A totaled car and a wedding dress
Little did I know, when I gave my heart to Ray Wasike and consented to marry him, my faith would be tested to the max. The only thing we had going for us at the time was a fresh, budding love for one another and the understanding that our dreams somehow seemed to fit together to make a bigger picture. Forget that we were both broke and lived 8,000 miles apart. Even so, we were advised to begin the fiance visa application early on in our engagement because it could take up to a year for the government to determine whether or not we should be allowed to marry in the States. Who knew when it was all said and done, we would have paid Uncle Sam nearly $1,000 for his nod of approval?
But just as it is with God, He worked a way out of no way. While I had been in Kenya just months earlier, someone hit my car and jacked the back up fairly bad. I came home to a check for $1,800. The insurance lady said I could fix the car or do whatever I wanted with the money and keep the car as is. Say what? Option B, please! People may have felt bad for me driving Dorfy around town with a busted backside, but I didn't care. Dorfy helped me pay for my portion of the visa application and a wedding dress, and she helped me keep from starving since I had lost money from being away from work those previous weeks. Call it what you want, but I call it a blessing.
The unanswerable question
For months leading up to the wedding, I got the privilege of fielding a question most brides get to scribble on their calendars and encircle with red hearts and exclamation points early on in the planning process.
"When is the wedding?"
"I don't know."
It is difficult to plan a wedding when you don't know when or if the government will release your husband to attend. Nevertheless, we decided to set a date in faith and hope for the best. Now, some people end up waiting a year, get denied, and then are forced to give up, find other means of getting married, or reapply. With that knowledge looming over our heads, we frequently had to re-evaluate our plan. Was it stupid? I have no doubt some of my friends (outside of my earshot) gossiped about how crazy, desperate, or ridiculous I was, but it didn't matter. We had spent more time praying about it than they did, so we were ready to take that leap of faith.
Lest I go on a rambling spree, I'll cut to the point. With the help of our friend Senator Arpke, and friends who gave pre-wedding gifts, we ended up getting Ray's visa in record time and secured his plane ticket on the same day. We had to push the wedding back one week, but just like the car situation, it was to our benefit. Within two hours of receiving the visa, I had a new location (totally free) and had cut expenses for the wedding drastically. Ray spent that week with me and my family and we just had some much needed time to be still before wedding chaos ensued.
With a little help from my friends
God has blessed us with some great friends. Remember how I told you I was operating on a shoestring, nay, spaghetti string budget? Well for various reasons, the weight of wedding costs fell solely on my shoulders. But in a "look at God" turn of events, I ended up spending less than $700 on the wedding. The date change had a lot to do with it, but there were also three phenomenal women who stepped in to slap me on the hands for being too stubborn to ask for help and took planning the reception and decorating the venue on themselves. Sondra Miller, Jan Mattison, and Cindy Walker: angels in disguise. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Margie McGreevy (Mrs. McGredients according to my niece Brooklyn) as well for helping coordinate the ceremony on one night's notice. God sent these angels to help me bear the pressure of the wedding, and I am so grateful for them because I secretly felt like I was standing in quicksand, and I have claustrophobia issues, so you can imagine my horror. Really, God sent a fleet of angels to rescue me. Thanks to the help of many volunteers and monetary contributions, it all came together.
The beginning of the beginning
So after eight months of waiting and having no control over when the wedding would be or when Ray would arrive, we were finally able to marry and begin a whole new walk of faith together. This was just the beginning, folks, and it's only been six months! I'll have to divide this up into multiple sections because the testing of our faith continues to be the order of the day with us. Very few people know that when we left Salina, we didn't have money for our plane tickets to Kenya. And maybe some of you haven't heard about the providence of God for the album fundraiser. So many stories to tell, but we'll leave it here for now.
In each season of faith in our marriage, God has highlighted a different lesson. The lesson for this season: sometimes negative events we face in life are simply blessings in disguise. A wrecked car sustained me in a season of financial lack, a jilted wedding date allowed for my husband and father bond so there were no reservations at the wedding, and a heavy responsibility to plan a wedding became an opportunity to know that I wasn't alone and that in the absence of my mother, I had many spiritual mothers to stand in her stead.
No matter the situation, God will work it out for our good and His glory. The question is, do we have the faith to believe it?