From the simplicity of decorations, the 100 or so guests, and the mere $6,000 we spent on my wedding, my big day wasn’t what most girls would call their “fairy tale wedding.” However, I saw it as the perfect wedding I could ever have, not because my dress was the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen and I looked like Cinderella, but because I was marrying the man of my dreams, the prince I had wanted ever since watching my first Disney Princess movie. Jonathan Sapienza isn’t perfect [as no man on this planet is, sorry single ladies], but he is perfect for me. Why? To put it simply, because this is the man God wanted me to marry.
Let’s back track.
By the time I had turned eighteen my hopes of ever getting married were pretty much shot. Since Kindergarten I had been through over fifty toads with no luck of finding a prince. My heart had been broken several times, and at eighteen, I endured the worst heartbreak of them all. Dace was definitely not perfect. He had lots of baggage, insecurity issues, trust issues, relationship issues, family issues, and spiritual issues. Which, many and most people do. But his were by far the greatest than any guy I’d been with before him. Reflecting now, I realize the spiritual issue was the real issue, the issue that affected how he dealt with all his other issues. And since his view of God was tainted by an imperfect human being, his past and current issues greatly affected our relationship.
He couldn’t forgive the person who wronged him, and because he couldn’t forgive them, he ultimately couldn’t truly forgive me for the times I wronged him. Since he had put the Bible down and forgot God’s promises such as “He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,” and that He’ll “restore the years the locusts have eaten,” and “God’s plans for you are good, acceptable, and perfect,” he didn’t have much hope that good can prevail, and that God can restore his past so he can be free to walk into his future (e.g. future relationships) unhindered. Since he was trying to handle his issues in his own strength, with his own opinion on how best to deal with them, and not trusting in God to work out those problems, he ended up doing several things that further worsened our relationship. He chose to create an alter-ego to protect himself from getting too close to another person, and when that didn’t entirely succeed, he ran away whenever he felt he was becoming vulnerable with me. Now, although I believed in God, and didn’t view him in the negative light my ex had, I did not know God. Sure I knew the basics, He’s good, He’s powerful, and He’s everywhere, but I didn’t know His will for me. I’d shoot up some prayers every night, but like my ex, never read the Bible nor attended a Bible teaching church. So, I was just as ignorant as he was on God’s promises, will, and opinion/wisdom on how to do life and relationships. So, I tried to do the relationship as best as I knew how based on what I knew from the media, my friends, and my parents. I’d throw a fit when he didn’t come and see me. Since God was not truly my God–my everything, the one I love more than anyone else)–but my ex was, I was very clingy and needy. This pushed my ex away even further. I didn’t completely respect him because when his will was contrary to mine, I’d force my desires on him, trying to manipulate him to comply to my wants.
Finally, things ended for good and that’s when I really sought God. I cried out to him on my bed on February 29th, 2009. He answered me undeniably through the Bible and because of that experience, I decided to seek to know Him. I delved into the New Testament for the first time and in six days my broken heart was mended. I was filled with joy, and interestingly enough, I again desired and had hopes to someday marry. I’d read a book on being a godly wife, and knew that someday I’d actually get married. However, I did not dwell on this thought, or meditate upon it for hours, or allow it to consume me. On the contrary, I allowed God’s will to consume me. I had completely given Him my heart and was ready for whatever He wanted me to do. To my surprise, I met (in person, we had a prior phone meeting thanks to my sister’s heavy insisting) on March 4th, 2009, the man who is now my husband.
When I first laid eyes on Jonathan I truly thought (still do), that he was the most gorgeous looking guy I’d ever seen. Stranger still, the first outing we ever did, (March 4th), we went to Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale together, the church we eventually got married at a year and half later.
See, Jonathan was a Catholic at the time. I had invited him to come to my church, and he really enjoyed it and got something out of it. On March 9th, he walked me to my door-step, kneeled, and asked me if I would honor him in being his girl-friend. I knew this kid was the one. A few days later we exchanged the three words (I love you), and were on a romantic joy ride filled with surprise bouquets, expensive restaurants, exotic sites, theme parks, and church. Things were going great. Jonathan had bought himself a Bible, and was visiting my church. But me, being a “new-born” in Christ, was a bit pushy with having a relationship with God.
See, I understood religion, I was raised (albeit not very religious), Catholic, and it honestly hadn’t done much for me and my family. So I was a little preachy in regards to the importance of reading your Bible to get to know God personally, and Jonathan started to get turned off by this. He ended up not going to church with me anymore. He would attend his Catholic church, and I would sometimes go with him, but deep down I knew that although every other aspect of our relationship was wonderful, the Spiritual side of it was not. We both believed in the same God, but we clashed heads on how to relate with Him. This, became a serious problem. I had moments where I’d cry and pray to God asking Him if He wanted me to break up with Jonathan because we were not on the same page spiritually. Every time, I would read a Scripture that spoke of trusting God, and waiting. So I did.
I had received a random friend-request from a girl I didn’t know well, but used to be associated with back in middle school. She had become a Christian and was engaged. I got her number and one day texted her, and she was so joyful about being engaged, informing me that there was a point where her and her boyfriend almost broke up. I asked if she wouldn’t mind sharing with me why they almost did, and interestingly enough, it was because she was very Catholic, and he was Non-denominational Christian. Their differing views about how to relate with God caused problems. She wasn’t comfortable at his church because of the many differences from her Catholic one so she stopped going. After a big fight they broke things off, but then her boyfriend apologized and told her he wanted to really try to work things out. They watched Fireproof together (by this point I was freaking out, because Jonathan and I had also watched that movie together), and decided to remain boyfriend and girlfriend. She told me her boyfriend would just pray for her, and next thing you know, she’s invited to a non-denominational church by her cousin, and thoroughly enjoyed it. She began reading the Bible and fell in love with God and then became engaged. She encouraged me to pray for Jonathan, to not say anything to him about the Bible, but to simply pray. I did so, still struggling a bit with our differences, but believed God wanted me to stick it out. After a powerful word from the Bible that God used to tell me literally that Jonathan was His chosen man for me, I stayed with him.
But one day I realized our physicality (although we weren’t having sex) was messing things up. God had tried to get a message across to me a few times that He desired for Jonathan and I to court rather than date like they do in romantic comedies and the Bachelorette (make-out, be all over each other, build up all the romance, making it very difficult to remain in purity toward one another until marriage).
All I knew was that God wanted me to break up with Jonathan. I found out after the fact that He had me break up with Jonathan so we can start over, on a “clean-slate” if you will, and begin a courtship. We did, and from then on, Jonathan started to really change. He began reading the Bible, going back to church with me, and even joined a men’s Bible study group with guys from the college/post-grad ministry from Calvary. He stopped going to Catholic church altogether, on his own, without me yapping, and soon proposed.
There’s so many things God did to confirm to both Jonathan and I that He wanted us to get married that I wrote a book about it. So, to finish, my wedding day was absolutely perfect, because I was marrying the man I knew God wanted me to be with for the rest of my life.
Me just overjoyed that I was finally marrying Jonathan (and doing my own make-up)
How nine women fit in that tiny room, I do not know.
See the look on my face as I walk down the aisle to my dream prince?
See, not fabulous decorations, but I wasn’t complaining. I just wanted to get to the “I do.”
The man who married us was our spiritual father (vital in courtship)
This pic says it all
I take it back, this one does.