"Love, Through the Peaks & Valleys"
1. Thank you guys for joining Farfromacurse to share your testimony. Please let the viewers and readers know why you’re joining #TestimonyTuesday.
a. Terrence: We’re here because we want to talk about what God has done in our lives as individuals and what he’s currently doing in our relationship.
2. Can you please give us two interesting facts about yourselves?
a. Gabrielle: I’ve been skydiving, and I lived in Ecuador for three months.
b. Terrence: My favorite food is teriyaki drumstick wings and I’ve never been out of the country.
3. How did you guys meet?
a. Terrence: We went to the same university but never spoke before I met her at church. We eventually met through my roommate who was her small group leader. I remember seeing her at the young adult Fusion bible study and I saw my roommate talking to her. I was kind of surprised to see her, but I eventually approached them while they were talking even though my main attempt was to talk to Gabrielle.
4. How do you maintain your individual relationship with God?
a. Gabrielle: Before meeting Terrence I developed an intentional quiet time with God in the morning. I take the time in the morning to read scripture through the bible app and I pray for myself and friends. I journal things that I’m reading in the word that speaks to my life and try to take steps to apply it to my life. My quiet time is very pivotal for me.
b. Terrence: My Christian walk is centered on surrounding myself with godly community because I used to be heavily in the world. When I started coming to church I ended up being surrounded by other men of God that invited me to different events and I got closer to them. As the relationships grew, my desire to engage in secular activities diminished. As a result, I’ve been able to truly have “clean” fun. This has provided me the best accountability; godly community has strengthened my personal walk with God.
5. How do you guys keep God at the center of your relationship?
a. Gabrielle & Terrence: Prayer on Prayer on Prayer!
b. Terrence: We’ve set strict boundaries because even though we’ve been together for about 3.5 years, there was a point in our relationship when we weren’t living how God wanted us to live so prayer has been our go-to!
c. Gabrielle: People know us as people who love God but walking out the Christian life brings a lot of challenges. We would pray often but the challenges derived from of our lack of boundaries; such as sleeping over at his place. We haven’t had sex, by the grace of God, but we still crossed lines of intimacy that didn’t demonstrate living a pure lifestyle. We were living for the flesh versus the spirit. Outside of prayer, we needed accountability. We’re grateful to have an accountability couple who we share our weaknesses with and we check in with them and we’re open about our boundaries. As we get closer to marriage, boundaries are even more challenging because I know he’s about to be my husband. However, we understand the award is greater to obtain to do our best to live pure rather than indulging in our worldly desires.
6. How does boundaries help a relationship?
a. Terrence: This is my first relationship that has concrete boundaries. Boundaries are as simple as curfew and not hanging out at night or letting our accountability know when we’re together. This has helped me remain focus on my relationship with God and honoring her as a husband should treat his wife according to God’s eyes. Boundaries are hard to keep but it establishes a pure mindset and exemplifies how God wants us to conduct our lives. I will admit, this was originally her idea and I didn’t want to do it at first, but it truly has helped. The boundaries as our foundation, allows us to build towards what God desires for us.
b. Gabrielle: It also helps you get to know someone better. You’re not so caught up on the emotional piece. You can get to know someone for who they are. In some relationships, you spend so much time kissing, there isn’t any conversation! We’ve learned at a church conference that, “Your connection shouldn’t outpace your commitment”. It’s important to get to know someone and have that foundation. This prevents being “blindsided” and you’re actually saying yes to “becoming” a wife because you know him as a person through conversation, spending time together, and sharing experiences. Which isn’t limited to an emotional irrational type of love. It’s more of a thought-out decision.
7. What does true accountability look like?
a. Gabrielle: We have accountability on an “individual” and “relationship” level. Regarding the individual level, I believe it can be a friend on the same level as you striving to build a relationship with God but sometimes there isn’t a strong level of conviction when you mess up. For instance, our relationship accountability couple goes to our church and they’re submitted to Christ and I actively see them living it out. They’ve also been married for ten years and they have two kids. They are way ahead of us at this point in life, so they have a lot of wisdom to share with us. Their advice is way beyond someone that’s on the same level as us. However, we also get advice from newlyweds. Sometimes older couples forget the initial stages in dating and courtship. Therefore, I think accountability can encompass various stages and levels in terms of someone that’s at the same level, a little bit ahead, and way ahead of you.
8. When did you know Gabrielle was the one?
a. Terrence: we met in July 2015 but she immediately went on a three-month study abroad trip to Ecuador. While she was gone, we maintained constant communication. It was a blessing because it kept me focus on pursuing the relationship with her. The following spring, I began to notice her “wife” qualities. At that point in my life, I never ran into someone that had a desire to submit and please God through a relationship. I thought that was cool and thought she could possibly be the one. She is very submitted to Christ and whenever I’m led to do something, she supports it fully just as I am submitted to Christ. She holds Christian wife qualities!
9. When did you know Terrence was the man God created for you?
a. Gabrielle: I feel like I knew over time. During my single phase, I took the time to go through my personal values. I saw all of my values play out as I was getting to know him. For instance, faith, family, sense of humor, passionate, growth, etc. I was able to see the qualities come out as I did life with him overtime.
10. Were there any challenges experienced in this relationship?
a. Gabrielle: We had a very big argument in September 2017. I went to his house and he took my phone. I just knew I was done! I told God, “This isn’t it.” So, I made the decision to breakup. It wasn’t necessarily what we wanted but it was for the better. However, the breakup allowed me to recognize areas I needed to grow in. Personally, I’ve always desired to be a wife and impact the kingdom with my husband. However, I had to deal with my own selfishness. God showed me who I was and it wasn’t pretty. I went through a four week class at church called Forward after the breakup. Going through the process allowed God to do his work in me and allowed me to see people differently. I believe he’s made me a better partner. My last relationship taught me that it was better to be obedient than try to make a relationship into something God didn’t really want for me. The breakup was our “reset”. Our accountability partners reminded us to give each other the space to rely on God to make sure we weren’t making an overly emotional decision rather than a decision that was truly pleasing to God.
b. Terrence: I struggled with a deep sense of insecurities after that breakup in 2017. I had deep trust issues with people, friends, other relationships, and even family members. The breakup allowed me to self-evaluate because normally, you can only see yourself from a bias. Reasons why I value my godly community so much. Those men are my friends and accountability. They will straight up tell you you’re wrong. I remember constantly talking to my friends during the month of the breakup and they helped me level my head because an unexpected breakup can get to you. Godly community is with you through life successes and challenges. They were there when I needed them and vice versa.
11. What’s the significance of the wedding month and day?
a. Gabrielle: We’re getting married July 7, 2019!! July is very special to me because this was the month I ended my last serious relationship with someone I thought I was going to marry. It wasn’t a godly relationship, but it was “amazing” according to the world’s standards. The relationship ended quickly because he admitted to cheating which violated my #1 non-negotiable. I gladly chose to walk away from that relationship because I will not deal with an unfaithful man. However, during that time was when I was the most on fire for Christ! I remember reading “The Circle Maker”. He talks about the idea of prayer experiment, which mainly discusses having a bold prayer life with other people. I remember when me and four other friends got together and wrote down specific prayers and prayed fervently. I remember my prayer stating a desire to marry a man that was completely submitted to Christ so that we could make disciples and impact lives together. I prayed that every day in the month of July and our first date ended up being in July as well. I’m not saying God is a genie, I just don’t believe in coincidence. I’m so grateful things lined up in that way. July 29th was our first date together and July 11th was the proposal. He wanted to propose way before then but in God’s sovereignty and perfect timing he allowed it to happen in July. Seven is a number of completion. So, I see it as us completing our single lives and moving into a covenant of marriage with each other and it’s on Sunday! You save money getting married on Sundays! lol
12. What advice would you give someone seeking a godly relationship?
a. Terrence: put in the work to chisel yourself first. I remember encountering a lot of drama in my secular life and decided to give that up. I remember going to church every Tuesday night for bible study and I believed God allowed me that time to work on myself. Gabrielle popped in my life when I wasn’t trying to be with anyone. So it’s important to work on yourself spiritually and emotionally.
b. Gabrielle: prayer was very important! After my last relationship, I really took the time to get to know Terrence. If you’re interested in dating remain prayerful and don’t miss out on God’s goodness. God isn’t any more “good” to us because we’re going to be married. God’s goodness doesn’t change based on our relationship status. Also, godly community is important. Find people who are truly following Christ and doing life together and trying to live right together. This helps as a relationship is fostering because it’s an additional layer of accountability. Also, if you see a guy that’s interested, don’t be afraid to see that person in different settings. And be patient, don’t be so relationship hungry that you end up missing out on what God is doing in your life right at this moment.
13. Where are you guys now?
a. Terrence: Relationship and marriage is definitely a journey. The growing pains can be uncomfortable but just learn how to be a strong man and woman of God is a process and this comes with prayer, godly community, and even fasting. I say were in a good space.
b. Gabrielle: engagement season is very intense! It’s more than the invitations and parties. It can get very hard especially in a godly relationship. It’s good to remain grounded when you’re single. Marriage is hard and good at the same time. This may be a hard concept, but marriage is oneness yet we’re two individuals. Becoming one is hard, but the good part is being able to do things together and serving together. So we’re making it by the grace of God.
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Until next time...