Stories of Faith: Gabi and Chase

November 15, 2013
Making a big decision is never easy and takes great faith, but especially when that big decision is marriage. Here is the story of a darling couple, Gabi and Chase, who have just come through that process and are going to be married tomorrow (congrats you two!). They were so sweet to write a “his and hers” perspective on how they finally made the decision. Thank you for sharing your story!
Gabi: It was not easy for Chase and me to decide to get married. Through almost a year and a half of dating we struggled constantly with the decision. Even though I was uncertain about the eventual outcome, I felt that Chase was the only person that could make me the best version of myself, so I knew that I wanted to stick it out until the end. (And it finally paid off!)
Chase:  You may get the impression that I was the one stalling, but keep in mind that the first time I tried to kiss Gabi she fell dramatically into her car to avoid my precious lips! But for me the real difficultly came in trying to make the seemingly monumental decision to be married. I constantly struggled to understand both what I was feeling and what God was telling me.
Gabi: Though we didn’t date so long, I was confused as to why things weren’t moving along as quickly as I thought they should be.
Chase: After four months of dating Gabi I decided we needed to evaluate where we were going. My solution…we would break up. It’s not that I wanted to break up, but I think I began to sense that things were becoming more serious and I began to balk. After several hours of crying together Gabi walked to the door, gave me a big hug and said, “I have loved you and I would have married you in an instant.” Those words would echo in my head for the next few days.
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Gabi: I was a little surprised at myself for being so forward but I felt like I needed to get everything out there before I walked away. I moved rapidly between sadness and anger, but after four days I felt like I needed to call Chase to ask if I could come over and talk.
Chase: Of course, I obliged, and by the following weekend I told her that I loved her too and we began to date again. I always thought that loving someone would inevitably be a sign that I should get married. However, despite the newfound feelings for Gabi I still felt stuck. Of all the feelings swirling around in my head, the one that dominated them all was the idea that every single one could be from one of two sources, but deep down, and in my most honest moments I could not make heads or tails of the situation. I realized that my powers of discernment were not as sharp as I always expected them to be.
Gabi: So we kept dating, through a military deployment overseas, graduate school applications and rejections, and the start of culinary school. Although Chase and I loved each other, we still weren’t moving forward. I struggled not wanting to push Chase away or give him an ultimatum. However, I decided that before his next deployment (two months later) we needed to make a decision so we could both move on with our lives. After some thought I decided it made sense to take a break from each other to determine how both of us really felt. And so for the second time, we broke up.
Chase: Knowing now how much Gabi was struggling, I have to compliment her for never pressuring me or trying to make me jump into something I wasn’t ready for. By the time we decided to take another break I knew that I needed to make a decision one way or another. For fifteen months I had struggled to know what I should do, to feel a confirmation in one direction or another, but nothing had come. Still, I felt that God was trying to teach me something, and felt that He would not allow me to remain perplexed forever.
Gabi:  I have to admit, I only lasted a whole week into this break before showing up on Chase’s doorstep and asking, “Do you miss me yet?”
Chase:  And I replied, “Yes.” Followed by a big hug.
Gabi: I stayed at his house pretty late that night while we talked things over, and then Chase asked if I could come over for breakfast the morning he was leaving for a few days for a work trip.
Chase: As we talked over breakfast, I remembered some advice given months earlier by my best friend and brother-in-law, Jon, who is one of the most spiritually in tune people I’ve ever met. In a different context he had told me, “In all the times that God has spoken to me, He has never motivated me through guilt.” But for some reason at this moment I realized that the thing keeping me from moving forward with Gabi was fear.  I finally recognized to which voice I was giving heed. Just like God doesn’t motivate through guilt, he surely does not motivate through fear either. As simple as this concept might seem, for fifteen months I learned, through a process uniquely designed for me, how to distinguish between the opposing voices that influence us constantly throughout life.
Gabi: That morning Chase told me he finally felt comfortable moving forward with our relationship. I think I was too shocked to ask any questions after that, so when I left his house that morning I was going through a whirlwind of emotion. When he came home from his work trip he told me that I was the one, and that he wanted to marry me. I could hardly believe that the words I had been dreaming of hearing for the past fifteen months were actually coming out of Chase’s mouth. We wanted to tell everyone we knew that we were engaged, and then realized maybe we should wait until we had a ring to make it official. I actually told my parents that we were pretty much engaged before Chase had the chance to ask for their permission! A week later Chase and my Mom threw me a birthday party, and Chase proposed to me in front of some of our closest friends. Even though I knew it was coming I still teared up when he got down on his knee. It was during these precious and joyous moments of my engagement that I fervently thanked my Heavenly Father for making everything I had prayed for come true. I could not have asked for a better man to be married to, and I could not be more excited to become his wife tomorrow.
Chase: As happy as this ending is, and as excited as we are to be married, this story had its share of grief and discouragement. Both Gabi and I have endured seasons of loneliness, failed relationships, and dating anxiety. As a member of the military since 2003 where I am constantly surrounded by nothing but fellow military men, I often wondered, “How in the world am I ever going to meet someone?” I can say that it was truly a miracle that was set in motion years ago, and in the process I have learned both patience and self-worth. For both of us, starting a family required us to develop a different understanding of faith in both God and each other, and we look forward to bringing that faith into our family.
 
Gabi: Chase and I are so excited to be married and start our own family.  How amazing it is going to be to share both the lessons we’ve learned with our children, and hopefully someday, even this story.

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