“It was love at first sight as her eyes met his. As they gazed at each other from across the room, they were seized by an unexplained sensation that each was meant for the other…”
This is a classic example of what you would expect to read in the pages of a romantic novel but it is by no means similar to the beginning of our love story. However, this does not mean that our story is any less romantic or any bit less interesting. Some people tend to think that fairy book love stories are just a fantasy but I truly believe that true love stories are even more intricately beautiful than anything man has ever imagined.
Our love story is one being penned by the very Author of Love Himself, written in a language more eloquent than the words of Shakespeare, more artistic than a scene of the sun setting on the far Western horizon and more poetic than the sound of ten thousand songbirds sounding in perfect harmony.
Jonathan Adam Moore (JAM) and Sedrine Faith Rodriguez (FAYE) met in 2014 at Master’s Baptist College sometime during the Fall semester. Neither can say for sure when exactly they were first formerly introduced to each other. As mentioned before, it was definitely not love at first sight but you could say it was the beginning of a long and amazing friendship for which God had other plans.
One of the earliest and fondest memories Jonathan has of Faith was the day he was sitting in the gymnasium at the school. He was skyping with his family when Faith walked by on the walking track that surrounds the upper floor of the gym. Jonathan’s youngest sister is also named Faith. Although he didn’t know Faith from school very well, he distinctly remembers saying to his sister, “Faith, meet Faith” and that became one of the first memories Jonathan had of her.
From this point in time they became casual acquaintances through a similar circle of friends and over time got to know each other a little better.
The first year of school both Jonathan and Faith were focused in different directions the details which are far too many to share in this short account. There was however a time in which Faith confronted Jonathan about something she noticed was going on. Though at the time she did not realize it, that caused Jonathan to look at her with a new respect and admiration that he did not have before.
The first summer they exchanged a few messages back and forth but for the most part each were living in their own separate world. It wasn’t until the next year that they really got closer as friends and as brother and sister in Christ.
Through many happenings and the dramatization that can only be experienced by one who has been to Bible college for any length of time, slowly but surely God was working in their hearts to create a special bond that not every friendship experiences.
Now if you know anything about Master’s Baptist College or just people in general you know that any time you have a bunch of guys and girls who are constantly around each other, it won’t be long before they will start pairing (coupling) up and becoming well… “friends”.
This tends to create an epidemic in which the walking track becomes the “Walking Track of Love” and it can be a heart wrenching time for any poor soul who may still be left single.
Being “just friends” between a guy and girl does tend to get picked on quite a bit, and rightfully so since in most cases this term is just a carefully crafted cover for a developing relationship or when a couple is trying to figure out their feelings.
For Jonathan and Faith however, there was an underlying factor that kept them at the stage of “just friends” for so long…
You see, Jonathan is an American and Faith is Filipina. Now, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, after all, Jonathan had lived in Central America for many years and Faith had lived in the States for a while but you have to understand the mindset of each to really understand why they had absolutely no interest in each other.
In Jonathan’s mind, he was going to marry an American girl and that was that. He had grown up around people of another nationality and yet he made a picture in his mind of exactly the type of girl he was going to marry and he was sticking to it.
For Faith, it was a similar situation in which she could never see herself marrying anyone but a handsome guy from the Philippines.
Though neither knew who that person was, they were sure they were out there waiting for them somewhere and this allowed them to be really great friends without having one bit of interest in the other. Or so it seemed…
Here they were, two really great friends, in Bible college, trying their best to serve the Lord and enjoying a friendship that was truly given by God. Sure, there were many people that tried pairing them up but each time it came up it was quickly met with the conflicting picture in the mind of each of them that made such a thought almost an impossibility.
Jonathan and Faith were NOT meant for each other, that was just the way it was, there was no changing the fact and no changing their minds about it.
It continued that way for nearly two years until finally the Author Himself stepped in and with the creativity that only the best of authors could understand, He penned a surprising twist that took our story in a completely different direction
It took time for God to work in both Jonathan’s and Faith’s heart to bring about His perfect will in their relationship. It was a time of testing and trial for both of them before they realized what God was trying to do.
During this time they grew closer in their friendship as they struggled through school, other friendships and just life in general. It was then that Faith gave Jonathan a nickname (as she had a tendency to give most her friends nicknames), “JAM” which shortened his name to just his initials (Jonathan Adam Moore).
Fast forward a to a few months before Faith was graduating with her two year Bible degree and God was really doing a lot of work behind the scenes bring about His perfect will in their lives. Though neither one of them will admit they were the first to have any sense of feelings for each other, it became more and more apparent with each passing day that something was happening.
Jonathan believes it was Faith who first began to have feelings. He started noticing the way she acted around him had started to change. She did a good job to keep her feelings in check with where God had them but in little ways God began revealing to Jonathan that their relationship was taking an interesting turn.
It began when he was praying about a certain situation that God would make known His perfect will and he mentioned it to Faith to pray as well. They continued to pray and it soon became clear that God was not leading Jonathan in a certain direction.
It was then that Faith began to write the words “Pray 4 Him” in her sermon notebook before every sermon. This continued even after God had answered the prayer. Being that he sat by her frequently, he noticed that she always wrote that and so jokingly at times he would write it for her when she forgot to do so right away.
She had given Jonathan a reason for why she was writing it, and so at first, he thought nothing of it. It took a little while but before too long he started making a small connection.
For Jonathan, the area of a relationship and future marriage had been surrendered to the Lord. He knew what the Lord wanted for him in a wife and he was waiting for God to do the work. But not always did he allow God to be completely in control. He knew that God would have him to be married but he also had his preconceived notions about how it was supposed to happen and the type of person it was supposed to be.
For Faith, God was beginning to work in her heart though she wasn’t exactly sure what He was doing. It was a time of prayer and at times it seemed confusing because this was not at all the way she had dreamed it would be. But she continued to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit as he quietly directed her steps.
On April Fool’s day, Faith told Jonathan the tale of this one friend that she had that for some reason, when she was around him, she would get butterflies in her stomach. He challenged her not to trust her feelings and to follow God. He didn’t really think much of it because he figured she was just messing with him, which she was, but not completely.
Time progressed and this put the timeframe at just around six weeks before graduation with Faith planning to go home and Jonathan planning to finish out two more years of Bible college. At the best of odds, the two would simply be good friends and each go their separate ways and they were both seemingly completely okay with that.
It was around this time that God really began working on Jonathan’s heart in the area of relationships. He realized that over a period of time, he had begun taking the control when it came to his relationships back into his own hands. It was during this time that once again he had to acknowledge that God was in control. It took some time and the encouragement of some brothers in Christ but the Lord would eventually bring about His perfect will.
He once again surrendered the area of relationships to the Lord but was not quite ready to acknowledge and accept the direction in which the story was going. The more he was around Faith the more he started realizing that something had changed in the way she acted towards him. It finally got to the point where he asked her specifically and directly if the things that had been going on were because there was a possibility she had feelings for him. She admitted to something going on but she herself was not entirely sure what it was. Jonathan made it clear that he truly had no feelings for her but that she should continue seeking the Lord on what He was trying to do.
Funny thing is, when you start talking to the Author of a love story, things can get exciting! Especially when the Author is so involved and cares about each aspect of the story. There is no doubt God smiled as he began to pen down yet another fascinating twist in the story.
It was at this point that Faith told Jonathan that she would have an answer for sure as to what was going on after she graduated school. He agreed that was good but once again assured her that he knew what the answer would be.
Jonathan began to sense an unquietness at this time and began to really examine the situation and talk to the Lord about it. He had to evaluate what it truly was that was standing in the way and made him so against the direction in which the story was heading. Through prayer and counsel, the Lord revealed that it was nothing more than Jonathan himself standing in the way. The story was about to come to a climax but the Author, who even though He knows best, was patiently waiting for full, unconditional surrender.
The battle of the will would continue on despite the fact that Jonathan knew that he would be missing out on perhaps the most amazing point in his life second to salvation.
Graduation day came, and went, and still the battle inside Jonathan’s heart continued. Would he surrender to God’s will and give His heart and emotions over to be controlled by the Author of his love story, or would he continue trying in his own strength to write a sorry excuse for a story.
The day came that Faith was heading home. She told Jonathan that she was going home for good despite the fact that he thought she should stay and finish a 4-year degree. Although he didn’t find out until later, she was already planning on coming back after a visit with her family but she had him believe that she would not be returning. When she finally did leave, Jonathan once again confirmed that though he considered her to be a great friend, he did not believe that there would ever develop anything more from their friendship.
When she arrived back in Chicago, he called her on the phone with the decision that he would make completely sure that she understood that he had no feelings for her. Jonathan remembers that conversation quite distinctly. As he tried his best to make things clear to this wonderful friend that although she might have some sort of feelings for him, that he did not return those.
She patiently waited as he explained himself and the situation. As the conversation came to a close, Faith quietly responded, “Okay then. I guess this is GOODBYE”.
“No!” Jonathan exclaimed, “we can still be good friends”. To which Faith explained that although she really appreciated their friendship, it was hard for her to “just be friends” when she was so confused about her own feelings. “I told you that I would have my answer” she said, I guess this is God’s answer to my prayer. The communication had to stop and each person simply needed to focus on their own personal life and walk with the Lord.
Although Jonathan did not want to believe this had to be the case, he ultimately realized that if he truly cared about Faith, then he had to be willing to protect her even emotionally.
The next day was a difficult one for Jonathan. As he thought about the friendship that had seemingly just come to an end, he couldn’t help but wonder if he wasn’t just throwing away the most beautiful story of love he had ever known. It was clear that the Lord was doing something and yet he wasn’t simply allowing God to lead.
He had just said bye to one of his dearest friends. He looked up to and admired her, he enjoyed her company and enjoyed every memory they had shared together. But wait! Could it be? Did he perhaps LOVE her???
By the end of that day, the Author had finally won the battle! Jonathan had finally let go of any right he thought he had to hold the pen or script his story. The Author Himself was now able to accomplish His purpose, to write a story that no human heart, soul or mind could even imagine.
You could almost see the sparks begin to fly as the story went on! It was here at this very moment, a selfish heart was surrendered and the Author filled in the missing lines with a pure and exquisite work of art that can only be penned by an all-knowing, all-loving, just, holy, ever-present Creator who deeply cares about each and every person on a very personal level. At last! LOVE WAS BORN!
Jonathan could not wait any longer, he called Faith on the phone and explained how God had been working in his heart. He told her that he did not want to fight what the Lord was trying to do any longer and that when she got back (one of Faith’s friends accidently spilled the beans) he wanted to follow the Lord and see where this would lead if she was willing.
There were still many obstacles to overcome before they would even know for sure if they could be together. They had to seek counsel and see if their authorities were in agreement with it, but deep down, they both knew, God was going to work it out.
When Faith got back to Fargo, they both sat down and wrote and signed a commitment to each other to pursue a relationship as the Lord led.
Of course, the doors began to open and as the Author continued writing, the story only got better from there. 😊
If you have read this far, I just want to say thank you for taking the time to read about this wonderful miracle of love that God has wrought in our lives. I hope that you have found this story to be a blessing and maybe even an inspiration to you.
If you are married and reading this, I encourage you to continue strong in your love for your significant other. Always make God the focus of your relationship and allow Him to write your story as He sees best. Above all, seek to bring Him glory and NEVER, EVER give up!
If you are perhaps still single, I encourage you to HANG IN THERE! Don’t try to rush God, He knows what He is doing. Trust Him. Seek His face. Honor Him with your life. Keep your eyes on Him and in His perfect time I promise you He will open your eyes and allow you to see the story He has written for you.
If you are in a complicated situation regarding life, love and relationships, I will just say that God is the Author of love and He wants to give you the perfect story. Seek Him, beg Him, fall on your knees before Him, He is a God who can craft the most beautiful story out of seemingly the most impossible mess.
Now I am not going to lie, this relationship thing has NOT been EASY! There have been so many struggles, many issues, many crazy ups and downs that to an outside observer it might seem like the story line isn’t going so well. But each and every struggle only allows God to show Himself stronger in spite of our greatest weaknesses.
To be completely honest, we have failed at this relationship. We have made so many mistakes that we can never undo, and we have hurt each other and even the Lord in more ways than you can imagine.
But, if I could have just a few more moments of your time, allow me to share with you a love story even more beautiful that the one you just read.
Thank you for taking the time to read. We pray you have been blessed and your life impacted by the MIRACLE of LOVE!
And now, we invite you to join us on our journey, we are JAM & Faye Forever!
(We would love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below!)