I was only 22 and full of the joys of life when I met him for the first time, incidently, at work. Unable to hide my feelings and happiness to be in love, very soon the whole family knew that there was somebody in my heart. My mother, being a very faithful Adventist, immediately visualized the negative implications of her daughter falling in love with a non-Adventist. Counseling in all forms followed, including the pastor's wife, who was my godmother and youth leader. "No," she would say, that guy is not convenient for you. He is an outsider." (This was said in the best of intentions, based on the fact that he was a "heathen.") Nobody made it easy for me, and against my increasing love for him each day, I found continual adversity either verbal or written. "No . . . no. Just discard him at any cost. You'll find some nice guy in the church." But I knew in my heart this young man was my husband of one day. Bitter tears were cried for many painful days.
Yes, although then he didn't have the faintest idea of this Adventist faith to which I was trying to introduce him, I had a deep feeling all obstacles would be overcome, and how huge they were .. . They came in all forms. Firstly introducing him to the faith with all its richness of principles and rules.I was particularly terrified to talk to him about the principle of tithe. Then meeting family and church members, who in the majority were skeptical about him, and this didn't escape his perception. He was too much of an honest person to try to show interest in all this just because he loved me very much and wanted to impress me. It was with tears in his eyes that he proposed to go to a faraway country to try to forget me, in case he couldn't absorb the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, as I had made it very dear to him that it was a must that my life companion would be an Adventist in order to raise our children in the same faith. However, how could I impose such a personal choice on him? This wasn't fair! Meanwhile the pressure from family and friends continued. I eventually understood that my only hope was in the Lord, and I put myself to work. I organized several prayer groups; started sending short letters to the youth leaders of different churches, even outside the country; asked all my family and friends to intercede for him; and eventually, I even had the audacity to write to the world youth leader at the General Conference, who very graciously answered me personally in a very positive manner. All of this with the purpose of the Lord touching his heart to accept the Gospel of Christ. And I could virtually see every day the high obstacles that were before us, falling one after another, until eventually only one impossibility remained—the keeping of the Sabbath. (What? The tithe issue to my amazement, he accepted as clear water, no hiccups.)
Although we worked in the same company, the department where he was a sale controller had to operate on Saturday mornings—no special concessions for him. We saw the possibility of resignation and restarting somewhere else, but there was too much to lose as he was a key employee and the company, a stable one. However, he wanted to get baptized and eventually confirm our love by marriage. But this was taking forever. Why did the Lord help until now and no further? I got double hopes and started praying harder and egotistically, with tears of resentment. I requested the fulfillment of His promises, and the day arrived not too late, when we got the good news that the company had a new structured timetable which would enable the staff to work a few more hours weekly in order to have the Saturday free for their leisure. We both fell on our knees in deep recognition for answered prayers so vividly shown to us, not in our time, but in God's time. Now the way was open, no more obstacles to hinder our great desire to be man and wife in the Adventist faith. His baptism followed soon to seal his belief in the Adventist faith.
A couple of months later, as we very happily exchanged our vows in our festively decorated little church in that month of July, my dear godmother smiled at me with double joy and even winked Fier eye under the shade of her elegant hat. I knew what she meant. As for my mother, I could almost see her heart jumping out of her chest in a mixture of pride and gratitude to the Lord. Of course, instead of the possibility of her daughter leaving the church to join a man from the world, here was a former man from the world joining the church and becoming her son-in-law.
That happened 30 years ago. We have the great privilege of being the proud parents of a young pastor in the cause of the Master, who is presently going to further his studies in order to get better preparation to put at His service. In this manner we see the last part of our desire to educate our child in the Lord's path, fulfilled to the full. We have no regrets at all about our choice of making the Lord our continual companion. On the contrary, the challenges and adversities posed to us as life goes on can only make our endurance get a firmer grip on the Rock of our Salvation. Of course, these past 30 years weren't paved with scented rose petals all the way through; there were many bumps and thorns along the way, but then we know that Heaven is not down here yet. It is still a place beyond the galaxies of the immeasurable universe, but with the grace of the Lord, we are walking toward it.