church. I was struck by Andrej’s love for the preaching of the word of God. That afternoon we took a relaxing walk on the beach talking about trivial things like work, travel and different people around the world. I could not believe how easy it was to talk to him. After church, we went to two different homes. I remembered my words to Andrej that morning….. “I just want God to reveal His will to me, that is all I want…no more…”. Everyone fell in love with Andrej. I believe that is where I first started falling in love with Andrej myself. He was asked how he felt about Martin Luther (the reformer). Andrej replied with his eyes directed heavenward, and so thankful for his Calvinistic convictions, “Ah..yes..Luther..I love Luther.”. To see a man have such delight in God’s preservation of truth touched my mind and heart. The bible was his rock and anchor. He loved it and held the word of God as the utmost authority. He loved to hear sound preaching and read as much reformed literature that he could get. Yet, his love for souls was even more amazing, with such a balance between doctrine, theology and practical Christianity. I had always desired to marry a man that would only have eyes for Christ, and here I had finally seen a man as such. Yet, I was not going to be convinced until I had received instruction from a multitude of Godly counselors, rather than making the decision myself. Andrej left that weekend and the few people in the church who knew, including the skeptics, wholeheartedly approved of him.
Andrej returned two weeks later, as the will of God began to unfold within my heart, almost scaring me with its clarity. Two weeks later, my friend and I went to Germany to stay and meet all his family for a week. They were simply wonderful. I loved them all!! His parents and six siblings and their families loved me and I loved them despite the language barrier. My friend thought they were wonderful too. At the end of staying in someone’s home, you gain a deeper understanding of their love for the Lord. I knew the Lord had answered. It was now ok for me to begin to consider that this possibly was his will.
I desired to marry an Indian because I wanted to begin reconciliation with my extended Hindu family, having lost my own parents at a very young age. I wanted to find a small way to please them. We wrote to my maternal uncle who lived in NJ with his family. I had minimal contact with him. He wrote back, and my uncle shortly thereafter had a business trip to Germany where he met and had dinner with Andrej, and both of them had a wonderful time. Reconciliation had begun although I was to marry a German man. God’s ways are not our ways!
If there ever was a skeptic, I am it. Doubt is my middle name, and believe me, the people closest to me will testify. Andrej does not look, sound or seem like anyone I would have married. I even remember a comment to my best friend about how I hoped that the one language I would never have to learn would be German, and yet, Andrej was and is perfect…perfect for me in every way. It is like he was the man hidden in this little corner of the earth, perfect for me, and yet God was saving him, refining him so he may be just right for me and he was doing the same to me. I have discovered a rare jewel who has been hidden, and at times, I am so grateful that it was I who has had the honor of finding it and keeping it. Many look upon some men and say..”he is a diamond in the rough..” but I look upon Andrej thankful that I found the diamond itself.
When I see Andrej, I see the mark of a true Christian, one who loves the Lord, one who has discovered the truth of his word so there will be no compromise and one who loves Christ. I find that God has been unbelievably good to me. My prayer was answered!! I am thankful, that I did not have to compromise a single conviction, and yet found a man who will be a true leader of our home, a Christ-like husband and a father who will pray and seek to teach His children the truth of God’s word. Over the years, we have faced our share of struggles, and yet one thing remained true; that Andrej was the tangible representation of Christ in our family. We now have four children, three boys and a little girl and God’s kindness are new every morning. I knew my children would find Christ in their father as I had and I have been blessed more than I could have ever asked or thought was possible. It still seems remarkable that two people, who were raised in different worlds could come together to dwell in harmony and unity. Only by the precious blood of our sweet Christ is that possible. This December 17, 2022, Andrej and I will be married 17 years. God indeed gives such good gifts to His children. “Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of thine heart..” (Psalm 37:4) was our wedding verse and we marvel at how God has blessed us so abundantly.