Relationships

I Didn’t Marry the Man God Told Me to—10 Years Later, This Is How He Repaid Me

By Brie Gowen

Twenty years ago I sat on a brick wall in Barbados overlooking sugar cane fields in the distance, and I prayed. It was my morning quiet time and the first time the Lord gave me an honest to goodness vision. I had my eyes closed, and I can’t even at this moment tell you what I was praying for, but I can tell you what happened. I saw the future.

It’s like I was looking at myself, but my vision was kinda clouded, like how it might be if you’ve been swimming in a chlorinated pool all day with your eyes open. I could see, but it was blurred too if that makes sense. I saw what I knew to be myself, but I couldn’t say how old I happened to be. Standing beside me was the man who was my boyfriend at the time, the man who is my husband now. We stood hand in hand on top of a hill overlooking a field where hundreds of school-aged to teenage kids milled about. We were watching over them, and I knew in that vision that they were our ministry. This was to be our ministry in the future.


When Lord? I asked. But I never felt a clear answer. Yet I knew in my heart it would come to pass one day.

Imagine my feelings a year later when I sat back in the United States on a wall overlooking the Mississippi River praying about that vision, and it seemed so far away. Like nonexistent. The man in my vision and I were no longer together, which put a damper on building a ministry for children together. Yet somewhere deep inside I still felt that it would happen.

Fast forward a decade later and I found myself in a surprising situation. I found myself full circle where I had once been. I had traveled all around the country, served in the Navy, been married and divorced, gotten my degree, worked in a few metropolitan hospitals, but ushered in my 30s right back at the beginning where God wanted me all along.

Over the course of a few months I found myself on the phone frequently with the man I had once loved. We played a catch up of the past 10 years that had gone on without the other, and somehow the conversation came around to a particular dream. My future husband described a dream he had once had about us, and I listened in slack-mouthed silence as he described my vision to a tee. Ain’t God cool?

The vision had sat recorded in a packed away journal of mine for a long time, and it sits there still. Occasionally I visit the idea as I speak with the Lord and my feelings remain the same. One day that vision will become a reality. Sometimes, though, I do wonder when.

I have young children now, and most days I can’t imagine how I could fit in another single thing. So it’s almost a relief that I’m not fulfilling the calling he has for me. This morning the idea of it came to me again, but I realized something I often neglect to understand. God is working His ministry calling in our lives right now. The field of children? That’s just another part of it.

When I’m raising my babies, doing homeschool, kissing booboo’s and making supper, I am fulfilling God’s ministry calling for my life.

Whether I’m at the bedside nursing or on my phone selling Rodan and Fields, I am fulfilling a part of God’s calling on my life.

Every day the people I come in contact with, those my husband interacts with, we are working on God’s ministry calling for our life. Each and every life we touch, friend we give advice, widow we help, ministry we support financially or kid we love on is a very integral part of God’s plan for our life. We are living out God’s vision for our future each and every day, and we should always act and react in a way that we understand this to be true.

Even a kind word to a stranger in line is part of His vision for our lives. The idea for a blog post put down on the screen becomes obedience to His will. Giving that spare change to the homeless woman at the intersection when God prompts your heart, or forgiving someone who has hurt you, it all plays a part. Some aspects of your future God is still laying out, but the bricks for the path are being laid right this very moment. God is always giving His direction for the vision He has in mind.

I still feel like one day I will stand hand in hand with my love on the top of a hill, looking out across the field of children He’s placed in our life. I don’t know when that ministry will come to pass, but I don’t waste now. I look forward to my future, and I’m open for His leading to get me there, but for now I enjoy the vision He has placed directly in front of me. I take direction for the present as He lays out the future, and I count it all as part of my ministry for His glory.

About the Author: Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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