Two years ago today I got to see a promise from God manifested, brought to fruition, delivered. Made complete on this very day, through this very day.
It was just a few months into dating Clay that I began to see this number everywhere. The kitchen clock, the clock on my phone, the one in my car and on my microwave and well, everywhere. It always seemed to be 10:23 when I looked at a clock.
And then one day I turned the corner of a dark alley at night on a film shoot set with a crew of girls. I had just finished telling them I thought God knew I needed a sign, some encouragement, a promise to which to cling, and that I thought Clay might be proposing on October 23. And as we rounded that corner and I finished up my thought, we all stopped dead on our tracks as we looked up to see – on the back of some trailer no less – those very numbers. 10.23.
And well, sure enough, on October 23 Clay proposed.
God is good. Like really good. He longs to give his children good gifts – like any good father would. And oh how He gave me such a good gift in 10.23.
There were also jet streams, but that’s a whole other story.
I think God talks to us in different ways, reveals little bits of Himself to us, speaks to us through various and unique mediums. A friend of mine sees Him in butterflies. My mom finds Him in what we’ve come to call “prayer rocks.” 10.23 was God’s good sign to me that revealed His presence, His guidance, His control, His promise.
And He was faithful to it, to me, to us…
Clay is truly the manifestation of a promise from God. And not only the promise that he would propose on that day, but the promise in His very design for relationships.
For I had dated and waited. Barely dated, mostly waited. And all the while I had wondered when he would come along. I watched my friends get into relationships, get boyfriends, fiances, and eventually husbands. I saw them get engaged, get married, and eventually have children. And all along the lonely road of singleness I felt the ache of longing for a “helpmate” of my own – a partner, a spouse, a significant other. Someone with whom I could do life, someone who I could love.
My road to meeting Clay was long and hard, winding and twisting, full of stumbling blocks. And I have scars from times I fell. But all the while God was pulling me in, drawing me near, and revealing to me His very design for relationships – for dating, for marriage. He was teaching me that He was the one and only true foundation for marriage, that all my waiting was worth it, that it was better to be single than to be in any relationship that was not His absolute best, that was not completely and 100% centered on and founded in Him.
And then I met Clay. A man who pursued me in such a sweet and Christ-like way. So patiently. He truly valued honoring God above all else. And for the first time in my life I found myself in a relationship with a man who truly pointed me more toward Christ, who led me closer to Him, who did dating in such a way that honored the God who created relationships, who designed the very longing of our hearts for them.
And on 10.23, October 23, he got down on one knee and asked me a question – the answer of which I had never been so certain about anything. And in that moment a promise from God was delivered to me.
Turns out all the while God had been working behind the scenes, preparing the way, making clear the path. He was leading me and Clay together – even when I couldn’t see it, even when I couldn’t feel it. Even when I doubted and despaired and cried more tears than I can count. Even when it felt I had reached the end of myself.
But y’all, He never left me. He was always walking with me. Beside me. In front of me. And behind me. He was hemming me in, all around, working all things together for His good and mine. And for His great glory.
For I truly believe God is glorified in my story all the more because of all that time I waited. Because it was in that very time that He drew me nearer to Him, forced me to trust in Him, and it was in that time that He was able to make Himself so known, so clear, and so present.
I am humbled and feel so grateful for 10.23. That God would entrust to me a sign from Him. That God would allow me to be a small part of His Story – this bigger story being told.
For it is this promise He gave me in 10.23 that is but a small, minute reflection of the greater promise He has given to all of us. God has given us a promise, found in the pages of Revelation, particularly Revelation chapter 21. It’s a promise to come, to be fulfilled, to be delivered. And it starts when we come to the end of ourselves. When we reach the earthly end of our lives, it will mark the mere beginning of the greatest life we have ever known, in the greatest relationship we’ve never known – on this side of Heaven at least. For our relationship with God that was destroyed in the Garden when sin entered in and separated us from a perfect God will be perfectly restored when we come face to face with our Savior in Heaven.
There’s a promise that awaits. Would our eyes be opened to see His signs of His presence, His reminders, His encouragement for the long road of waiting for the fulfillment of that promise which is this life.
And while He does give signs to certain people at certain times, an even greater gift He has given us is the steadfast and true gift of His Word. Scripture. Would we seek it for encouragement. We we learn from it Truth. Would we be filled by it daily, when we are weary, and also when we celebrate in joy.
Today I am thankful for 10.23. Today is a day I remember God’s goodness, faithfulness, promise and presence. Today is a day I will forever be encouraged by, in whatever dark and clouded portion of my journey on which I may find myself. For today is a manifestation of God’s grace and goodness, a reminder that He makes good on His promises, that despite not deserving a thing from Him He loves to give us good gifts, and it is a small glimpse into that greater promise He has made – the one that is to come, at the end of all of this longing and this life.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23
*read all about our engagement story and see all the pics – including the 10.23 ones! – here.