So, I was talking to another guy when my now husband, Kelsey Mattison, approached me. And because I was being a woman and ended up emotionally attached to this guy, I told Kelsey no. And I had no idea my life and future were both about to change!
Let’s rewind a bit…
I was just a single girl who loved God and was in my first semester of college. And when I said that I loved God, I mean that he was my everything. We had a longstanding relationship for pretty much all of my life. He held me through every high school breakup and illuminated my smile during my “mountaintop” moments. Don’t get me wrong-I did some really stupid things when it came to relationships, like dating a guy thinking I could lead him to Christ and “save” him. Incredibly stupid. Seriously.
In my defense, I was so used to being with guys who didn’t love God like I did that I resorted to the thought that there just weren’t any guys out there who were on fire for God. I believed that there weren’t any guys that sought God’s will for their lives and would be truly passionate about the things that I was passionate about: God, kids, ministry, education, travel. So I just went on living my life, and as I saw they had potential, I would give guys a chance, which led me to the situation I was in when Kelsey entered (well, attempted to enter) my life.
I had no idea that God was rearranging my love life. The current guy was ending things with me because “Jesus told him we should just be friends.” I thought it was a load of crap because, well, I just didn’t think he really knew Jesus like that. At the same time, Kelsey poured his heart out to me in a Facebook message (Fun Fact: we met on Facebook a few months prior) telling me that God told him that we needed to be together, that I was pretty much the one. Whoa. I was shocked and flattered…but I told him no because I was never the girl to go from one relationship to another. I told Kelsey I needed time, and he said that was perfectly okay with him.
Even though our story is unique, there are a few things that I believe our story has in common with many stories that are green flags for a God-ordained relationship.
- He made his intentions clear from the start. Here is an excerpt from Kelsey’s message desiring to initiate a relationship:
Ashley, in the short time that I’ve known you, it’s been evident that our goals in life are seemingly the same. We both have an extreme passion for Christ and an equally extreme passion for teaching children as well. By saying all of this, I want to tell you…I would love to get the chance to really know you. You’re a very special girl, one who I consider attractive and datable. Basically, if you’re confused about if he wants to be serious or just wants to date, you have every right to inquire about his intentions and get answers. If his desires don’t match yours, go ahead and let it burn, honey.
- He is a persistent hunter. When I told Kelsey no, he was cool about it. We still had a very great friendship between the two of us, and it wasn’t long before he tried again. And by not long, I mean…a week later. October 30 was his first pursuit, and his second was on November 6! I pushed back, just to see if he could handle being challenged and questioned by me. I didn’t want to have to baby the man I was going to marry; I needed to be able to shoot straight with him and ask him hard questions. Kelsey came back strong on each question and never flinched about me questioning him. He was persistent and asked me once again to be his girl.
- He passed the family test. If you’re afraid to bring your significant other around your family, that’s a red flag. Your family and friends can see things that you can’t, especially if their relationship with God is active as well. A real man will take your questions and inquiries with confidence and a smile. For the record, as we got more serious, his family did not approve of me, but it was a control issue, and Kelsey, as a young man, had the ultimate say in his choice for a wife. I’ll have a post on that later.
- He started preparing for marriage while we were still in the dating stage. His motto while dating was, “The habits you form while dating will carry on into marriage. I’m starting those habits today.” These habits involved sacrificing his time, energy, and finances to prioritize me in his life. Closer to our engagement he even starting choosing me over family who disapproved. I was about to become his wife, and he made those hard decisions accordingly.
- He started studying me to truly find out what makes me tick. What are my goals in life? What touches my heart? What makes me cry? And when I say he started studying me, I really mean that. We’ve been married for over a year now, and he is still getting to know me. It’s a process that happens for a lifetime.
- He prayed with me and for me. At some point in our relationship we felt it was important to start praying together. We never had examples of what that looked like with our parents, and we’re still trying to figure out how to balance our individual relationships with God while having one as a couple. But especially while we were dating, I needed to know that he had an active relationship with God and that he was seeking God concerning His relationship with me.
So folks, this is a snippet into how I knew that this was going to work. From God intervening to Kelsey being on his game, we’ve proven a dream team with a three-fold cord!
Until Next Time!
Kelsey and Ashley Mattison believe that God honors purity above possessions. Their desire to remain pure fueled their decision to get married despite still being in school and having no job or place to live. They only believed that God would honor their desire to please Him in their relationship and He has blessed their marriage plentifully as they continue to grow together. Ashley now has a degree in Middle-Level Education and is starting her Masters in Youth Development Leadership at Clemson University. Kelsey is completing his degree in Elementary Education at Clemson University. They plan to go into full-time ministry together and plant a church at some point in the future (whenever God calls them). Their hobbies include traveling, goofing around, and figuring out what living the life of faith is really all about. They currently reside in Anderson, SC and would love to hear from you!
Ashley Blog Link: http://snickerslife15.wix.com/ashley-mattison