My love story began as a whirlwind. I met my husband Josh right before my second semester of seminary when he was visiting his home church in New York. He was living in California at the time, but it only took one month for us to begin our long-distance dating relationship.

Right from the beginning, I could see God’s hand in our relationship. I saw many answered prayers, starting with Josh pursuing me first, which was a great desire of my heart. Throughout our relationship, I felt fearful and uncertain, mostly because I didn’t want to make the “wrong” choice and end up with someone who wasn’t meant for me. Every time I would take my concerns to the Lord, He would reply, “trust me and trust Josh.” So I did.

After only a few months, I had fallen head over heels in love and knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Josh. My mother, however, was not as certain. A relationship that was once thriving began to fade as Josh and I grew closer to committing our lives to each other. As the months went on and Josh and I got engaged, it became clear that my mom did not support my choice in a partner. While this was devastating for me, I continually brought my relationship with my husband-to-be before Jesus. His answer was always the same: “trust me and trust Josh.” So, as hard as it was to no longer have the support of my mother, I did just that. I depended on the Lord as I stepped out in faith and said yes to marrying Josh.

The night before my wedding, my mom told me that she would not be joining me in the morning. She wouldn’t be there to help me put on my wedding dress or to make last minute adjustments or to dream with me about my new life. She felt she wasn’t needed, so she wouldn’t be there. I went to bed heartbroken.

The next morning, the morning of my wedding, I woke up flooded with almost tangible peace. I knew deep in my heart I was doing the right thing marrying Josh. It was just the confidence I needed to carry me through the day. I spent the morning with a few dear friends eating bagels, listening to fun music, and being pampered.

My bridesmaids and I arrived at the church two hours before the wedding. We took a few pictures, ate some snacks, and made sure my hair and make-up were perfect. A few minutes before I was to walk down the aisle, one of my friends asked if I wanted to see my parents. I said yes, and my dad came in first. He was tearful, happy, and supportive. My mom then came into the nursery room where I was waiting to walk down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams. I will never forget where I was sitting or the feeling that came over me as the most unexpected and terrible thing I could ever imagine happened next. As I sat there in my wedding dress, my mom begged me not to marry Josh. She believed I was making a mistake and that I should not go through with it. Horror washed over me as I realized this was actually happening only moments before I was to say, “I do.” I was confused, hurt, and completely shocked. I began to stammer something about it being my wedding day and I was just about to walk down the aisle and how could she say that. My mom quickly told me I looked beautiful, kissed me on the cheek, and walked out of the room.

My bridesmaids rushed in as I tearfully told them what had occurred. They gathered around me to pray before I was ushered out of the room and down the hall to the sanctuary. As the doors opened and I saw Josh standing at the front of the room looking lovingly at me, the wave of peace returned. My face could hardly contain my smile as I floated down the aisle on my father’s arm.

I joined Josh at the front of the sanctuary and we began to worship as two of our friends led a series of songs. The presence of the Lord was unmistakable as Josh and I joined hands and raised our other two hands in worship. I sensed the pleasure of the Lord like I never had before in my life. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was pleased with our marriage, that He approved, and that His approval was really all that mattered.

I would like to be able to say that after the wedding my mom had a change of heart and the relationship was restored. Sadly that is not reality. I tried tirelessly for years to maintain and restore relationship while she continued to criticize my choice in a life partner. I ultimately had to choose the health of my marriage, which also cost me close relationship with my dad and three brothers.

Today, nearly seven years into marriage, relationship with my mother has been severed. I now have two daughters of my own who may never meet their maternal grandmother. My dad keeps in touch minimally and has met my girls, which has been a blessing. Though it has been a difficult road to walk, the Lord has continued to ask me to trust what He is doing in my new family.

My favorite picture in our home is one from our wedding that Josh had printed on a canvas for me early in our marriage. It is a picture of us worshipping, eyes closed, hands raised to heaven. It is a continual reminder of the Lord’s blessing over my marriage and the culmination of all of my “yeses” when God asked me to trust him. I have never once questioned my yes.

Charissa North is an Empower 2020-2021 student

Share this Post:


What If/Even If


Introducing the VOICES Blog