God KNOWS what is around the next corner!
This next ONLY GOD story is written to encourage you:
1. GOD IS in the details!
2. God is with us in our pain and often wants us to walk forward in Hope, because He knows what is around the next corner!
3. God hears our prayers.
This next couple, they inspire me! They inspire me towards marriage, as I see them honor one another, enjoy each other and love God with all their hearts!
Now let’s journey back to South Africa, over 20 years ago.
Meet two young couples: Dionne and Bridget van Zyl, and Greg and Michelle Haswell.
Both were married a few weeks apart and served on staff together at a local church in Pretoria, South Africa.
Dionne was later called to the marketplace, and while on a business trip in Germany encountered the presence of God in his hotel room. He took out his journal and wrote down the words “Atlanta” and “Georgia,” not knowing until later that those two words were even connected to each other.
Soon, it became obvious God Himself was calling Dionne and his young family to move to the US and specifically Atlanta, GA.
A few years after the van Zyls moved, Greg Haswell had a dream about “shifting continents.” It wasn’t clear right away what the dream meant, until after he, Michelle and their young daughter Nicole visited the van Zyls while on a vacation in the US. While flying back to South Africa at the end of the trip, Michelle turned to Greg and said, “It feels like we’re leaving home.”
It wasn’t long until they also picked up and moved to Atlanta, GA to start a church called Northlands!
Lindsay is young, wise beyond her years, discerning and a generous spirit! One thing I know and love about Lindsay is her natural comfort on stage with microphone. And a little fact I just learned about her that DOES NOT surprise me; the girl preached her first sermon at age 15! Lindsay has spoken so much truth into my life, I admire her so!
Lindsay grew up on the coast of North Carolina and is the oldest of five children! Her family served at the same church for all of Lindsay’s childhood. When Lindsay was 19, their church merged with another church in town. That new church was affiliated with a group of churches, one of which was Northlands Church in Atlanta, GA
A year or two after the merge, Tyler (Lindsay’s brother) would meet his future wife Nicole (Greg and Michelle Haswell’s only daughter) at a conference at Northlands Church.
As Lindsay’s brother was falling in love in Atlanta with sweet Nicole, Lindsay’s heart was breaking alone in her dorm room just an hour north. It was an (on again, off again) relationship that had ended with a guy back in NC, at the time Lindsay described the entire thing as horrific, more than just the relationship was lost, one of “those” where the pain just runs deeper for several reasons.
The kind of heartbreak that makes you question a lot about life!
Thankfully God knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us not to harm us! His plans are ALWAYS better than ours!
Nicole (Lindsay’s brothers girlfriend) encouraged Lindsay to emerge from her dorm room and come to Atlanta for the weekend. It was at the end of that weekend, Lindsay and Nicole ended up snowed in (note, it doesn’t really ever snow in Atlanta) at the van Zyl’s House.
It was at that house, alone in the guest room Lindsay says she felt the “the ties break off.”
She said, “The hardest part about a breakup is the amount of time it takes to get over it! I remember thinking all weekend, ‘I don’t have the strength for this. So many years wasted. Lord, how long will it take to get over this? I need to heal quickly. I don’t want to waste anymore time.’”
Lindsay walked out of that room and suddenly felt free for the first time in a long time. God had answered her prayer, right there, right then!
She walked around the corner and unexpectedly locked eyes with Bruce..…
Let’s pause and connect the dots!
Remember Dionne and Bridget from the beginning of the story, they are Bruce’s parents and also now elders at Northlands Church.
I KNOW, kind of complicated, but the amazing part is, it’s not complicated to God! He knew ALL ALONG!!!!
Back to the story, as Lindsay locked eyes with Bruce who was standing in the kitchen, she thought to herself “Where have you been all my life”
Then, she quickly looked down shaking her head, “That was weird, no, no, that couldn’t be, I mean, it couldn’t be.”
She kept her newfound fondness of Bruce to herself for 2 months wondering if it was just a rebound situation. She wanted to keep her distance, BUT they “ended up” on the same team to plan a youth conference for Northlands Church.
Problem was Lindsay had convinced herself that Bruce couldn’t like her because he never flirted with her, not even once!
2 months later, Bruce invited Lindsay to coffee and she was freaking out, she had convinced herself he had found out about her crush (ON HIM) and that they could no longer be friends. Her stomach in knots, wishing she could teleport herself out of the very coffee shop.
Bruce started to talk, and very carefully describe how he felt about her. He was being careful because he was convinced Lindsay didn’t like him (because she had been so on guard about it!).
Pressed for time, Lindsay blurted out:
“Bruce, I want to be your girlfriend!”
Shocked at what just came out of her mouth, the few seconds that preceded his response felt like weeks.
He then responded with a smile, “Well that’s good because I want to be your boyfriend.”
2 years later they were married at (guess where!) Northlands Church by guess who Greg Haswell!
I love these two! I love this story! They are both hilarious. I often tell Lindsay, the stories she tells me about Bruce encourage me so much in knowing the kind of man I want to marry!
Thanks Bruce for being an inspiration to me by leading your wife in such a beautiful way
God knows what details have to happen in order to get us from here to there! He knew Dionne would have the dream and he and Bridge would to move to Atlanta. He knew Greg and Michelle would then follow to start Northlands Church. He knew Tyler would visit, meet and marry Nicole. He knew Lindsay’s heart would break, He knew she would be stuck at the Bruce’s house in a snow storm (IN ATLANTA- where we don’t have snow storms). He knew He would answer her prayer to “heal her quick” so that when she walked around that next corner, she would see her future husband for the first time!
Yes, God knows! So Let Him write your story!!! He knows what is next in your life too!