Sunday, 12 August 2012

We're engaged!

Some of you have seen this coming for some time, for others this may come as quite a surprise... I am now engaged to the love of my life, Lisa Sauer!

How God brought us together

Lisa and I first met at the end of February last year when she came to visit a friend at the Bible school in England where I was studying. As she stayed there for several weeks, we were able to get to know each other a little and also like each other. But neither of us realised at that time that the interest was mutual. After Lisa left, we communicated a little via Facebook, but when one message was not delivered, both of us thought that the other was no longer interested. Besides that, I didn't think I had much of a chance with her anyways as I was in England training to serve God in Mexico and Lisa was studying in Germany. So there was no more communication between us for the rest of the year...

But all the while, both of us were hoping to find that special person to love and be loved by, a person who loved Jesus above all else. I was praying that God would give me a wife who would want to join me in serving God in Mexico. Unbeknownst to me, Lisa's prayer to God regarding her desire for a future husband was that he would be someone who wanted to serve God in a foreign country.

In recent years, there have also been other young women who I was interested in, but those relationships never came to anything. I never had a girlfriend. I knew that marriage was good because it was instituted by God and I knew that He had given me a desire to be married, but I could not understand why God never seemed to bring that person into my life. I prayed earnestly to God that He might give me a wife and that He would make me into a man after His own heart, a man who would be able to love his wife “as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:25) I also prayed that God would take my desire for a wife away if His plan was for me to remain single. As I got to know God better and as I learned more about Him in the Bible during that time, He gave me an unshakeable confidence in three of His wonderful attributes:

1)      God is all-powerful and completely sovereign.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

I rested in the fact that it was not beyond God’s power to give me a wife. He was completely in control of all things and could do so anytime and anyway He pleased.

2)      God is all-loving and completely good.

“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!” (Psalm 36:7)

I rested in the fact that God loved me and desired my good. I had already experienced His love and goodness to me in so many other areas and I knew that He was hearing my prayers.

3)      God is all-knowing and completely wise.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)

I rested in the fact that God would answer my prayer in the way that was best for me and that would give Him the most glory. In His wisdom, God would know best why it would be better for me to wait. And if He did not intend for me to marry, then I knew that He knew the reasons for that.

All in all, the more I learned about God through His word and the experiences I was going through, the more I learned I could trust Him, knowing that He would do and give me what was best.

In the words of Charles Simeon,

Infinite wisdom has arranged the whole with infinite love; and infinite power enables me – to rest upon that love. I am in a dear Father’s hands – all is secure. When I look to Him, I see nothing but faithfulness – and immutability – and truth; and I have the sweetest peace – I cannot have more peace.

As time went on, I believed more and more that I would not marry before going to Mexico. And I was content with that because I knew my God and I knew He loved me and was sovereign over all of my life’s circumstances. I had placed all my hopes and desires and my life into God’s hands.

And then, at the beginning of this year, God showed me again just how sovereign and good and wise He truly is…

On 16 January 2012, I received an e-mail from Lisa in which she asked me if I could correct an English paper she had to do for one of her classes. The paper was about Mexican immigrants to the USA and she knew me as a native English speaker who was preparing to go to Mexico. She had no other intentions or ulterior motives in sending me that e-mail – just hoping to find someone to correct any spelling or grammar mistakes in the paper.

Well, I was delighted to hear from her after such a long time and, of course, very happy to help her with her paper. It also then gave me the opportunity to ask her how she was doing and what her future plans were etc. And so our communication became more and more frequent and extensive and we learned more and more about each other and found that we had a lot in common. I prayed that God would make it clear to both of us if He intended to bring us together. And God answered prayer. Our communication was very much focused on God and on what He was doing in our lives. I also learned and was very pleased to hear about her interest in having a part in bringing the gospel to other parts of the world. We quickly found out that we were interested in one another. During a long phone conversation, in the early morning hours of 15 March, after much prayer and with much nervousness on my part, I told her that I loved her and I was pleased that God had answered my prayer and my declaration of love was well received. What followed was a series of short visits – often only on weekends – during our school year until Lisa came to my graduation on 19 July. Since that day, we have enjoyed a time period of over a month in which we were able to spend every day together, visiting family and friends in England and Germany and celebrating our birthdays on 6 and 12 August.

Our engagement

After celebrating my birthday at my mother’s house, we had arranged that the three of us would travel down together to Lake Constance to celebrate Lisa’s birthday at her parents’ house with her two older sisters and their families and her younger brother. At the beginning of June, I had the opportunity to see Lisa’s parents in private and ask them for her hand in marriage. I was so thankful to God to receive their permission and their blessing.

On 11 August, the day before Lisa’s birthday, I told her that I wanted to take her to Lake Constance in the early morning of her birthday so that we could enjoy the sunrise together. So we left the house at around 5.25 a.m. and we found a nice spot by the lake. Before the sun had risen, at about 5.55 a.m. on 12/8/12, I asked Lisa if she would marry me and she replied, “YES!!!” :-)

After I placed the ring on her finger, we enjoyed the sunrise together, which was at about 6.15 a.m. We were the happiest two people on earth in those moments.

When we returned to the house for breakfast, we found the entrance decorated with flowers and the family was ready to congratulate us. As it was Sunday, we went to church in the morning and then also were very pleased to announce our engagement there.

We had a lovely afternoon together with the family and then went out to the lake again in the evening where we saw a beautiful sunset. What a special day this had been! We started the day as an engaged couple watching the sunrise and ended it together with our family watching the sunset.

We want to join the Psalmist in saying,

Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised.
(Psalm 113:1-3)

Apart from giving thanks to our family for making it such a special day, we want to thank and praise our God, not only for that day, but for all that He has done for us and for how He brought us together and how we can look forward to a life together with Jesus in the centre.

This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
(Psalm 118:23)


Anonymous said...

FELICIDADES!!! qué noticias tan bonita, me alegro mucho por los dos, haceis una hermosa pareja. Les deseo lo mejor en vuestro matrimonio y todas las bendiciones de Dios.
Que seais muy, muy, muy felices,

Michael Schmid said...

Muchas gracias, Cande! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hallo Michael,
Liebe Lisa,
mit großem Interesse haben wir von Dir/ Euch gelesen. Sehr gerne würde ich/wir mit Dir/Euch in Kontakt kommen. Wir haben viel Gemeinsames - es gäbe viel zu erzählen, zur Ehre unseres gemeinsamen GOTTES!
meine E-Mail:
Dein Cousin Wilhelm mit Inge