We both longed for something different. Something special. Something real. The story of how we’ve reached this day began on our knees with a few simple prayers.
Her Prayer and the Answer
Every five years, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church hosts General Conference, an international meeting where tens of thousands of members from across the globe gather for worship, business meetings, seminars, workshops and fellowship. In the summer of 2015, that meeting was held in San Antonio, Texas with some 70,000 attendees. Tricia Lee asked God to please send her husband there. And if he wasn’t already planning to attend, please put it in his heart to go.
That summer, Tricia Lee and Stan saw each other at a General Conference mixer in Texas. While playing games, Tricia Lee couldn’t help but notice the only handsome young man not playing any games. She went over and asked him to join in. They didn’t have a conversation or exchange contact information so it was quite the surprise when Stan reached out to her online a year later. They hit it off right away and were amazed at how much they had in common- but things took a turn south after their first date.
Things did not go as expected which left Tricia Lee to feel that only friendship was in their future. Months went by and she was not interested in revisiting or picking up where things left off –you know how she can be! Ever patient, Stan continued reaching out, but she just couldn’t get past that day. Every conversation they had Tricia Lee knew there was something special about Stan. Something refreshing and different. He was honest, hardworking, respectful and gave his best for others around him. He understood her, but most of all he had a heart for God that showed in everything he did.
Time passed and Tricia Lee tried to move on. Living in a big city meant there were plenty of people to meet, but it was clear, no one she met was different. “No”, became her default answer. One night in prayer the thought came to her mind “You’re so good at saying “no” to what’s bad, but what about saying “yes” to what’s good?” That was the moment she realized how wrong she’d been to allow one negative experience to outshine all the wonderful things she’d seen in Stan. The next day, she called Stan. They’d already missed enough time. An apology was in order…
His Prayer and the Answer
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” For several years, Stan consistently claimed this promise in regard to his future. For important matters such as his finances, his career, his maturity, his health and happiness, his ministry and especially for companionship, he expected the very best from the Lord. There were times where it truly seemed like disappointment and failure alone would be his inheritance, but he eventually learned that without the struggle there can be no wings.
2015 was a challenging year. New home. Small city. New role. Bigger responsibilities. It all started to become overwhelming. The opportunity arose to spend about two weeks at a conference as a representative for his employer. While it was first frowned upon as a waste of time and money, Stan thought it could be a great way to take a break from the day to day stress, be refreshed and also meet new people. Later realizing that this conference even had the potential to allow him to meet his future wife, he asked a very bold prayer of God. The last night of the conference came and went and it seemed as if the prayer was not answered.
Here is an excerpt of a prayer journal entry from July 13, 2015:
“The other day I prayed a prayer. I asked that You would bring me in contact with the person who would be my wife. I trusted the prayer would be answered. And as a result I stopped looking. It was great to have that confidence to know You would take care of the situation. However, the night came and went and there was nothing. A bit disappointed, yes, but at the same time reminded that You have much more noble plans for me than I could imagine… ”
In case you missed it, Stan’s prayer was answered and he didn’t even realize. A beautiful, confident, intelligent, God fearing, strong black woman literally walks up to him at the conference, calls him by name and he is clueless. Isn’t God kind? About a year later, separated by hundreds of miles, the pair crossed paths again. Stan asked her out and according to him that first date “was a day that he thoroughly enjoyed.. perfect.. kept getting better.” They even ended that first date with worship! Stan is typically a shy and reserved person but Tricia Lee made it easy for him to be himself. He felt safe and at ease with her. He didn’t mind being vulnerable because it was clear that God’s favor was on them. It was on that day that he knew she was ‘the one’.