Being a wife has been a deep desire of mine ever since I can remember. Like most girls, I struggled with contentment even though the Lord was faithful to assure me of His love and goodness over and over. My time at seminary contained great joy in the midst of sorrow and also disappointment concerning my singleness. Without warrant, I did get to the point of doubting my God’s love for me and power to bring a good man into my life. I started out the summer of this year with a renewed sense of purpose and resolve in living as a single woman to the glory of God. On Monday, May 20, I shared this, along with thoughts I was having about the future after my education at Southern Seminary, with my accountability group. On the morning of Tuesday, May 21, I sat in a local coffee shop journaling my heart out to the Lord. My thoughts were filled with ways in which I can glorify Him in my daily life, and my prayers petitioned Him for help in these endeavors. But, as I had requested a million times before, I again asked that He would bring a man into my life.
That same morning, on Facebook, I requested help moving a piece of furniture to my house. The only response was from Jordan Lingerfelt, a guy at my church who I considered merely an acquaintance and was definitely not interested in romantically. However, being a girl in need of help, I accepted the offer. He and another friend moved the desk to my house that afternoon. Attempting to be hospitable and express my gratefulness, I poured both of them a glass of water in my kitchen after the task had been completed. The other friend promptly left, and left Jordan behind. Not wishing to appear rude, I continued in conversation with him hoping he would leave soon. Then he asked “Would you be able to join me for dinner later this week?” I needed a little time to think about it but let him know later that day that I would go with him.
Although Jordan and I had been at the same church since October 2011, and had both participated in a few events, I really didn’t know him. The day after I accepted his invitation to dinner, the Lord providentially arranged a meeting with two couples from our church who knew him better than I did. During this providential meeting, I was shocked to learn that Jordan had been interested in me for 1.5 years. This intrigued me, as it revealed that asking me out was not done on a whim and, presumably, Jordan had been thinking and praying about it for some time. Also, one of the men knew Jordan quite well since they were in the same accountability group, and was able to validate his character. Who but God could have arranged this meeting with people who knew him and could speak some reassuring words to me?
On Friday, May 24, right after my housemates surrounded me in prayer, Jordan picked me up for my first date ever. I was not interested in impressing Jordan, so approached our time together like I would getting to know a new friend. Except…this was a date…with a guy…who I knew was not interested in a mere friendship.
Jordan took me to The Grape Leaf, a Mediterranean restaurant. Jordan was extremely polite and gentlemanly throughout the whole evening, always getting the door for me and making sure I was comfortable. Still, while we waited for the waiter at the restaurant to show us to the table that Jordan had reserved, I thought “I hate dating!” Yes, there were awkward pauses, but I found that our conversation flowed quite naturally as we both talked about our lives and it seemed quite easy for me to converse with him. I was impressed by the fact that Jordan had traveled extensively. After dinner, he took me to the walking bridge. We walked the entire length, talking the whole way. Two and a half hours after our date had started, he was driving me back home and, since he hadn’t asked to go out again, I was worried that I had said something that he didn’t like. The Lord was already starting to change my heart. Before arriving at my home, he said that he did want to get to know me better if that would be okay with me. I responded very noncommittally because I wanted him to recommend a specific time to hang out. Thankfully, my lack of enthusiasm didn’t dissuade Jordan from asking me out on a second date ten days later. The thoughtfulness and heart for God that I observed in Jordan during those first few weeks when we became friends quickly won my heart.
We went on a second date ten days later and then coffee after church one Sunday. During that coffee date, a very key conversation happened, which convinced me that I would be in favor of going further with our relationship if he wanted that. I asked Jordan what pastoring (what he is preparing to do) meant to him. I was very pleased with his answer as it revealed that our hearts for ministry seemed to be on the same wavelength.
Our times spent together grew more frequent and then, on June 21st, I went home for two weeks. Before that, though, on June 20th, Jordan took me to Blue Dog Bakery where we enjoyed a delicious lunch, and afterwards to Cherokee/Seneca park where we walked along a creek and found some trails. Finally, we found a rock to sit on and Jordan very calmly shared what was on his mind. He said that he had known me since October 1.5 years ago and, because of what he saw in me, had kept his eye on me to see if I was who I said I was. He said many sweet things, including that I am the kind of girl he was looking for. He asked to court me and wanted my dad’s phone number to also ask his permission. The things that Jordan said floored me. Never had a man spoken to me in that way, and I knew that he meant what he said. He told me that he really really liked me, and I told him that I liked him as well.
That evening, Jordan spoke with my dad on the phone, and he gave permission to court me. The next day, I was to fly home to Tulsa, and Jordan managed to meet me at the airport for 30 minutes during his lunch break. During that conversation, I asked him what courting meant to him. He told me that, rather than just dating for fun, he really had a goal in mind: marriage. My desire had been to only date someone I could imagine marrying, and it was wonderful to be pursued by a man who thought the same way. Jordan asked me to accompany him for his family’s vacation at the beach during the last week of July, and I asked him if he would go with me back to Tulsa for the second weekend in August for my dad’s birthday.
While I was in Tulsa for 2 weeks, Jordan and I spoke on the phone for a total of 13 hours. We would discuss a chapter of Romans and then talk about all sorts of important topics: family, children, ministry, finances, the roles of a husband and a wife, and more. We had both thought about such topics extensively, though it seemed to me that Jordan had thought much more about what kind of husband he wants to be than I had thought about what kind of wife I want to be. This amazed and humbled me, knowing that he wanted to be a husband who loves his wife like Christ loves the church to me. Our conversations were very encouraging, in part because we were on the same page concerning every important subject we discussed. Increasingly, I could imagine myself marrying Jordan.
After those two weeks, my parents drove me back up to Louisville, which had already been planned before Jordan and I started dating. This provided the perfect opportunity for them to meet him. After spending some time with Jordan, they expressed complete support for our relationship.
We started spending a lot of time together, continuing to have deep meaningful conversation about various topics. It didn’t take long at all for me to be convinced that I definitely wanted to marry Jordan. He was better than anything I had hoped for. In bringing Jordan into my life, God proved all of my doubts about His power and love utterly wrong.
Getting to know Jordan’s family during their beach vacation at the end of July was a wonderful time. I felt very comfortable with them, and they welcomed me into their family with open arms. The memories of relaxing at the beach and walking along the shore with Jordan are ones I will treasure forever.
On August 10th, Jordan and I were with my family to celebrate my dad’s birthday. It was encouraging to see Jordan get along well with both of my brothers. During that weekend trip, Jordan asked my dad for my hand in marriage, and I knew that my dad gave permission. As of that time, I expected the proposal anytime, but tried not to figure out the details. On Wednesday, August 14, Jordan picked me up at 3:30. I noticed an ice chest in the back seat of his car and thought it was very sweet that he had packed a picnic for us. He drove to the park and creek where he had asked to court me. We found a large rock by the creek and sat down on a blanket that he had brought. He picked up his Bible to read some passages. This was not terribly unusual, as we had discussed Scripture together frequently and wanted our relationship to be centered on our relationship with God. Pretty soon, though, I realized that this time in the Word was different.
Jordan first read Luke 11:1-13. He told me that he had asked for and searched for me for many years, and God had answered his prayers through me. He then turned to Proverbs 31 and told me that he had found that woman in me. Next, he read about the creation of woman in Genesis 2. Here, I could tell that he was starting to become emotional. Finally, he turned to Ephesians 5. When he read the phrase “Husbands, love your wives…,” Jordan broke down. I asked if he wanted me to read, but he insisted on continuing. After he got out a few more words he was still weeping, so he put down his Bible and looked at me. “I want to love you like Christ loves you,” he said. And then he said “I love you.” Now I knew for sure that the proposal was happening because we had agreed to wait to say those words until engagement. He asked me to stand with him, and then he knelt, held up a gorgeous ring (made up of 7 diamonds which symbolize completion/perfection), and asked me if I would marry him. I responded “Yes, of course.” As we were hugging, I finally noticed one of my housemates taking pictures. Jordan had planned the proposal perfectly, along with a photographer! He then opened the ice chest and pulled out a beautiful bouquet of 21 roses (3 times 7!). The Lord truly wrote a perfect love story for us, and we are looking forward to our upcoming wedding on December 7th.