Months passed and I continued to avoid Stephen. Looking back it did seem kind of childish but I really didn't want to feel any sort of attraction to him. I would attend church and instead of hanging around at his place with my other friends for lunch I would drive home most, Sundays I would cry all the way home. I was confused. I threw myself into my course which required much of my time anyway.
Towards the end of the year I was working on a video project for my course and I needed some expertise to help finish it. Stephen and his family were experienced in video production so I turned to them. I asked his four other brothers desperately hoping that they would help me as I didn't want to be stuck in a small editing room with someone I was trying to avoid. Each brother referred me to Stephen...ARGHHHHH!
I couldn't finish my project without expert help as my teacher only had limited time and I was producing something more complex for our end of year production. I wasn't allowed to use the equipment by myself. Only God could create a situation like this.
Reluctantly I asked Stephen. He happily agreed to help. Little did I know at the time how eager he was to spend time with me.
So we embarked on this journey of rebuilding our friendship. We spent many hours together filming, editing and chatting. I remember he asked me where I saw myself in ten years time. I said probably still single and running my own Christian theatre Co. He shook his head and with a knowing smile said 'I think you'll be married and running your theatre co.'. He pointed out friends of ours who had 7 kids and running a theatre co. and the wife was actively involved.
I think he said something about being married with kids and running a successful film co..
Well, he was half right. God had other plans as far as his occupation was concerned but that's another story;)
We finished the video and he flew off to New Zealand the next day. He told me he wouldn't get back in time to make it to the production. I was disappointed but realised I couldn't expect him to change his plans for me.
The night before the production I prayed and asked God that if Stephen was the guy I was to marry he would be there at the production. All of a sudden I felt guilty that I was somehow not having faith so I retracted my statement and asked God for forgiveness.
The next day I was dressed up as an angel standing outside welcoming people. Stephen's brother and my friend turned up. It was like a scene from a romantic comedy. Cue slow motion movement and mushy music.
Out of the car stepped Stephen, I was standing on top of a lush green grassy hill. He was walking up towards me, in my excitement I began to run down the hill my retracted prayer had been answered and then I realised, when I reached him, I couldn't throw my arms around him, I stopped - cue that funny distorted sound as music abruptly stops - I hugged my friend instead and pretended that I was happy to see ALL of them.
I returned to the dressing room breathless and excited beyond belief but trying hard not to show it. I didn't hide it very well.
The next day it was my turn to head off overseas with my dad to Indonesia. I wanted to know why Stephen had come back early and I was disappointed that I had to leave for 6 weeks. I was concerned that my friend who also liked Stephen very much would try to take his affections. What little faith I had. It was hard not to tell my friends in Indonesia that he was the guy I was going to marry. they all thought he was pretty cute. There were a few guys over there who tried to take my affections. I was so glad that I knew that God had planned for me to marry Stephen so I could tell them I wasn't interested. I wrote letters to the church but really my letters were for Stephen. I wrote a journal the whole time I was over there and that was for Stephen too.
When I returned I was in this bizarre vacuum of time where everyone had moved on in their relationships without me.
I remember coming to church the first Sunday after getting back. I had all my photos to show but noone was particularly interested not even my two closest friends. Stephen on the other hand showed heaps of interest.
A couple of weeks later Stephen's brother got engaged which we were all excited about. We were at my friends house playing games and my friend was being rather flirtatious with Stephen. I found it rather painful to watch so I left. Was I wrong? Was it all going to happen all over again. 'God What's going on?' I asked.
I found from then on anytime I was talking to Stephen and my friend was around she would come along and take over the conversation and I would leave feeling rather frustrated.
At this time I was also struggling with if I should finish the theatre course or spend more time with the Christian theatre co. our friends were running. I was stage managing a production they were running and I was enjoying being in a Christian environment. There were a lot of New Age elements in my course that I struggled with. Stephen encouraged me strongly to finish. He helped me to realise that I quit things too easily so I took up the challenge.
Okay so a few months passed since I had returned from my trip and I got back into my course. I was also finishing up with the production I was Stage Managing. The final night the cast and crew went out for a celebratory drink - non-alcholic. Several things had happened that arvo and I was feeling down. As I drove home at midnight I prayed and cried and prayed some more, I handed over my singleness to God genuinely, I told him that if I couldn't marry Stephen then I would be happy to be single and serve him for the rest of my life, then God did something beautiful, he brought to mind a scripture song we had sung at church that morning it was - 'Behold I will do something new among you and now it shall spring forth. Will you not be aware of it.' Is 43:19. I had peace in my heart. I felt great joy and assurance that God had it all in his hands.
I tiptoed into the house trying not to wake my parents who were in the room next to the front door. To my surprise my mother, who never stayed up longer than 8pm was wide awake and sitting up in bed. She called me over.
'Guess who came today?' She asked. She looked so excited.
I thought for a while, they were talking to a missions organisation about getting back into missions so I mentioned that person.
'No' Mum said
I thought Stephen but I said No to myself.
'Who?' I asked
'Stephen,' She replied excitedly. 'He asked us for permission to court you.'
'We said we would have to ask you first.'
'Is that what you want?' My Dad asked in his usual gruff unemotional way.
I sat on the end of my parents bed stunned, speechless.
'Are you Serious!' I finally managed to get out trying hard to contain myself from squealing with excitement.
'Of course,' I exclaimed. God had answered my prayers.
Two weeks later Stephen asked me to marry him and 10 months later, after I had finished my course, we got married and shared our first kiss.
Now 10 and a half years later we have been blessed with 6 beautiful children.
God is good!