Raychel Danielle Frank & Markus Daniel Gerhard

September 15, 2012

Our Journey

...It's crazy to think that everything I've been through in my life: the bad choices, the bad relationships, the growth, the-back-then-regrets, made me the perfect person for Markus that I am today. God knew it all and I in no way could have planned that out. Me, always trying to control and plan my life and God: smiling down lovingly at me always pouring out grace and mercy on a girl who clearly didn't deserve it as I made one mistake after another. Me, crying my eyes out in bed more nights then I could count staring up into a black ceiling wondering where my prince charming was. Me, asking God why I was in one crisis after another playing my usual role as emotional damsel in distress but with no white knight coming to rescue me. God, who used every mistake to shape me into the woman I am today. God, always using the bad for his good and if we're paying attention, he uses it for our good too. (sorry...i digress) Markus and I didn't officially become friends until 2009, maybe a bit before. We both went through bad break ups (a usual for me) and were at difficult moments in our lives for different reasons. All I know is that we got through them together with each other’s help and Gods ever persistent chasing of our hearts. We became the best people we can be. God was literally chasing Markus down when he met me and then he met Christian who invited him to Quest church. It was obvious to everyone that God was after one Markus Gerhard. I don’t know about you but it’s kind of pointless to try and outrun God since he’s EVERYWHERE and tireless. Interestingly enough, God was also after me but in a different way. I’ve known God and Jesus since I was four years old but since I was young, my rebellious streak was pushing me away from my family and getting me in loads of trouble. I always believed God and never blamed him for my own wrong doings but I frequently questioned his presence in my darkest times and could never quite trust him with my future. I was so broken down and lost in a sea of one bad relationship after another when I met Markus and when God finally caught me….or more realistically when I turned around to face the one that had been there all along and never had left me and never gave up. Me finding God and meeting Markus were synonymous in my change. I always had told people that you can’t hope to be in a relationship with someone unless you’re in good place yourself. Two dirty cups of water mixed won’t ever become a clean, clear one. You got to be poured out and refilled with something better. This is true but sometimes God DOES use a special someone to completely change you for good, even your future husband. Markus and I became friends while he suffered through a horrible break up. Then down the road I too finally ended a really bad relationship that I should’ve ended a half a year earlier. Markus, battling a sea of depression and me reeling from the different pieces of myself that had been broken and stretched thin over years of empty, demanding relationships, survived through heartbreak, deaths, exes with STD scares, our own self-worth, friends who doubted and many more threats to our relationship. The things we had on our side like love of friends, family, time, trust in one another and a God who sees the beginning and end were our saving graces. Our friendship grew through the end of 2009 and into 2010. Our initial attraction turned into something more. Markus still battled a fear of relationships and needed time to think in his usual I-will-think-before-I-ever-act way; Me, always the impulsive one who doesn’t ask questions but goes for what she wants, all of a sudden was forced to takes steps back, revaluate and be patient. For once in my life I was in a situation where I HAD to wait on God and his timing and relinquish control of my future. I saw something special in Markus when we got close and I knew I wanted to be with him but he wasn’t ready. God had so much more work to do in both our lives. It was so hard for me to wait patiently knowing that Markus and I may never be together and may just stay best friends. It was such a scary thought. One that left me breathless and my heart aching because, as usual, I had let my heart run away with me. God, once again, had to reign in my ever rebellious heart and focus it back on him. About the time I finally gave up control of my future, Markus was deciding that it was time for him to “appreciate what he had in front of him.” It was about the end of May of 2011. We got incredibly close and finally I became his girlfriend. Having to wait for the right time (if it was meant to be) was not only the biggest challenge but the best thing that ever happened to me. I grew immensely in that time frame. All this time, Markus had helped me see right from wrong and made me believe and see myself the way God saw me. He was the first person to believe in real love of any guy that I had met. He believed, like I did, that love wasn't a game and he was never petty. He ALWAYS was honest and we based our relationship off that promise from the very beginning; a promise to always be honest even if it hurt. Me, who struggled with a past of dishonest relationships, was finally leaving that past behind. I was there for him as he grew in God and gained confidence in himself. We always put each other as best friends first and foremost. Eventually we realized that all our passed relationships with whoever was nothing compared to this. We both agreed that we never really knew what true love was until we became friends...