“Love is Friendship on Fire”- Jeremy Taylor is a quote that was stated by my best friend, Jessica Benjamin. SHe used to say thins so many times, and I never really understood that concept until I met my husband Andy.
As a single woman, it was hard to grasp the idea that God already set a purpose for you in every aspect of your life, especially your love life. How is it that God has set aside ONE person for you out of the billions of billions of people on this earth. I thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it, but I could not get it until I read the Word in Jeremiah 29:11 which states For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” God had already mapped out who I am supposed to build a future with, to be with, to love and to have. In fact, even before I would accept it, God already stated what is for me is for me.
With that being said, here is the love story of my husband, Andy, and I. Our Journey to saying “I do” was short, but so long at the same time. We were literally across bodies of waters from each other, but God found a way to map us together.
May 2011- The “hook” up-
If you did not already know, my family is from Haiti. Although I was born in New Jersey, my culture runs deep with me. I grew up speaking Haitian-Creole, eating Haitian food, listening to Haitian music, and my christian background comes from the Haitian culture. In 2011, I was set to go visit Haiti because my grandmother was really ill. I wanted to see her one more time before she was set to be with the Lord. While planning this trip, I had a friend of mine suggest that I go see his cousin who was also in Haiti. He knew I was single and thought it would be a good idea to meet his cousin because we would have so much in common. In contrary to his thoughts, I did not feel the same way.. What do I look like dating someone that is so far away from me. He is not in another city, not another state…This man is across waters in ANOTHER country!! There was no way I was going to engage myself in a long distance relationship. I have had friends tell me their horrible stories, I have watched so many things on tv and the news and it just did not make ANY sense to me! The one thing I did not do(as of yet) was talk to God about this suggestion. I dismissed the notion really quick and asked my friend not to bring the subject up at all.
My trip was set to happen in the month of July of 2o11, and I was very excited,because I havent gone to Haiti in over 10 years. It was a chance to see not only my grandma, but the rest of my family such as uncles and aunties and many of my cousins. 2 months before my trip, my friend once again brought up the idea of visiting his cousin while on my trip. Again, I said “Thanks…but no thanks”. He continued to insist over and over again. He said, just talk to him over the phone, and if there is no connection, I wont bother you again. I finally gave in and told my friend “ONE phone call..and thats it!”. That one phone call was a pivital change in my life. That phone call changed my life for the better in more ways than one.
When I first spoke to Andy over the phone, it was quite a pleasant suprise. Just like my friend and his cousin said, we had a lot of things in common. We both loved the Lord and were christian. We had the same interest in children( we were both teachers), we were into sappy loved songs and liked to hear corny jokes. It was so refreshing to talk to someone so easily and I had so much peace. So now my trip was not only to see my loving grandma, it was to see the man who had spontanously captured my heart…sigh
July 2011- The “Meet up”-
July could not have come any faster after that. I remember having a countdown calendar to go to Haiti and x’ing all the days that have passed until I meet the man behind the phone. From May until that point, we were on the phone every hour, every day…our telephone charges were UP THE ROOF! Fast forward to July…and the day is finally here. The day to visit my homeland after so long, see my family, touch and feel the love of my beloved Mama Tal, and to mee the man who has captured my heart through telephone waves. To say I was nervous was a true understatement. I have never really started dating anyone I have never met, and I prayed to God every day to show me signs that this is the right move or right path I was taken. During my 21-day stay in Haiti, I was with my aunt, Maren Nicole, and her family. Andy had to visit me at my aunt’s home and ask permission to speak to me( I was 26 at the time). Because I am not familiar with the city and the country, our dates consisted of us talking in my Maren Nicole’s backyard garden. As cheesy as it may sound, those were the most romantic times I had with him. It was our “walk on the beach.
With everything that I do or any decision that I make, I want to make sure that I get a confirmation from God. When you have a relationship with Christ, He speaks to you in so many different ways and forms. For myself, I would have never imagined that I would have feelings for someone that lived so far away from me, let alone in another country…I had to say to myself “Lord, I trust you…I put all my trust in you” and see what would happen. While in Haiti, I was so blessed to see my ill grandma. The vibrant, always laughing and smiling lady that I grew up knowing, was now frail and very sick. She told my mother to take care of my dad and knew from the moment my father met my mom that she was the one that God sent for her son. She then turned to me and told me that God has your back…He knows what he is doing. The man that he has sent into your life came in an unexpected way, but together…with the guidance of the Lord, we will move mountains. That was my confirmation. With the blessings of my dying grandmother, I did not know when…but I knew that Andy would be my future husband.
On the last day of my trip to Haiti, July 31st, 2011, Andy and I were enjoying our very last moments together. It is so funny how God works. It was not in my plans to fall in love with someone That would be miles and miles away from me, where I would not have daily physical contact or lay eyes on when I wanted to. It was, however, in God’s plan. On that very last day, Andy and I made the commitment to be in a relationship and see where God would take us.
On November 18th, 2011, my beloved grandma, Mama Tal, passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was 87 years young. I knew that she was transitioning to be with the Lord, but it was still as hard and painful to see her go. Of course, I made a trip to Haiti to celebrate the life that she had and the legacy that she left. I was in Haiti for 5 days and for those 5 long hard days Andy was right by my side. He never ever left my side. He saw my pretty face and experienced my “engulfed in grief” face and never left my side. Another confirmation, Thank You Lord.
Fast forward From November of 2011 to June 2012. Andy and I have now been in a long distance relationship that includes facebook chats, google chats, Skype Video calls, Oovoo video calls, letters and a LOT of praying. My daily routine always involved him being the first person I speak to and pray with to the last person I speak to and pray with. I will be the first person to tell you, LONG DISTANCE relationships are so HARD and there were many times where I just wanted to let it go and say it was not worth it, but God’s confirmation and the love that we were building for one another would not let that happen.
After 8 long months,250 days,6000 hours and 360000 minutes, Andy and I would finally be together again for 3 long weeks. My third trip to Haiti within a year was more magical than I could remember. The nights and days seem like a blur because we did so many things in so little time!
On July 31st, 2012 Andy took me out to a beautiful restaurant called “Chez Amie” in the heart of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We were celebrating our very first year of being a couple. The restaurant was so beautiful. It was half empty and we were seated in a faraway corner of the restaurant. We spoke about our first year together and Andy then stated that he cannot imagine any more years without him by his side. That night, the Night of July 31st, was the night that Andy asked me to be his forever, his best friend always, his wife. This was the BEST year of my life so far. Never could I imagine meeting a man so in tune with me, so in love with God first, then so in love with me. The man that I knew was going to my husband from the moment my loving grandma confirmed it, just asked me to be MARRY HIM!!! AH!!!
The rest of the days came and went, On the last day before I was set to leave, my mom and auntie held an engagement party for us…it was really beautiful
Between July and March were another 8 long months! Between that time, we were being us again via texts, Facebook and Skype. Not only that, I was planning a wedding. A wedding is hard to plan, but even more difficult when your future Hubby is not here to plan with you. In order to have Ferlay come into the United States, we had to go through a long emotional process through USCIS( United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). So it wasn’t until March of 2013 that we were able to see each other again! The struggle was real, but I promise you, God was by our side through each second of it. When Andy finally came to the United States, it was as if I was seeing him for the first time again. It was at that point that we were no longer in a long distance relationship…Hallelujah!!!!
This moment, I have waited. August 10, 2013, Andy and I became one. The journey to “I do” has reached its point. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.
Because of God’s promise, we became a family that grew from 2 to 4. The Desirs are blessed!