He gives us stories /// with incredible hope

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
— Jeremiah 29:11

hoping for someone to share life with

God’s word tells us that our heavenly Father is good, that He loves us and that He has hope-filled plans for our lives.

In May 2017 before we met, we were both praying (and had been for a long time) that God would be gracious to us and bring a companion into our lives. We hoped for someone that we could share our lives with—and share it the way that God intended for us to do so.

Later that same month God answered those prayers and enabled us to meet for the first time in Stirling. Fast-forward one year later, and in May 2018, we felt ready to become engaged.


However, God had allowed us to encounter challenging circumstances around about this time. A number of situations that we were living in caused us to question whether our trust for belonging and security lay ultimately in ourselves as individuals, in each other, or in God. We considered that there were a number of areas that we should develop before becoming engaged. Because of this we believed that God was asking us to wait that little bit longer.

From May 2018 to September 2018, we worked through the book, “Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married”, by Gary Chapman. God led us on an incredibly challenging yet deeply rewarding journey of analysing ourselves, each other and our relationship. Although the journey continues, by the end of these months we had worked through both the relationship highs and the struggles that we had not previously understood. We had also come to see that God had brought us together to complement and support one another in ways that we had never imagined we could have. And above all, we gained the incredible blessing of a deepened trust in God our Father and Provider.


In September 2018, Stewart planned a surprise proposal for Julie. It started as an apparently normal day but unfolded into retracing fond memories of early dates together. This culminated in a surprise visit to one of our favourite places—a little pebble beach in Keswick called Kettlewell. Stewart got down and one knee…

…And Julie said yes!

Now, partly because of the journey that God led us on from this past May to August, we live each day with incredible hope in God’s plan for our lives. We live each day aware that life is not void of trouble but trusting that our good and faithful Father never leaves us to walk through anything alone.

He gives us stories ///

Throughout Advent, Refuge is posting a selection of stories of God’s work in our lives. Each morning of Advent, we will be sharing these stories for the encouragement and upbuilding of the Church—and to testify to His greatness. For the series introduction click here.

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