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My Favorite Love Story
by Toni-Ann Craft
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December 19, 2018

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6 Minute Read

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My Favorite Love Story

Courtesy of Toni-Ann Craft
Toni-Ann Craft’s greatest gift: Her husband

Tears streamed down my face as I laid prostrate on the living room floor of my luxury downtown apartment. The message I received was clear, but it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

Three weeks prior, I began tithing — giving one-tenth of my biweekly paycheck to my church. I had recently finished a series on the benefits of tithing and felt spiritually led to try it out for myself. After contributing for three paychecks in a row, I gazed at my bank account and determined that I couldn’t afford to continue. If I did, I would have little to nothing left to budget for myself.

I thought, “Surely God doesn’t want me out here broke.” Right? At least, that’s what I wanted to hear.

In my best attempt to run away from what I felt God urging me to do, I ventured to my favorite Peruvian carryout to grab a bite to eat. Oddly, I ran into an old supervisor whom I hadn’t seen in over six years. I had no idea what she was doing on my side of town, but we caught up on old times as we stood in the unusually long line. Suddenly she stated, “Do you remember when you moved here with nothing? You didn’t even have furniture or summer attire?”

We laughed.

Courtesy of Toni-Ann Craft
Toni and Jay’s Old Town Alexandria engagement session

But mentally, I flashed back to six years prior. It was early January; I lived in New York and had just gotten accepted into my dream graduate program in Washington, D.C. However, with only two weeks prior notice, I didn’t have enough time nor the funds to make the relocation process flow seamlessly. So I hopped on a one-way train to D.C., leaving everything behind, except for a large suitcase filled with winter clothing and a backpack of school supplies for my first semester.

I took a leap of faith, and spent my first two months camping out on a friend’s couch until I was able to snag a job and rent a room for myself. After spending so much time living on a couch, I had almost forgotten the luxury of privacy. I was appreciative of my room and grateful to have a door to my own space that I could open and close as I wished. I didn’t care that the floor was slanted, so things often rolled from one end of the room to the other if left unattended. Inside, all I had was a sleeping mat and a small cardboard box that I turned upside down to serve as my makeshift nightstand.  

“How could I forget,” I murmured back to my old supervisor as I waited for my order number to be called.

Moments later, the cashier signaled me over and whispered, “I know you only ordered one meal, but I see you all the time, so I put two extra meals in your bag, on us!”

I smiled and thanked him.

Back in my apartment, I placed my food on the kitchen counter. Suddenly, I felt God’s voice in my heart say, “Sometimes, I have to allow you to see what I brought you through to remind you that I will never abandon you — that’s why you ran into your old supervisor. And the extra two meals that you got, that’s to remind you that I will always provide double than what you ask me for.”

Immediately, the tears gushed from my eyes, but harder and faster than they did earlier. I got on my knees, said a prayer, and directly paid my tithe online, which I was so reluctant to give earlier.

The following day, I met my husband for the very first time.

You see, to me, my husband is a blessing from God and my greatest gift yet.

Before meeting him, I spent years praying for my spouse and asking God to take me out of toxic relationships and to lead me to the one that He created for me.

My husband is by no means perfect, but he is far more than anything I could have ever imagined or asked for.

Courtesy of Toni-Ann Craft
Courtesy of Toni-Ann Craft

As we approach our first Christmas as a married couple, I think back on what is now my favorite love story. I have so much to be grateful for in him. My husband is my best friend, my prayer warrior, my partner in crime, and my personal stand-up comedian. He supports my sometimes-outlandish endeavors and gracefully keeps my Type B personality grounded with his Type A. My husband has taught me how to love without limitations, how to manage finances and investments but, most of all, that God answers prayers and is faithful to obedience.

This Christmas, and every day, I am grateful for my husband, who is my greatest gift and a daily reminder of my prayers personified.

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