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During a very stressful and tumultuous time in my life, a close friend looking to inspire and lift me up gave me a t-shirt with her favorite Bible verse on it, Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I thanked my friend for the lovely gesture then continued to trudge through the complicated and heavy chapter of my life. I wanted to be hopeful and to trust God’s plan, but alas, every day was a challenge, and I found my faith waning.

A few months later, I was encouraged to attend an online support group called DivoreCare. The 13-week program is designed for separated and recently divorced individuals seeking hope and comfort as they make their way towards recovery. The sponsor leading the group frequently recounted her journey, every week referencing her favorite Bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

For a second time in a short period, the universe was giving me a sign to just relax, heal, be patient and trust that God has something incredible in store for me. Little by little, I did find that I was feeling like myself again. All the pieces started coming together and I noticed I was laughing a whole lot more than I was crying, which was a great sign that maybe the tables were turning! Perhaps God DOES have some awesome plans in store for me?

I decided to put my newfound optimist and trust in God to the test. I signed up for an online dating service and opened my mind to infinite possibilities. What I discovered was my complete lack of knowledge and inexperience in the big wide world of dating. Not one to give up easily, I attempted to connect with a handful of suitors only to find that immediately upon briefly meeting in person, I was ready to call the whole thing off and go home.

Until one evening, I started talking to a man with a screen name of Jay. Not only did we relate based on past experiences, but our senses of humor were similarly quirky, and I liked the way he looked in his profile pictures. After just two days of talking, I was intrigued beyond my desire to play coy, so I asked him to meet me in person. He happily agreed.

From the moment we met each other, it felt like I had known him my entire life. Suddenly, I found myself being grateful for all the rough twists and turns from years past because it brought me to this moment, with this incredible person who was rapidly winning over my heavily guarded heart.

You can imagine my surprise when I asked him his full name, and he took the opportunity to explain that Jay was actually a nickname, his real name is Jeremiah.

Jeremiah and I have been together ever since. Our lives are not void of challenges, however, now our challenges are not faced alone. He is an encouraging, kind, steady, and protective force in my life. Which is why on April 16th, when he proposed we spend the rest of our lives together, I jumped at the opportunity to be his wife.

Trusting God is not always easy when your life is in disarray. However, the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 IS the perfect reminder that we DON’T know what our future holds, only God does. I am grateful every day for all the ups and downs that brought Jeremiah and me together. May our love and his name always remind me to let go, trust, and enjoy the ride.