I have to recognize my humanness and be vigilant. There’s a spiritual battlefield happening around me (and a selfishness in my own heart still) with an enemy wanting to tear me down, especially in this time of engagement and preparation for marriage. I’m thankful that the Lord rooted this out of me; I would never want to bring this evil into my marriage. But I also understand the struggle and the humility I’ve learned in passing through what will likely be the major battle of our generation, and the battle our sons and daughters will all have to face.
For a while, though, I lost hope in a happy ending to my story. I thought I was “tainted” or “damaged goods.” I didn’t know Jackie was coming (if I had, I would never have left my room!). She’s been saving herself for marriage, and I had to confess to her that I didn’t. I messed up. But the way that Jackie loves me — in such a pure, disinterested, and benevolent way — has brought so much healing. She told me one night that she doesn’t want the “Bobby of 2007” or the “Bobby of 2010;” she wants the “Bobby of now.”
I’ve experienced life without my fiancée Jackie and I want no more of it. After years of discernment and three years in seminary formation, I’ve been graced with clarity and peace over this decision. I want to soak up as much Jackie Francois as I can in the time I have been given in this life. Her love has already broken me free of so many stubborn memories and unnecessary fear, giving me courage to become the man God needs me to be, a man that will do his best to lead her to Heaven.