Man makes plans. God laughs. I can’t tell you how many times I THOUGHT I knew who my future husband would be. I heard this saying when I was single and found it to be true “It’s the person you least expect it to be.” It sure was, because my future husband was already married.
After experiencing my first heartbreak, I was sure I’d meet my husband at college. It just made sense. It didn’t bother me that I attended a predominantly White institution. If God didn’t plan on me marrying a brother, I had no problem being down with the swirl. Welp, after 3 years of a few crushes and almost, but not really relationships, I walked away with a degree, but no husband. Ugh. Okay, keep calm. After graduation I headed to live in Jackson, Mississippi for a year long internship. Yay! Maybe my future husband was a fine Southern man with hospitality and charm. *sigh* After 1 year of random dates, a major crush, and a relationship, I came back to Chicago single as a dollar bill. There was a guy I could’ve gotten serious with in Jackson, however, I never had a peace about that situation. I would soon learn why.
After getting settled back in Chicago, finding a job, and an apartment, I went on a few dates here and there, but it was never anything serious. This bothered me. I was over 25 and my dating life was non-existent. I didn’t even have any prospects, besides my on-going fantasy of marrying Huff Post Live’s Marc Lamont Hill, lol. To make matters worse, it seemed like everyone around me was getting married and starting their lives. I couldn’t understand it. I had a degree, a job, a car, my own place, and no kids. I went from wondering what was wrong with these men out here, to wondering what was wrong with me, which is a dangerous place to be. If it wasn’t for my relationship with God, I would’ve remained in a place of depression and rejection. I’m in no way saying one day I woke up and felt completely satisfied with my single status. Not. At. All. There was a lot of back and forth going on. A lot of tears, plenty of conversations with God, and two dreams that I’ll never forget that I know without a shadow of doubt was God letting me know it wasn’t my time… yet. So, eventually I came to a place of just doing me and being intentional about enjoying life as a single woman.
Meanwhile, on a few occasions my best friend Briana told me to pray for a friend of hers who was battling cancer. I’d never met her, but knew of her husband Stephen. Every now and then I’d ask Briana about her friend’s health and was saddened to hear about her passing away. I felt so sad for Stephen. He was an extremely young widow. I couldn’t imagine what he was feeling, so I gave my condolences and made sure to keep him in my prayers.
Months passed, and the guy from Mississippi began to come on to me really strong. I thought to myself “Why not?”. I knew he loved me and would treat me like a queen. We had a phone conversation that resulted in us giving our relationship another chance, but taking it slow. After I hung up I felt uneasy. It’s hard to explain. I’ve never heard the voice of God audibly, but I heard in my spirit that if I open up the door with this man, I would miss out on my opportunity with Stephen. Huh? Steve?!? Where did that come from? I knew I had to be tripping, so I immediately dismissed that thought. However, a few days passed and nothing changed. Maybe this was God telling me something, so I figured it was safer for me to be obedient than sorry. I told the guy in Mississippi that I didn’t have a peace about us and had to obey the voice of the Lord. It didn’t go over too easy for both of us. I’m convinced he thought I’d lost my mind. On the other hand, I was ending a relationship to be with a man who showed ZERO interest in me, and on top of all that had just lost his wife. For a moment I thought I’d lost my mind as well, until God’s will began to manifest itself.
It started with a few glances, and I even believe we locked eyes a few times. Was Stevie staring at me? This is what would take place whenever I saw Steve. It felt so good, but it was so bad. I can’t like a man who lost his wife. It’s not right. And besides, he isn’t even thinking of me. Forget it. Forget everything. These were the thoughts running through my head and since I don’t believe in a woman pursuing a man, all I could was wait. And then it happened. Stevie was having a concert for his “EUROCLYDON” album and asked if I could be on his marketing team. Of course I could 😉 Stevie went from texting me all day, EVERYDAY, to finally calling me one Monday evening. He says after that phone call that lasted about 15 minutes, he was hooked. We talked every day and night, for hours and hours. It was obvious we were falling in love with each other, but I never said a word. I wanted it to be initiated by him, so I can be sure I hadn’t manipulated the entire situation. I had to know that I know, that this was the Lord’s doing. Finally, Stevie revealed his heart to me, and the rest is about to be history. We made it official, and 6 months later he asked me to be his wife. We jump the broom September 6, 2014 <3
After years of wondering who was my future husband, who would have known it was a man who was already married? Am I happy Stevie lost his first wife? Of course not. However, I’m so grateful God had a plan to heal Stevie’s heart that included me. It goes to show we NEVER know what God has planned, so it’s best to chill and completely trust Him. I’d lost a close family member prior to me connecting with Stevie, that allowed us to understand each other on a deeper level. I have never shied away from the conversation about his late wife or felt weird about his situation. I embrace everything about Stevie and I know he is the man he is today, because of what he went through. The way he cared for his first wife until her last breath makes me love him even more. God didn’t give me a man who runs when trouble comes. Nope. God gave me a soldier who will fight until the very end.
If you’re stressed wondering about who will be your future spouse, you might as well relax. I never thought in a MILLION years I’d be marrying dude from around the way, who I randomly knew, but not really. I never thought my story would look like this, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. God knows who we need and when we need them. His ways are not like your ways, and his plans are higher than your plans (Isaiah 55:9). And with that being said, let go of what you THINK you know about who you could possibly marry, and let God blow your mind.
R.I.P. Geneisha Ryland Carpenter
Do you have a similar story? I’d love to hear about it below!