Every great story includes conflict. Some conflict is created internally by the characters and some is external. These two star-crossed lovers have no control over the life-threatening conflict they are facing, but they choose to trust God despite the uncertainty that the future holds.
David and Bethany met at church. They ran in the same circles and even had the same friends, but never had much to say to each other. David had prayed for a woman who he was attracted to who loved God more than she would ever love him. Bethany had prayed for a man with a big heart and a well-worn Bible. David was searching for “Bigfoot.” To him, a single, attractive, godly woman was like bigfoot; people swear they existed, but he had never seen one. Bethany wondered if she would ever meet the right man.
They had known each other for almost two years when all of a sudden at a dinner party, he got her number because he thought she looked smokin’ hot! Wasting no time, he texted her. Soon after, they went dancing — salsa-style! He thought she was into him when she invited him to a country music concert. Her interest piqued, but the jury was still out. He invited her to the beach for a lunch date. She agreed and for the first time found out about his heart for the Lord and for people. Her heart began to pitter-patter. A few days later, he asked her dad for permission to pursue her. Her dad said, “Pursue away!”
In 2007, Bethany had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but had been cancer-free for over five years. She faithfully attended her bi-annual follow-up appointments and knew that if things continued to get serious with David that he should attend one of those appointments with her. So, after almost eleven months of dating, he went with her to her routine MRI and physical exam. They expected to be in and out of that appointment in no time, but the results of the MRI were suspicious, so Bethany was sent for an ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed the suspicions of the MRI and Bethany went for an immediate biopsy. All the while, David was in the waiting room with no knowledge of the terrifying emotions that were stirring. The next day, while David and Bethany were touring her law school, she got a call from her nurse practitioner that the results of the pathology were back…and so was the cancer.
David was there to comfort Bethany, but Bethany began to pull away. After all they were not married, they were not even engaged. They had not said “for better or worse, in sickness and health, ’til death do us part.” He didn’t owe her anything and she wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t want this for his future. She gave him an out. But he wouldn’t take it. Bethany didn’t know it, but David had already bought a ring and asked her dad for permission to marry her.
David was waiting to tell Bethany he loved her until there was a ring on her finger, but in that moment she wouldn’t understand his commitment any other way. As she continued to push him away, he pulled her aside, looked deeply into her eyes and told her that he wasn’t going anywhere. Then he said those three words she had been longing to hear, “I love you.”
One month later, while her entire family was together, he asked if she would marry him and she responded, “with my whole heart for my whole life.”
Bethany graduated law school bald in 2007, but refused to walk down the wedding aisle bald. Knowing there was no time to waste, Bethany had a double mastectomy, but she still had to face the question of chemotherapy. In the midst of multiple surgeries, while working full time, by God’s grace and God’s grace alone, Bethany was able to plan the wedding of their dreams, complete with over 250 guests, in only 2 months!
David and Bethany got married on November 16, 2013 and a week after their honeymoon, she started chemotherapy. David shaved his head in support of his new bride.
Whatever the future holds, David and Bethany know Who holds their future.
A love like this is only possible to understand by understanding the love that God shows us through the free gift of salvation that He offers to us through His son, Jesus Christ. “For by grace we have been saved through faith, and not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.