It’s all too common, it’s almost cliché. I was once a girl in a relationship with a non-believer.
I grew up hearing the Gospel almost every week during chapel time in school. I received Jesus as my “personal Lord and Savior” countless times. Still, true transformation is not evident in my life. This kind of pseudo-spirituality continued until I graduated from university and started my career.
I met the man who would become my first boyfriend a year after I entered the workplace. At that time, I thought I found my other half. I felt complete and happy for the first time in my life. I abandoned my faith and started going to church with him. Although I knew I disagreed with his faith, my own spirit was too dead to even fight.
My relationship went on for about a year until I met a Christian friend from college. She invited me to have a meal to catch up. During our dinner, she asked me point blank a strong question: “Cathy, how’s your spiritual life?” Not one to pretend, I honestly answered, “It is dead.” She took the opportunity to tell me about her new-found faith and how she came from being an atheist to a Christ-believer. She invited me to join her for a church service and I said yes. Needless to say, I was renewed in the Lord during that service. I knew almost immediately that God is already starting a work in me. I knew from that day that He is already dealing with my ungodly relationship.
As a renewed Christian, I knew that there were things that I needed to change. To walk in integrity, I had to clean up my life. I was obedient in many areas except one—my relationship. It was incredibly difficult for me to give up my boyfriend. In hopes that he would also accept the Lord, I invited him to church. He went, but he looked like he was being burned in the hall! His discomfort was so clear! I struggled and kept praying and hoping that he would turn to God. Two months passed, and there appeared to be no change.
It was then that I had my long night of wrestling with God. I locked myself in my room, held my Bible and prayed hard for God to give my boyfriend to me. I told God that I did not want anything else but him. I argued, bargained and cried. I tried to find a word from the Bible that would support my desire but God kept asking me this one question:
“Who do you love more, him or Me?”
Through tears, I said “Of course, I love You more…but…” There was always a ‘but.’ It took a few hours of crying and bargaining with God until I finally said: “I surrender, Lord. I love You more. I will break up with him.”
The next day, I was decided to break up with him. I sent him a text message, telling him I wanted to talk. He sent a reply, saying he had a prior appointment. Because of this, I was unable to see him. On my way home, I got a text message from him that said: “Honey, today is my spiritual birthday.” I was so shocked that I cried on the train! It turned out that his prior appointment was with some of my church friends. They were planning a surprise birthday party for me and they shared the Gospel with him during the planning meeting.
I reflected on this experience and realized that God has already prepared him for me long before. The Lord was simply waiting for me to obey. He wanted me to put Him first. He wanted me to make him the Lord of my life. Indeed, He is Lord of all or none at all.
Today, my boyfriend is now my husband and we have two children. He serves in the church and also DJs for a Christian radio show. You may know him as “Ganns Deen” of gannsdeen.com.
Caths Deen is a daughter of God, wife to Ganns, mother to Nathan and Nicki, and an educational administrator. She blogs at kpopunni.com.