How We Got Married In The Perfect Will of God
It was around 11 am at Kampala, in Uganda, when me and my best man left my apartment for the city hall on that May 22 nd 2015. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. The night before was the longest of my life, I spent it chatting on phone with the woman who was about to become my darling wife. We were both eager to tie the knot and enter that new chapter of our life together. It was the “D-day” of a historic event for both I and my fiancé.
During my life in Uganda, I encountered amazing Christian leaders who had devoted their lives not only to preach the Gospel of salvation through Jesus-Christ, but also were deeply involved in mentoring youths and supporting local communities. One of the organizations brought tremendous impact on people’s lives, bringing hope for the desperate and offering opportunities for the most vulnerable to thrive in life. It was just authentic and amazing!
I consider my stay in Uganda as the most relaxing period of my life. In fact, the 10 years before were very tough years. Those were my years of empowerment through hardship. But as the word of God says:” He who sow in tears, shall reap with shouts of joy.” ( Psalm 126:5)
When God’s appointed time for me to get married came, he took care of putting the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that I myself could not ever imagine, defying social traditions and human expectations.
Calorine ( Caroline) was my classmate at the university, we studied psychology together at the Yaoundé I university. During our studies, our relationship was strictly academic and later when we started working, it became strictly professional since we were working in the same field. Today, when I throwback, I acknowledge that God spared us for a life together from the very first meeting.
In 2004 and 2005, while I was setting goals for my life, I was also praying for a wife. When I switched from majoring in Mathematics to psychology, I could never guess that it was God’s way to answer my prayer. Caroline was one of my study mates. We were both part of a study group that used to meet for group activities and exams preparation. I had an excellent image of her, but never in the line of getting married. That is how we became closest friends as classmates and later on as colleagues.
The most amazing thing is that, we were so open to each other, talking freely about our highs and lows, including all our dating experiences and how they failed. I later heard that some of our female study mates where observing us and would sometimes joke with Caroline about us been a perfect couple.
I really feel ashamed when I remember all the stupid things I did while seeking a soulmate. I could not imagine that the person I was looking for was right there and during 10 years, I could not see that. I was blinded by lust, my immaturity in establishing criteria for a suitable soulmate, and the need of emotional healing. I was recovering from a broken relationship in which I trusted, I was emotionally exhausted. I cried to the Lord for help, I surrendered to him and wanted to know his thoughts about marriage.
At the edge of discouragement in the search of a soulmate, I turned to God, he opened my eyes on the true essence of marriage by showing me the example of Isaac ( in Genesis 24), and how he made Eve the perfect match for Adam
(Genesis 2 and 3). I looked deeper into these two examples, noticed that God brought their soulmates to them in a way that they could not imagine. Adam was just awake from a sleep when God show him Eve. He was in awe when he saw her beauty. Isaac was meditating in the fields when Rebecca came to him after his father arranged for their meeting. Her presence was breath taking.
After meditating on those Bible passages, the memory of the first time that I saw Caroline came on my mind. When we first met in 2005, she came to me, introduced herself. I felt strangely peaceful when talking to her from that day on. We had so many things in common, but I was completely immature to see God’s hand in our growing relationship.
While I was meditating on Isaac’s experience, I thought that since Abraham found a wife for his son, I needed a spiritual leader to get one for me. Unfortunately, I had tried that before and it did not work.
God opened my eyes on the fact that he is my father, and that I didn’t need a man to find a wife for me. He ( God) guided me on focusing on his word and trusting him ( Like Isaac trusted his father), he would open my eyes on the person he has reserved as my soulmate. He also assured me that he had the ability to turn the person’s heart towards me. I then put my trust in God, and he showed me his faithfulness.
He answered my prayer, opened my eyes in 2014, and I was able to see clearly that Caroline was that person I was longing for. A few days after our wedding, my wife shared with me a conversation that she had with one of a leader in her church in Kampala. While they were both chatting about marriage, after the leader shared her own experience, she asked my wife to be if she didn’t have any friend around to date. She replied that all her friends were back home ( in Cameroon). The lady then told her that God is able to bring that guy to Uganda if it is his plan. Indeed, nothing is impossible to God.
After our wedding, my wife also told me that when I decided to move to Kampala, leaving everything behind to be with her, she remembered what that leader said, and was amazed by God’s power to really move mountains. That decision left her speechless and in awe of how life can turn around in a way we don’t expect. God had worked in her heart without me noticing even when we were dating. I am really grateful for that.
While I was praying for a soulmate, I met some mature people who openly shared their marriage experience with me, which I summarize in a few points:
-“Get married to the person who will stick by your side when everybody turns against you. Marriage is a matter of understanding and complicity. There will be challenging times, and only a lady who accepted you as you are when you were single can support you when storms hit your marriage.”
- “Get married to a lady who knows all your financial and life struggles. There is happiness in building a life together from scratch. If a lady loves you despite your financial limitations, when wealth comes, you will be confident and feel safe around her. Her love and reliance on you means that she trust you, and believes in you no matter what.”
-”Get married to a lady with whom you have built a strong friendship without ever guessing that she could become your wife. A friend in faith, a Christian friend from your class, or a childhood friend. She will trust you because she knows the true you with your highs and lows.
-“ What else can you offer to a lady beside sex and money? A wife needs to feel emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually secured when she is with you. She wants a man who can assure her when doubts and challenges prevail, who can reassure her when she experiences fears. She expects you to be her spiritual leader, to get her closer to God.”
Those advices have nothing in common with what we hear nowadays. Today, marriage has become a business. The celibacy rate is high in churches because 60% of single men want to be millionaire before thinking of marriage. Most women believe that getting married to a wealthy man is the sole proof that God is involved. The sad truth is that those beliefs are nourished by most church leaders, who preach the gospel of prosperity, materialism, eternal life on earth, dragging people into the belief that only if you are wealthy, then God is truly with you.
It is also sad to notice the consequences of such misleading teachings. In most churches, more and more ladies, even the most devoted become single moms, while men tend to leave the church either because they get frustrated that lives are not accordance with the leader’s preaching, or because they simply procrastinate.
While reading the book “ God, the matchmaker” by Derreck Prince, I understood this fundamental tryth: the only difference between Christian married couples and single people is that married couples can have sex, while single people should wait to be married. All the rest, are everybody’s realities.
According to Dereck Prince, marriage preparation starts with a peaceful relationship with family members. In my early thirties, I went back to my mother’s home to learn family life. In fact, I left the family home when I was twenty. I was then able to take care of my sisters and their kids. This was an unnoticed training for marriage and fatherhood. The way God confirms his word is really amazing.
In early 2014, I went for a retreat. While meditating on all the good advices and teachings I got about marriage, I proceeded by elimination, and the only person that really met my criteria was Caroline. At that moment, I had lost tract with her and didn’t know her whereabout. I wasn’t sure if she was already married or not. I became troubled, if she was already married, then why will God open my eyes on her now? Without hesitating, I searched her contact, was excited to be back in touch with her. We both caught up from where we left the last time we spoke a year back, and to my greatest joy, she was not yet married. For me, it was the opportunity that I could not afford to miss. After several phone calls, I took my courage and told her my intentions. To my biggest surprise, she did not even hesitate and said yes! From there, things went so fast!
We arranged everything, I first met her parents and siblings, officially asked “her hand” to her parents, and upon their approval, went through all the cultural/traditional requirements and covered the financial expenses commonly known in our culture as “bride price”. I also met her pastor in Cameroon and a few other people who were closer to her. Once both families approved our relationship, we started planning our wedding.
The initial plan was that she would come back to Cameroon once she complete her master degree for us to get married. In the meantime, I applied for a corporate job with a diplomatic agency in Uganda, and to our biggest surprise, I was immediately hired and was expected to flight to Uganda as soon as possible.
I landed in Uganda on March 5th, 2015 and started working a few days later. We were so excited to see each other again and were thinking of going back to Cameroon in a couple of years to celebrate our wedding with our families and friends.
We were living in separate apartments, but would meet every day after work. We had every opportunity in the world to do whatever we wanted without any witness or judgmental eye on us. But, we chose to honor God, to wait to be legally married. It was tough, but worth it.
After discussing with our families, we looked into the possibility of celebrating our wedding in Uganda, and with their approval, on Friday, May 22nd, 2015, we tied the knot. It was hard to not have our love ones around, but for us, it was the best move. Our closest colleagues and friends attended our wedding, it was simple, fun and relax!
A few weeks later, we will never forget this advice by a counselor who told us that the first five years of marriage are fundamental in that it is during those years that a couple sets the ground for their life, learn to know each other and therefore are determinant of what happen next. We understood that it was determinant to set investing in each other as a priority.
Today, we are really grateful to God for taking us through the first five years. We have been through highs and lows, but God’s faithfulness and our determination to make it wok have sustained our life together and even making it better as we age.
On top of it all, we are blessed to be parents to the two most amazing boys in the world Yannis and Ethan, they make our joy perfect!
All the glory to God!
Hervé and Caroline Ngaté