Following my temporary departure from Catholicism in February 1995, I attended two different fellowships and ultimately, in May 1998, I became a member of what is now a mega-church in Brooklyn, New York. In those days, the Word was strong and I surmised that the Lord had called me there to develop and grow in that which concerned Him. All of that was true yet God had additional things in store.
The church had four Sunday services and typically I attended the seven am. That would change when I joined volunteer staff, but for the moment, it suited my purpose. I had friends whom I sat with and most times we then congregated at a local diner to discuss what we had learned from the message that the pastor had brought forth.
One year into my membership, it was my intent to forego the seven for the 11am service, and then meet my family for Mother’s Day dinner. There were no ifs, ands, or buts. While I knew the line would be long, I had planned to get there early to assure that I would at least be able to sit in the overflow room. With that in place, I told my friends not to wait for me nor hold a seat.
The following morning, May 9, 1999, my eyes opened automatically at 4am. “Not today,” I said, and went back to sleep. Minutes later, I arose again – it was 4:20. At that point, I concluded that God, for whatever His reason, wanted me at the early service. I prepared myself, called one of my friends “change of plans…save my seat…” and drove to Brooklyn.
I headed to the bookstore after service, and when I exited minutes later, my friends had dispersed. Since we had no plans to get together, I opted to return home. As I walked to my car on the next block, I was stopped -literally in path – by a member of the outside security team from church. He introduced himself as Austin and remarked that while he had noticed me a number of weeks beforehand, he found it hard to make an approach as I was typically surrounded by a group of people. We began to speak – my friends passed by – I did not stop my conversation but instead waved “I’ll call you later.” Austin and I stood on that corner for 90 minutes, and later, when I reached my vehicle, I knew, without a doubt, that my life had unmistakably changed.
Two days beforehand, a man from the courthouse where I worked had given me his number with the suggestion that we get together. Austin and I had made no plans for a future meeting yet once I reached home, I found the gentleman’s card, and ripped it up as I said to myself “I won’t need this anymore.” That very morning, the Lord had allowed me to glimpse the character of a Godly man, and despite the fact that we were new acquaintances, I realized that I could never again settle for anything other than His best.
To those without His insight, it would appear that my change of plans on that day equated only to a minor adjustment in my schedule. Yet my obedience to Him, in that utter simplicity, brought forth the desire of my heart. We soon developed a close friendship, and following a Godly courtship, Austin and I were married on November 3, 2001.