Justin and Aisha prove that love is worth the wait. Their story will certainly inspire you! Here in the Wisdom Corner, they share their beautiful (and honest) testimony about being patient and trusting God to connect them with the right partner. This is certainly one of our favorite stories to date! Enjoy.
Please tell us about your previous dating experiences.
[Aisha]: Every relationship that I have been in has had a purpose. Some were to teach me more about myself. Some were to teach me to listen to God. And some were to show me what is important and what is not important. Growth and age have taught me to be thankful for all of these experiences.
Right out of college, I dated a guy and planned to marry him. However, everything leading up to the wedding was so hard. Nothing came natural. Three months before the wedding, we decided we weren’t getting married. He told me he didn’t think he believed in Jesus Christ. That, for me, was God saying “I have showed you in every way possible that this is a 'no.' Now it gets real.” The next day we ended it. After that, God gave me 7 years of dating, some nice guys, some jerks, but no one who even came close to being “The One.” God gave me time alone. He tested me. Built me up. Let me grow up. He gave me a full cycle, so on the 8th year, I would marry the man He created just for me. This is the year of new beginnings.
[Justin]: I was never one to have a lot of relationships or to attempt to juggle multiple women. I always knew I wanted to find “The One,” to get married, settle down and build something meaningful. In the past, I’ve had some long-term, serious relationships. But in each of those relationships, I never really felt moved to the point of proposing. Looking back, I think the reason for this was that...
...I never felt in my heart that what I had was what I wanted. And I knew what I wanted was worth waiting for.
Did you ever give up on the idea of marriage?
[Aisha]: Yes, I can remember around age 30 feeling like marriage wasn’t for me. As I watched everyone else in my life get married and start their own families, I honestly thought God was punishing me. Then, I felt like He went through a period of showing me good guys who just weren’t "The One"s. As if to say in a way, “Don’t doubt me. It’s just not time, yet.” Eventually, I started to get into "me time" after that. I started to spend more time enjoying my single life and not thinking about what I didn’t have, but focusing on what I did have. I started to unknowingly prepare myself to be a wife. It became more than a thought, it became an action. I gained professional success and certifications, trained to be a yoga teacher, and learned patience and acceptance of myself and others. I slowed down and stopped treating everything like a race. I traveled with my family and began to have experiences that would last a lifetime.
I got to the point where I didn’t accept anything less than what I deserved from anyone. Then I was ready.
[Justin]: Yes. After my last serious relationship, I really began to think I would forever be “the single guy.” I began to think, “Well, maybe I am asking for too much.” “Maybe I am the issue.” Or, “Maybe what I am looking for doesn’t exist or maybe it doesn’t exist for me.”
What was different about Justin/Aisha that signaled you found The One?
[Aisha]: A long time ago, someone told me to judge people not by how they treat you but by how they treat others. Look at how they treat people who can’t do anything for them. How they treat strangers, family, friends, etc. What I knew of Justin, before we started talking, was that he always seemed to be helping someone, people who needed a place to stay, people who needed help doing something. Or, since he was a realtor, working with people who wanted a home. He was always opening up his own home for events and welcoming. I learned that that was who he was. His heart and his giving nature were things that I admired. His relationship with his family, how he cared for friends and strangers. It said so much because he never wanted anything in return. He did it because it was the right thing to do.
Once during a snowstorm, Justin not only shoveled his driveway. He went to shovel his mom’s, my mom’s and my best friend’s parents’ driveway! Who does that?!?
Aside from his heart, I felt comfortable being myself. I didn’t feel judged or like I had to put up a disguise.
By nature, I am probably the corniest person in the world. I love silly jokes. I’m a total goofball and can be nerdy as heck. Not having to be serious or having to act a certain way because I was afraid of his reaction, was big for me. Justin made me feel like myself. He made me laugh and I felt okay laughing loudly. So you put that amazing heart, his comforting spirit, and then add his love for Christ and that’s what made me know he was “The One.”
Before Justin and I started dating, I made a vow of celibacy, which is hard to explain to a guy you really like. When the subject did come up, Justin told me he had decided to live right under Christ and was waiting until marriage to have sex again. I was so excited to be able to unite together and truly get to know each other while living right under Christ. And the fact that he brought it up before me was icing on the cake. I was done!
[Justin]: Aisha and I knew of each other for a few years through mutual friends. But I didn’t really meet her until she came to a birthday party at my house that I was hosting for my friend Bryan in November 2015. She got there early, which was funny, because someone coming early to my parties never happens. lol. Anyways, the party progressed. Everyone’s having a good time. And then I hear this banging and I'm thinking, “What is Shaw doing?” Well, to my surprise, it wasn’t Shaw. It was Aisha! Trying to open a beer bottle on my nice kitchen table. Once the nick to the table happened, she immediately apologized and wanted to make things right. It was then I knew this wasn't the person that I thought she was. And that was a good thing.
We exchanged a few messages back and forth, and then went on an official first date that turned into a transatlantic trip to Europe. (Yeah I couldn't believe I was doing it either lol). While on the trip, we did a lot of walking and talking and we began to bond. Although it was early, I knew she was The One.
Aisha is a very positive, loving person with values that are like my own. She brings out the best in me. And, I like to believe that I do the same for her. We work. And I don’t say this to imply that we’re perfect. We’re not. But together, we are much stronger than we are apart. It sounds cliché, but, someone who could complete me and I them, is what I wanted all my life. It’s what I was searching for without even really knowing it.
What impact will you and your future spouse make in the world?
[Aisha]: Justin and I were blessed with time alone before God brought us together. During this time, we were able to build up professionally and spiritually. The time and the lessons we learned were not just for us. They were meant to show the glory of God. This is our testimony to help others. Our impact will be drawing upon the body to Christ. Living in a way that is an example to others and sharing our testimony.
[Justin]: There’s so much to love about Aisha. I think what initially drew me to her was her personality. She has this way of bringing people together. That’s her impact. And she’s very considerate of others. If she can be of help to someone, she will do all she can to help.
What was the biggest hurdle in the beginning of your relationship compared to now?
[Aisha]: Oversharing. Prior to dating, Justin and I had a very connected friendship circle. A circle of people we have known for years and have talked to about relationships, our lives, etc. Our hurdle in the beginning was not sharing too much too early. Our biggest hurdle was keeping things to ourselves and focusing on our journey and what we were building.
[Justin]: The biggest hurdle early on was finding balance. I think this is something that any new, or even seasoned, relationship faces. Aisha and I have very different ways of going about things. That’s a good thing. But as two people that are pretty established in who they are, it can bring about friction at times. We recognized this early on. So now we strive to keep communication open. If any issues arise, we talk. Through our relationship, I have been able to express things, both positive and negative, in such a way that at the end of the conversation we are not mad or bitter. This isn’t easy to do. It’s hard work. But it’s worth the work.
What are you most looking forward to in your new life together?
[Aisha]: I’m most looking forward to growing together as a couple and individually. It will be amazing to know that I have someone who I know loves me and has been created for me. Someone who can share in the beauty of victories, that I can work with to conquer the lows of defeat. Loving each other through the happy times as we build our family and loving each other through the lows of marriage. The whole time being real with each other, accepting each other and supporting each other. That’s what I look forward to most.
[Justin]: The thing I am most looking forward to is growing together and building a life together. I know that there will be issues, but so long as we have the Bible as our playbook there isn’t anything that we can’t handle.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
[Aisha]: When God speaks, listen and trust Him. There have been so many times when God spoke and I thought I knew better and didn’t listen. I’ve gone through so many trials and tribulations that I didn’t have to experience if I would have listened. Even when Justin and I started dating, I second guess things. 4 months before we started dating I wrote a letter to Christ (yes, it’s on paper because I wanted to make sure He got it all), and I asked for what I wanted. I was very detailed. When Justin and I started dating I said, “God, this is too fast. You don’t work that fast.” So He went above and beyond to show me that it was real with sermons, prayer, numbers, and fleeces. Once, out of the blue, an older woman said, “Don’t sabotage things because of your own understanding.” This advice was unsolicited. She didn’t know Justin or have any connection to the situation. So in hearing it, I had to reflect and let go. When we ask Him to do something and He does it, we must trust.
[Justin]: I’ll end by saying that I love Aisha. I can’t wait to call her my wife. (Awwwww!)
Until next time...