{God’s Story} How God Gave Me a Husband

Nov 23, 2015

We’re on a break from our study this week to give you time to catch up or spend extra time with your family. See you back here next week! Here is a God Story from my dear friend, Shea Mathis. I pray it blesses you as much as it blessed me the first time I heard it…


God's Story Shea Mathis


My history with the Lord is one of convincing. Call it legalism, upbringing, or whatever else you like, I came to know the Lord through fear and trembling. I’m reminded of the old hymn that sings, “twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.” The Father longed for me to know the fullness of him, not just knowledge of the void without him. And thus began his journey to convince me that he didn’t just stamp my passport to Heaven; he purposed to walk with me, bless me, and transform not just my view of Him, but also of myself. {Tweet That!}

He started slow (I could have scarce believed for more). But he picked up the pace shortly after I graduated from College. He knew the deepest desire of my heart was to be happily married. I had given up dating years before and chose to trust God to deliver my husband to me (which was petrifying considering I wasn’t convinced he even like me).

There was this goofy kid, Morgan, who liked to hang out with my family. He was one of a scant few friends I had in Texas, so I didn’t mind that he was 4 years younger than me. When I came home from college in the summers, I helped out with the youth group at my mom and sister’s church. That’s where Morgan and I originally met. He was one of the seniors the kids looked up to because he walked closely with the Lord and cared little what anyone in the world thought of him. For all his strength of character and devotion, he was still a goofy kid in high school.

Fast forward a few years and Morgan has gone off to his Freshman year of college, and I’m living at home with my parents looking for my first post graduate job (with little success). Morgan was dating a girl he believed God had told him would become his wife. The problem was she quickly lost interest in him after he left for school. For some reason she didn’t break up with him…all year. The following Valentines Day, he was driving home to take her out on the obligatory holiday and to ask her what she wanted to do with the relationship. The Lord had strictly instructed him not to break up with her.

Four years earlier, Morgan’s dad had abandoned the family in such a violent manner that all of the children were deeply scarred. Morgan had developed a talent for keeping people away from his vulnerable heart. He would date girls and then quickly find an excuse to break up with them before they could sever the relationship (and reinforce his deepest fear that another person would abandon him). It was this destructive habit that the Lord intended to eliminate by not allowing Morgan to break up with his girlfriend. Instead he spent 6 months being “rejected” by a person he was committed to love. Those six months taught him that he could and would love his wife to the grave even if she didn’t love him back (a conviction I’m deeply grateful for); he also learned to receive his acceptance straight from God.

On his drive south he got stuck in traffic. Not slow sluggish rush hour traffic. The boy put his car in “park” and commenced to studying right there on I-35. Since that’s the most boring thing to do and he has ADD, it wasn’t long before his mind began to wander. He wandered right into the purpose for his trip and began to pray.

“Father, why do you want me to marry this girl who doesn’t love me. Why can’t I marry someone like, Shea (yep, that’s me)?”

“Why not Shea?” he replied.

“Because she’s old! And She’s in school in Texas, and I’m in school in Oklahoma.  And besides, she’s like, 24!”

“No she’s not; she’s 23.”

Flustered beyond belief, Morgan huffed back at God, “I don’t believe you, and I don’t believe this conversation unless the next time I see Shea she tells me how old she is without me asking!”

Roughly an hour later, he was at my house. I welcomed him into the living room where I was ironing. As I worked, we chatted about life and I complained that earlier that week my dad made fun of me for being old, “but I’m only 23!” I declared. Morgan turned beat red and laughed nervously. I assumed he, like my father, was teasing me. I had NO idea what was really going on.

The next day was Valentines Day, the make or break date with his girlfriend. After an awkward dinner, the two of them sat in the car and he described what he was looking for in a wife. She assured him that she was not that. Dutifully, he resisted the urge to break up and left it to her, “okay, well think about it and let me know what you want to do.” Within the week she broke up with him.

The next day on his way back to school, Morgan stopped to see the man who had helped him recover from the devastation of his parent’s divorce, Dr. Jerry Stettheimer. Before entering his counseling office, The Lord told Morgan to talk to him about me.  You’ve probably guessed by now what he said next, “No! Dr. Jerry listens to you.  If you want us to talk about Shea, tell him yourself!”

Right here we can stop and thank God for his merciful nature.  He’s actually quite patient with insolent children! Dr. Jerry and Morgan talked for a couple of hours and as Morgan walked to the door to leave, behind him he heard, “What’s this the Lord is telling me about you and Shea?” Slowly Morgan turned to face Dr. Jerry; no way was this really happening! He conceded and told the story. Dr. Jerry asked if he wanted to marry me.  “Some day,” he replied. So Dr. Jerry suggested he write me an email to see how I felt about him and what I thought of the idea of marrying him.

That email got lost in my junk folder; poor kid! Three days later we discovered the mishap. When I understood what he was asking, my heart contorted in confusion. On one hand, NO WAY! He was basically my dorky kid brother. I hadn’t an inkling of attraction to him. I knew him in all his irresponsible goofiness. And NO, just NO!

On the other hand, he was perfect for me. He put God first in his life; he respected and valued women more than any young man I’d ever met; he could play piano and guitar and write music; he was funny; and I could see us lined up perfectly on paper. But that was on paper. What about in my heart? I was terrified to say yes, and I was terrified to say no. So, I asked the Lord. He said that I didn’t love him yet, but some day I would.

I let Morgan down gently with a hint of possibility for the future (Morgan has a different version, but he’s not writing this so you get my version). From there on we corresponded in emails and got to know each other on a deeper level than we had before.

Two months after the first email, I had a dream about Morgan. That dream was the first time I felt differently about him. Up to that point I could understand why we would work as a couple, but I didn’t feel it. I talked to Dr. Jerry about it and he gave a small chuckle and told me to tell the Lord I didn’t believe the dream meant anything unless I had two more like it that week. I had three more! Through this, God changed the one thing that stood in my way of embracing Morgan in my heart. There is a great deal The Lord was doing in Morgan on his end, but that’s another story. For my part, I was falling in love.

For now, I’ll skip the journey Morgan walked that led to our chat on Friday April 9, 2004. Morgan had come to town for the weekend. His sister’s birthday happened to fall on Easter Sunday that year and she asked him to come home to baptize her on her birthday. That Friday night he came to see me first. We talked for hours. Around 11:00 we both realized that we were hungry and the only restaurant open was IHOP. Over pancakes, he finally chocked up the courage to ask me about the email that changed everything.

“Why do you think Dr. Jerry had me write you that email?”

Knowing the background I countered, “Did Dr. Jerry prompt you or was it the Lord?”

He confessed.  So I continued, “If I had similar promptings would you want to know?” He assured me that he would.  So I told him about the dreams. From there we talked about a relationship between us.

One week later to the day, we were engaged. Four months later we were married. And have been happily so ever since (almost 11 years as I write this). It pains me to stop the story there. I told you that this was the beginning of a journey. Any true lover of Lord of the Rings, or Star Trek, or the Jason Bourn movies knows that the beginning of the story is just that…the beginning.

God has done infinitely more to woo me, tear down walls, and rebuild a fortress in Him where I find myself now. But he began by giving me the mouthpiece for his love. I couldn’t believe him directly at the time, when he affirmed me, but I couldn’t deny when he spoke through my treasure, Morgan, words that no person could conjure, words that spoke to my broken places and words that changed all my presuppositions. The Lord has done many things for me, but first he gave me the deepest longing of my heart.

Shea Mathis I hope you have been blessed by the God Story Shea has shared here. I met Shea and Morgan shortly after they were married in 2004, when they came back to college in Oklahoma that Fall. Shea quickly became one of my dear friends, and I love how she and Morgan brought God alive for me and others in our small group by sharing how God worked in their lives. They now have four precious kiddos.Their love for God and their family is contagious and continues to transform those they meet. 

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