One of the most important reasons he is the man that I will spend the rest of my life with is because he is a man that honors God first! He does this by being more concerned with others than himself. He is constantly looking for ways to better my life, as well as the lives of the Contact kids. And he is daily searching for the direction that God wants us to take.
Another reason that I want to marry Curtis West is because he is a man that prays!... Yes praying would fall under honoring God, but because I believe that prayer is the single most important way to grow your personal relationship with the Lord praying would be a separate reason for marrying him. He prays about everything, but most importantly he prays with and for Contact kids. Intercession for God's children has become such a huge part of our relationship. I love to hear him pray for Contact, for the kids, and for wisdom in how to go about ministry.
Thirdly I want to marry him because he is my friend before he is my fiance. We met when I was sixteen. We were friends for two years before we started dating during my senior year of high school. During that time I learned so much about him; his faith, his interests, his family, etc. Today, five years later, I am proud to say that we are still friends first. He is the person that I call when something amazing happens at work, or I do well on a test at school. He is the person that I call when I've had a bad day & need someone to make me laugh. He is the one that I want to go to football games with & do exciting challenges with (aka ride a canoe down rapids on summer vacation.. or go tubing with while Grandpa tries to throw us off the tube :D ). He is included in all of these aspects of my life because he is a great friend to me before he is a great fiance.
Fourthly I want to marry him because I trust him. I trust that he will make decisions that honor God within our relationship. I trust that ten years from now he is still going to be the man that is there every single day. He isn't someone that grows weary of doing good. For this reason I can trust that he is going to fight for souls with me.
Last but certainly not least I want to marry him because he provides incredible partnership in ministry. Once again I realize that this combines with several different aspects, however, as someone who plans to spend the rest of my life in full-time ministry I was looking for a spouse who could share in that. Curtis does an incredible job within the ministry at Contact. He brings such a patient, loving, and kind spirit to Contact. He's incredibly slow to anger... that is unless someone has something negative to say about inner city ministry. He is quickly angered when someone diminishes the work that God is accomplishing in Tulsa.
Actually, that is true for both of us. We are easily angered when it comes to ministry, because to us North Tulsa is not just the "bad part of town." The kids aren't simply "chaotic kids that don't know how to act." And it certainly isn't "somewhere people should stay away from." To Curtis & I North Tulsa is a place that desperately needs Jesus & as a couple we are willing to fight for those souls! We know that inner city ministry isn't going to be comfortable... we are okay with that. If Jesus wasn't comfortable on the cross what gives us the right to be comfortable in HIS church? Ministry is a fight for souls! It is not supposed to be easy. However, the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross makes it worth it every single day. Because Jesus fought the hardest battle a man ever faced when He was separated from God because of our sins on that cross, we will fight the battle now. HE took HELL for us! The least we can do is tell others about the price HE paid.
All of that said, I know that marriage is not easy and I know that ministry is not easy, but today I am absoultely ecstatic about embarking on both journeys. Curtis & I are committed to allowing God to lead our steps in ministry. As long as HE leads & we simply follow we cannot fail. HE will win souls in Tulsa & HE does not need Curtis & I to do so. HE won when Jesus died & rose again. However, we are willing to fight the good fight & proclaim the victory for as long as HE wants us in ministry. I am looking forward to the plans that HE has for us both as individuals and as a couple united in HIM. I am so grateful for both the man God has given me & the ministry position that HE has provided.
North Tulsa is not worth the coat on my back, or the money placed in the collection plate every week. They were worth the Son of God dying for. Contact was worth dying for!... People who we haven't even met yet were worth your son dying for! And because of that we take on the fight... YOUR fight for SOULS! We know that we are not encouraged to help the poor, but Lord we are COMMANDED to do so! And we want to answer that call
1 John 3:17
"If anyone has material possessions & sees his brother in need but has not pity on him how can the love of God be in that person?"