Hi, my name’s Pauline.
I’m at my quarter-life-crisis (25 years old), come from the suburbs of Melbourne (‘burn-city’) and have a big heart for Jesus.
While I knew about Jesus in my teens, it took hitting rock bottom and breaking off my 3.5 year relationship 🥺 to really experience His presence.
I was stubborn, driven by (somewhat petty) emotions and did not have the slightest idea of what grace was.
I praise God for patiently knocking on my door all those years. Instead of turning to recreational drugs or random hook-ups while my heart was broken (which was the advice from friends at the time), He pointed me in the direction of my local youth group.
I laugh everytime I think about my first visit.
It was a stormy night. ⛈ I had just ended an unpleasant phone call with my ‘ex’, and walked into the church drenched (late to their gathering), seeking a sanctuary to heal.
They took me in. No questions asked. And soon later, I found myself trading weekends at clubs for camps and community events. What I didn’t see, was God slowly peeling away the layers that stopped me from accepting who I really was – a Daughter of a King. I began understanding where my value and self worth came from, and how my past life was never going to grant me the satisfaction of being ‘good enough’.
Funny how God works though. During this time, another guy walked into my life shortly after my breakup. Someone slightly older this time, who had a stronger relationship with God.
Our first (skype) phone call lasted until 6am in the morning. I remember going to work at the restaurant the next day (on a lunch shift so I was a zombie), thinking… ‘wow, we’re going to be such great friends’. 🥰 I had a lot of great guy friends back then, and he’d be another to add to the friendship circle.
On the contrary, this was far from what Mark (the guy that walked into my life) had planned. He couldn’t stand being ‘just friends’ after the chemistry he saw we had. And he wasn’t about to be #friendzoned from a girl he actually saw a future with. *Side note… there we’re a lot of other girls that saw a future with Mark back then, but the feelings were never mutual .
And in just over 6 years, God truly worked in our lives.
Within our first year, we found ourselves renewing our commitment to ‘wait’ for marriage, even when others wondered what the point would be.
And after every argument, setback and insecurity from then on, we saw God paint over our ugliest traits with change and conviction. 🏼
He was revealing to us who HE was… and how much more peace we would have if we’d simply surrender our pride.⚡How beautiful love could be if instead of mirroring celebrities and worldly icons, we’d mirror Him.
Like have you ever had to forgive someone after days of silent treatment?! And be vulnerable enough to confront one another and call out how their bad habits hurt you?! That takes a lot of reconciling, forgiveness and prayer, friends.
Needless to say, our Christian experience was TESTED y’all.
But with God on our side, we managed to say ‘Not Today Satan’ every time.
While I don’t wish the rockiness we had in our relationship, on anyone else’s relationship… our pain matured us to taking a ‘PhD’ in conflict resolution and mastering one another’s love language.
Like here’s what I wish I knew about dating:
When two people come together, two worlds are literally colliding (in a good way). But don’t expect smooth sailing when reality is, you’ve been raised by two different sets of families, with different outlooks on life.
During our challenging periods, we began reaching out to our Christian brothers and sisters for guidance. We began reading devotionals together, prayed with (much more) intention and decided to take pre-marital counselling when we got engaged.
Honestly, we wouldn’t of gotten anywhere if it wasn’t for God intervening so often.
And for anyone who thinks pre-marital counselling isn’t essential… legit… it’s as essential as hand sanitizer in 2020. We cannot speak about it highly enough! And no you’re not lying on a chair, being psycho-analyzed while talking about your feelings… you’re sharing stories and #realtalk experiences with your pastors/mentors. Mark and I walked out of every session feeling truly blessed to know more about what areas in our relationships we could maximise and strengthen.
Fast forward to March this year, we said ‘I Do’ at our wedding in the Philippines. 🇵🇭 Despite Covid-19 lockdown restrictions forcing us to push the wedding 2 days earlier, with almost half of our guests being unable to make it… we knew God would pull us through.
And he did.
And even through the somewhat gloomy aftermath of self-blame, shame and endless ‘what-ifs’….
He still had our backs.
He never failed us in those years being together before marriage.
He’s not about to fail now. 🏽
So if you ever wonder whether God can work in your life… answer the knock on the door. He’s just waiting to show you what He’s all about!