In 2019 I met my wife during some thrilling rides at six flags. It was our young adults annual trip. We decided to go to six flags to celebrate and we didn’t know much of one another, other than our names. But as the day continued we ended up getting closer and closer. Eventually a few hours turned into days, weeks and months. As our relationship strengthened we realized how important our relationship with each other was but even more crucial was having God in the center of this relationship. With this in mind, something already beautiful blossomed into something so wonderful.
Before we agreed to date we decided to give each other time to fast and pray. We desired to ask God to guide us and to also let His voice fill our hearts with His will, not our own. As much as I wanted to be in a relationship, I chose to ask God to give me a clear answer and the wisdom to accept His guidance and will over my own concerning this relationship. I wanted my relationship to be strong with Him before I even considered moving forward with her. We asked God to prepare our hearts for a firm foundation.
Luke 8:5-15 NLT “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they look, they won’t really see. When they hear, they won’t understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”
Fast forward a quick 3 years and my relationship has grown stronger with my bride. Even when times were tough during the pandemic; loved ones passing and the separation from strong community. We persevered and grew closer regardless of this unprecedented situation. We managed to find God in our homes and within friends and family that we were able to be with. My girlfriend (at the time) definitely challenged me to dive more deeply into God's word. I moved jobs and still I felt like I had not only her support but God's presence surrounding me. Sure I was worried, but her support and Gods presence provided a relief and peace unlike any other.
On Dec. 17th, 2022 I asked my girlfriend to marry me. I prepared myself by having my own time, in a moment of worship, to ask God if I was ready for not only getting married but to accept the challenges that surely were ahead as we became husband and wife. I was terrified, worried and stressed. But, during these emotions I also remembered the seed I planted in myself. Having a prepared soil helped me go back into His word, to remind myself where I started. Having a foundation that was built on Him.
Now, having only recently been married we launch into 2024. My wife and I are hit with a new change that is physical, emotional and even spiritual, we're pregnant with our first child! Not only are we preparing ourselves for yet another significant change but we’re also preparing our home and community.
I have been working at Faith Chapel as the technical director and I must say how huge of a blessing it’s been for me and my family. Seeing the new vision for the church has inspired us to have that new vision within ourselves as well. Same goes for our community changing. We’re driven to have a deep connection with our friends and family members as we simultaneously pursue a deep connection with God by diving into the word and enjoying His presence together.
Today I pray for ready soil within you. A deep foundation with God. I want to encourage you to dive into his word together with your loved ones. There's something powerful that happens when you read Gods word with those you love.
I will be praying for guidance as we go through this fasting season and all it's challenges. Let us not forget where we can lean when we feel overwhelmed, stressed or worried. We can lean on Him and discover Him in fresh new ways through His word.
"May Gods will be done through each of us as we yield to His will and not our own. Amen."
-Ismael "Chino" Covarrubias