Stoffel quickly popped out to go and do some errands and as I looked at him leaving, this post was created!
This post is about how we met, I shared it on a blog of one of my friends, but it was in Afrikaans so all my bethel tjoms would not have understood it! ( eish, they must learn the heavenly language!)
I was one of those girls that always had my heart on my sleeve.. I envied those girls that could “guard their hearts..” because for some odd reason before I knew what was happening I fell in love AGAIN! As my walk with God matured I started to have less and less of “falling in love” experiences and learned how to fight those feelings. My mentors always knew that I will come to them to “confess” and with lots of wisdom and love they will guide me through my feelings.
Stoffel was my friend. We were in the same church, but never knew each other, at the end of our studies, we both felt called to go into ministry. We did a ministry school together and that was were we became very good friends. I guess those sneaky feelings was there in the beginning but by then I was more secure in these experiences and just left it and it went away.
At the end of that year we started to work for our local church and because we were the junior ministers we did a lot of ministry together! He felt safe for me and I sort of knew that there will be no way that I will do the unthinkable and fall in love with him. So we just became better friends and he felt the same way about me.. he had that ” oh it is just Linda” attitude. I also could see in his life that he was really enjoying his life and was not bothered or worried about his wife. This was so unlike all the other guys I knew, who at that stage you just spend less time with before they start to believe that you are the future Mrs “so and so”. He had a lot of lady friends, but never gave any impressions that he likes them. So I guess Stoffel was the safe guy for all us girlies!
One evening, we were at a camp and it was the middle of worship, he was on his knees next to me and really just was enjoying Jesus. I knew that he was going through some personal stuff, so when I heard the Lord asking me to put my hand on his back it was nothing unusual. I did it without thinking and then the unthinkable happened. My heart just swung open and all these VERY intense feelings of love just started to pour out toward Stoffel. I have never in my life experienced anything like that before with any of the guys I liked. I got such a fright that I just jerked my hand away and sat there, shocked into silence. Then I got up and walked out of Stoffel’s life for the next ten months. I was so determined not to ruin our friendship so I ignored him completely for ten months. He picked up the change and was a little freaked out about my behavior, I just did not care.
I told no one of what happened that night and started pleading with Daddy to take these feelings away. I fasted and screamed at God but nothing worked. The feelings got more and more intense. Then one morning I was making my bed and the Lord spoke to me. He said that what He has for me is better than what I would ever dream or imagine. I knew He was speaking about my husband. So I took out that list that we all have, either mentally or physically, and one by one I started to repent of all the “he must be”. Jesus said that what He has for me is better that what I can think so the list must go because it was what I could think and imagine and it was holding me back of what Jesus has for me.
I then realized that I was judging all men according to this list especially the one that I love. So I asked Stoffel for forgiveness. He was SOOOOO freaked out! What was going on with his friend? Six months after the initial moment of love, I was sitting with a friend of mine. Out of the blue she asked me whether I have feelings for Stoffel. I looked at her and just started crying! I cried for three days just because I was confronted with the fact that the feelings was not going away and that I was getting desperate and then Jesus send me a friend to share my load with. We started praying together and she gave me a lot of wisdom.
One day,ten months after my initial heart leap, I was chatting to Stoffel’s flatmate, who was a girl. She just started dating the guy that she is married to now and I was hanging with her to hear all the stories! Then she asked me what is going of with me and Stoffel. I looked down and confessed that I really like him. She then told me that he believes his wife is not in our town and he wont look at other women, so I was doomed. She then told me to go and talk to Stoffel about my feelings just to get closure and to get on with my life. I was so scared but agreed, because these feelings was very close to martyrdom for me!
That afternoon I phoned him and made a appointment to see him late afternoon. He agreed and then I was left to all the turmoil.. I will never in my life confess my feelings to any guy.. but I felt the Spirit gently guiding me to do it. I sat down with God and asked Him to please tell me what is going on and to give me wisdom and strength to go into this battle and to protect me from getting hurt. Then He answered one of my questions I asked Him many years ago. How do we guard our heart? His answer was:” To guard your heart you must trust Me to guard it.” Then He asked me: “Linda, do you want Stoffel to be your husband?” That was a very heavy question.. I thought about it for a while and all the love I have for this man and then realized that Stoffel is unique in my heart. There was no man like him before and that he took up a space that only belongs to him. I realized that I do no want anyone else and even though he will reject me, I will live single then for the rest of my life. I answered God and said Yes, this is the one! He then took me to the story of Ruth and Boaz. I saw Ruth’s boldness of approaching Boaz and realized that Ruth was me. Jesus then took me to a scripture that Naomi said to Ruth after she laid down at Boaz’s feet. Naomi said to Ruth to be calm because Boaz is such a man of character and that he will not rest until this matter is settled. Then Daddy said the same to me:” Stoffel will not rest until this matter is settled. He is your husband. He will reject you now but rest a sure I will speak with him. He needs time.”
So off I went bold as a lion…I met Stoffel and decided to only tell him why I want to speak to him. I said that I have developed feelings for him and want to hear how he is feeling to have some closure. He looked at me and then for the next twenty minutes he told me how I am not his wife. (Stoffel is a very extreme person.)It was horrible and so painful… but I also heard God’s voice:” Don’t belief him, you are his wife.” It was still to this day, my worst day ever.
I walked away with so much rejection, even though I knew that it will happen. Then I heard God:” Now you know that people will reject you, even the ones you love but I will never leave you nor forsake you. You can build on me.”
The next day I went home for a week, I was so broken. I was in my room and cried to God. I said to Him that I made a mistake, this can’t be my husband. Then Jesus showed me a vision of me holding a baby girl. He said:” You always prayed for twin boys to be your first children but I am telling you that you will have a girl and her name is Carla.” I was shocked and asked God who is the dad? The visioned widened and then I saw Stoffel standing next to me and africa on fire behind us. That settled it in my heart.
A month later Stoffel and I was leading a mission together. He was not trusting my feelings and we struggled to communicate in the first week. One Friday we had such a huge fall out! I climbed in my bed and cried and told God that He made a mistake. I then saw a vision of Stofffel and I standing next to Jesus and then Jesus took our hands and put our hands in each others. Patience.One morning early I woke up and went outside to pray. I was praying for the team and for Stoffel as the team leader. Then I heard Jesus asking me to ask Him to open Stoffel’s eyes so that he can see me. I obeyed and thought that this was really weird.. until I got back with the team and Mr Stofffel Fourie actually flirted with me!! He was so different and kept on tickling me and played with my hair. Stoffel will never touch a girl! I was so freaked out!
The next day in prayer time the same thing happened again. Jesus told me to ask that Stoffel’s eyes will open. I got back with the team and he acted crazy! By now the whole team was just in awe of their very weird leaders and Stoffel flirting. It was our last night on the mission and we watched a movie. I decided to stay as far away as possible from this mad man. I put my mattress between two friends as far as possible away from Stoffel. As the movie started I saw Stoffel coming towards me with his mattress. He pushed my friend’s mattress next to me away and put his next to mine. The next moment I just felt his hand in my hand. I was completely freaked out!
The next day the mission ended and I decided to have a chat with mr bold. I asked him what was going on. He just looked at me and said that he can’t explain it, but the last two days his eyes just opened and he saw me in a completely different light and that I was so beautiful to him.I was amazed. He said that he has to pray about it but he will tell me at our mutual friends wedding the next Saturday. I went to my family and just chilled with them till the wedding. I was driving to the wedding when Jesus told me to be patient with Stoffel. He said that there is some stuff that needs to be broken in Stoffel’s life about his wife. So when I saw Stoffel at the wedding and he chatted to me and basically rejected me again I was so peaceful and told him to take his time. He was amazed at my reaction and for the first time actually prayed about me being his wife.
He was on his way to his family for the summer and had plenty of time to pray about us. One day Jesus just told him that he had some beliefs about his wife and that Jesus won’t be able to speak about his wife to Stoffel till those things are out of his heart. (the list.. she must be..)
His parents are both in ministry and has a missionary friend that lived in Holland. This lady was Stoffel’s spiritual mom and was the one who prophesied that Stoffel will be born again and go into ministry many years ago. She was visiting the town where his family lived. He went to her to have a catch up time. As he walked into her house she said to him to sit down and started to pray immediately. Then she started to describe me. She does not know me at all, never met or heard of me or knew what was going on in Stoffel’s heart. She asked Stoffel if he knew this girl. Stoffel was so amazed at all the very intimate details that this lady shared about me. The lady did not want to say that I am Stoffel’s wife but could see a link between me and him. She then realized that the thing that was stealing from our destiny was the list about his wife in Stoffel’s life. She prayed about that and immediately Stoffel could see me in his future. He then had the same vision I had about us in Africa.
Stoffel is very respectful of God and even though this lady helped a lot, he would no move until Jesus would speak to him personally. Two day later, Jesus did and day later I became his girl. Ten months later we got married!
We have received numerous prophetic words from people that does not know us about how perfect we are for each other. I am a firm believer that God blesses the covenant of marriage even though the people in that marriage does not have the same story than us. Why this worked out this way , I do not know. One thing I can say though is that this whole experience showed me God’s goodness towards His children. Neither one of us deserved this story but God gave it to us just because He loves us.
I guess why I am writing this down is to show my thankfulness. I really do have a great husband. He has a passion for the Lord that inspires me and challenges me to go deeper with Jesus. I know that Jesus is Stoffel’s first love. That brings security to me, because I know how much Jesus loves me and Jesus will speak to him about me and encourage him to love me more. I feel like a princess in his love.
I want to encourage all my single friends to keep your hope going for your spouse but to relax. God has a bigger value for your future marriage than you would ever have. So relax and allow God to write your story!