"She introduced herself, 'Becca Peters.' I finally worked up the courage to share what I felt God had asked me to share: 'Jesus is a redeemer of all things.' The only other interaction I remember having with her that weekend was sitting across from her at the lunch table and not being able to say anything. No feelings. No reminder of the Lord's word the previous October. Just sweet Jesus planting seeds."
[FORREST]: Okay so be prepared to read a novel. This is my favorite story on earth!
[BECCA]: During college, Jesus did a grand work in the depths of my being which has since left me deeply satisfied, yet always thirsting for more of Him. Throughout the years, He has been constantly asking me, “Are you going to choose Me or the world?” My greatest desire is to choose Him every second of my life, but I always fail to do that. Nevertheless, He still shows up with an unceasing amount of grace, wraps me up in it, and holds me in His firm embrace.
One of the greatest works He has done in me is the revelation of knowing not only how much I love Him, but how much He loves me. His love is crazy VAST. His love is wondrous and mighty. His love is safe and secure. His love is adventurous and constant. His love is pure with no strings attached. His love is everything. I came into this revelation when I was a student attending LEGACY School of Discipleship in the spring of 2016. It was there when I solidified the fact my heart would only be Jesus’ until He unveiled my eyes to my husband. I ONLY wanted Him and I was totally, completely, and perfectly okay with it because I was crazy in love with Him. He’s so perfect! I found out how great it is to give my entire heart to Him because He only gives us His best, He will never let us down, and He’s trustworthy to do everything which will be absolutely best for us. Do you know how great it is to give your heart to Someone so faithful and trustworthy? It’s AMAZING and so secure.
Many months later in the fall of 2016, I felt like I should write down a list of things I wanted in my future husband, so I did. My list was VERY SPECIFIC. So much so, I thought I wouldn’t meet a man who could check off all these things until I was around 27 or 29 years old. I talked with the Lord about each desire on my list and He said it was good to go. I tucked my list away and continued living life with my sweet Beloved.
[FORREST]: This story (at least the tangible parts), for me, all started in October of 2016, while living in Laos as part of my gap year, when Jesus told me I was going to meet my wife during the second month at LEGACY School of Discipleship in Alabama (which would be four-ish months in the future). I honestly didn't really want to put too much hope in the word because I know how deceptive the heart can be, so I put it on the back burner.
I finished my time in Laos, spent Christmas with my family, and, in January 2017, moved to Alabama to attend a four-month course at LEGACY. The Lord began to interact with me in ways I had never before experienced.
[BECCA]: I had heard LEGACY was having worship nights throughout their spring semester and I was BEYOND EXCITED to attend because LEGACY is my family and I had a lot of friends attending as students that semester. On the night of February 2nd, I arrived at my home-away-from-home and couldn’t wait to hear about how my friends were growing and experiencing the Lord! I was greeted by them and was introduced to a few of the other students before worshiping our sweet King and connecting with the community of believers throughout the night.
[FORREST]: The night of February 2, 2017, a girl walked in, sat down and began praising Jesus with all she had. I took notice and went back to praising my sweet Jesus. Suddenly, I felt God was telling me to tell her something. I was terrified. I was just learning to hear the voice of God, and besides, I'd never met this girl before. I sat there in turmoil for a bit and then went to bed hoping His request would just go away.
The next morning, I woke up and there was the request, again, to speak to this girl, but my plans for the day included celebrating Chinese New Year with my Legacy classmates (my American parents and siblings living in Hong Kong were celebrating without me) by cooking Chinese food (Kung Hei Fat Choi!).
[BECCA]: Before finishing up a work project on the property that day, I went into the kitchen and there was a student I hadn’t met yet. His name was Forrest Holcombe and he was VERY excited to be cooking dinner for Chinese New Year.
[FORREST]: She introduced herself, “Becca Peters.” I finally worked up the courage to share what I felt God had asked me to share: "Jesus is a redeemer of all things".
[BECCA]: It was really sweet, so I thanked him, and continued on.
[FORREST]: The only other interaction I remember having with her that weekend was sitting across from her at the lunch table and not being able to say anything. No feelings. No reminder of the Lord's word the previous October. Just sweet Jesus planting seeds.
[BECCA]: I didn’t know exactly how that word would apply to my life, other than the fact it was complete truth; consequently, I didn’t think too much into it until I drove back home to Tallahassee. That Sunday, when I arrived back into town, my family found out my eldest brother had a brain tumor and was being life-flighted to have emergency brain surgery. It was then when I realized why the Lord told Forrest to remind me that He was a redeemer of all things. I had never had to rely on the Lord more than in that season, and I had to remind myself every single day how His blood brought redemption to the entire world.
[FORREST]: Fast forward to March. Becca returned to Legacy to hear from a visiting author while I was still studying in the discipleship program.
[BECCA]: I was excited to participate and continue to connect with all the students! The week was vibrant, full of laughter, learning, and fellowship with everyone in attendance. It was so encouraging and life-giving.
[FORREST]: She arrived on a Wednesday night and we began to talk. She was so fun and so thrilled about everything in life. But, what I specifically noticed was how she introduced people to each other. She doesn't introduce people using their names and occupations, rather, she introduces people by their names and what she loves about them and sees in them (so you start to love them, too). Then there it was; I had the birth of the butterflies and the crazy, undesirable thing Becca and I call “falling in like.” Suddenly I was trying to stand next to her, talk to her, and be around her.
[BECCA]: To be honest, I barely remember my interactions with Forrest because there were so many fun conversations had with everyone! I do remember on one of the nights Forrest ran up to me and urgently asked me to spontaneously jump in the lake - fully clothed - with him. It was interesting because just minutes previously I had been explaining to a friend how I often find myself jumping in lakes fully clothed and thoroughly enjoy it. It turns out Forrest overheard that conversation and had asked me to impress me. He’s adorable and I love how he caters his pursuit of me to my personality and interests.
[FORREST]: Yep, I did that! :) I was desperate ;) haha.
Anyways, at the end of that weekend, I knew I wouldn’t see her again until May when we, coincidentally, would begin working our summer jobs at a camp in Northern California. However, I was still wanting to wholly focus on the Lord during that season, so I was content with there being plenty of time to get over my feelings for this girl.
[BECCA]: Two weeks later, I made my last visit to LEGACY of that semester.
[FORREST]: I was surprised because I was not expecting to see her again until we got to this camp (so much for having a month to get over this girl). During this weekend, I wanted to be next to her constantly and do everything with her, so I invited her to be my teammate for a game of pickleball. Keep in mind, I'm extremely competitive.
[BECCA]: When Forrest and I found ourselves playing on the same pickleball team, I experienced, first hand, his extreme competitiveness (which now manifests itself as dependability). He was constantly running for every ball I had avoided; and, apart from the few times he yelled at me due to the intensity of the game, I noticed he was an incredible teammate. Our teamwork won the game ;). That weekend, we decided we would be best friends.
The next morning, Forrest nonchalantly expressed to me his belief that a 3-year age difference was not a difficult age gap between two individuals in a romantic relationship. Conveniently, I’m 2.5 years older than him. This was when I first suspected he was interested in me. Later that afternoon, over lunch at a nearby marina, we had our first in-depth conversation, discovering we shared similar passions and establishing we were both planning on going to a missions school in Africa in the summer of 2018.
[FORREST]: We discovered we had similar passions for the nations, medicine, Jesus, and so many other things. She said we would be best friends, which I quickly took to heart. Interestingly, I was not using my phone during this season, so I realised I had to find a way to stay in touch with her.
[BECCA]: During this conversation, Forrest mentioned a talk he had done and said he would send me the link to it, which is how we exchanged numbers. In addition to not using his phone for his semester at LEGACY, he had also deleted all of his social media; consequently, after he sent me the link of his talk via iMessage, he also asked if he could write me letters. I agreed, and for the next month, we proceeded to communicate via long in-depth letters.
I didn’t realize this until later, but two of the items on my list of what I asked the Lord for in my husband was for him to pursue me for the first month only with letters and for him not to have social media (so I couldn’t find out information about him before he told me).
[FORREST]: After Becca left, I immediately told our mutual friend about my feelings and was advised to get over it. “Every guy likes Becca,” she said. She also said the age difference would just not work out. I listened but did not heed. Becca checked off literally everything on my mental list of what I wanted in my future wife... and more! How could I let her go? I began to write letters, to which she responded to in length, which grew our knowledge about each other, and our hearts for each other.
[BECCA]: I began to share my thoughts and dreams with him through these precious letters, and every week I would look forward to receiving his drawn-out words, which expressed his heart so beautifully. The day he finished his semester at LEGACY, he called me and we talked all night: 6 hours straight!
"I knew God was telling me Forrest was without a doubt the man I was to marry. Since that day, I have never doubted I am called to spend the rest of my life with Forrest. The rest of the summer, I allowed myself to begin to fall more in “like” with Forrest than ever before. I didn’t want to date him, but when the summer came to a close and it was time for us to leave for our respective states, I was completely torn and didn’t want to leave him, knowing I wouldn’t see him until March. We ignored the Lord’s command of waiting to pursue each other until March and began to date, even though we knew not to do this."
[BECCA]: We began talking on the phone for hours and hours over the course of the next few weeks until we both flew out to California to work at a camp for the summer of 2017. I was very hesitant to give even a little bit of my affection to Forrest because I really only wanted my sweet King, but Jesus kept me steady and constant with my eyes on Him and also showed me Forrest was going to be an important friend.
[FORREST]: For the two weeks prior to getting to the camp, Becca and I probably talked over 24 hours on the phone, however, just before leaving for California, the romantic feelings for Becca left me. I felt the Lord was telling me we shouldn’t date. He didn’t say when or if we ever could. He just said “no.” I went to camp wondering why I had lost feelings for the most beautiful and perfect girl on earth.
But, upon arriving at camp, we immediately hit it off. We were the best of friends, and there was no one I enjoyed hanging out with more. There was something deep inside of me - despite the absence of the romantic feelings - which profoundly, deeply, and hopelessly pulled and attracted me to this girl. I was distraught. Everything in me wanted to be with her, but I felt like it was not to be for this particular season. And, I also didn’t have the feelings to match the desire.
[BECCA]: I began to admire and enjoy Forrest tremendously. We were best friends, but we were also very intentional with our interactions with each other. I was confused with what to feel and had a nice weekend trip to Alabama for a friend’s wedding. It was while flying to and from that wedding when I began to be really honest with Jesus about my heart. I felt as if there was so much happening inside of me and I didn’t know how or when to express. Affection towards Forrest was growing inside of me, but I didn’t want it! On multiple occasions, I asked God to fully take these feelings away, but He was gentle and was trying to convey something important to me. On the plane back to California, I wrote pages of notes about what was happening in my heart and what the Lord was telling me. I wanted to be able to share these with Forrest when I saw him next.
[FORREST]: At the end of Becca's weekend away, I received a call from the friend who told me to get over Becca. This time, she had different advice: pursue Becca (because she really liked me). I was torn… The most amazing girl I had ever met. The girl who loves Jesus more than anyone I have ever met and I was going to have to tell her “no” to begin a relationship.
[BECCA]: When I arrived back at camp, all of the summer volunteers went on a white water rafting trip to the Klamath River. I asked Forrest to meet me by the river at 5am the following morning to talk about a few things. We met and talked with the noise of rushing water beside us. (Side note: rushing water is where I hear the Lord most clearly.) I proceeded to pull out my notes and explain to Forrest all I had been feeling since we began writing letters to each other.
I told him I was scared because I never had any interest in liking him, but no matter how much I wanted my affection for him to cease, it wouldn’t leave me. This was the first time I told him I liked him, and in the same breath, I also told him I believed the Lord was saying he was going to be my husband. I explained to Forrest how I had made a list of what I desired in my future husband the previous year and how this list was supposed to be one of the ways the Lord would confirm to me the man He had chosen to be my husband. I explained to him how he was meeting every desire on the list, but the Lord specifically spoke to me that Forrest and I were to wait until March to pursue a relationship, although we were free to pursue the friendship.
[FORREST]: I was so relieved. I told her I felt the exact same way about her. We agreed to remain in this friendship, but we were still intensely drawn to each other...
[BECCA]: ... and my heart was growing more towards him every day.
[FORREST]: The most pivotal moment for me of this season was when I was worshipping, but I was simultaneously experiencing heavy anxiety about whether or not I would get to be with Rebecca one day. At this moment, the Lord distinctly spoke to me and told me not to worry, she was my wife. As the summer wore on, when our tendency was to ignore each other so we could focus on the Lord, He continued to open doors for us to hang out and to get to know each other.
[BECCA]: Although I felt the Lord clearly pressing upon my heart Forrest was to be my husband, I still questioned it at times. In July, I left California and flew back to Florida for a few days, and it was there when I began to live in fear about pursuing Forrest. We were in university in two different states. I decided to completely end any kind of affection towards Forrest when I returned back to camp, and when I saw Forrest the night I returned, I had no feelings towards him but decided to wait to say anything about it until he finished coaching his campers. The next morning at staff devotions, four of our leaders decided to prophesy over us. The next 36 hours of my life changed everything for me.
1. Someone spoke first and asked if anyone was wearing purple. Purple is not a common color to wear at camp because we have a work uniform, but I had purple on my socks so I raised my hand. He said, “That’s really interesting because the two words the Lord gave me last night when I was praying about this were purple and Rebecca and they just happen to go together.” I knew purple pertained to Forrest because a common saying this particular camp has is “don’t make purple,” meaning, don’t mix blue (guy) and pink (girl) or else you’ll make purple. This person continued to say the Lord gave him one last word, but not to take it in a bad way because God wanted me to really pray into it. The last word God had given was “wrong.” He said he didn’t know if there was a lie I was believing or if I was being disobedient in something. I was doing both, but he admonished me to really pray into it.
2. A few hours later, the same person stopped by my office and said he could tell I was down about something and reminded me I could tell him what it was. I told him all about the conflict within me and how I didn’t know what to do about Forrest. In the meantime, our worship leader walked by and we asked him to come over to us. The person who had given me the word told him the three words ("purple," "Rebecca," and "wrong") and nothing else, then asked if God was showing him anything. Our worship leader turned to me and said God was telling him He had spoken to me very clearly about something, but I was disobeying Him and running from it. He told me I needed to listen to God, and trust what He had already said.
3. This person came back later and told me he felt the Lord saying Forrest was the right direction, and anything not pertaining to Forrest was wrong.
4. After lunch, I was cleaning tables when one of our leaders’ wives approached me to tell me how great Forrest was. Keep in mind, I had never talked to her about Forrest. She proceeded to say she knew why God had asked me to work at the camp this summer: it was to find Forrest.
5. The next morning at breakfast, my friend Logan told me she was reading Proverbs 31 and it mentioned the color purple. She said it was pertaining to a woman being clothed in her royal identity and being prepared for marriage.
6. That evening, I received the third letter from my friend’s dad who had been writing his daughter and me letters over summer. He felt the Lord lead him to write letters to me, as well as to his daughter, whose name is also Becca. The first two letters were all about encouraging me in my identity in the Lord, but the final letter I received that night was all about the characteristics my husband would have, and they were all ones Forrest encompassed.
After those confirmations, I knew God was telling me Forrest was without a doubt the man I was to marry. Since that day, I have never doubted I am called to spend the rest of my life with Forrest. The rest of the summer, I allowed myself to begin to fall more in “like” with Forrest than ever before. I didn’t want to date him, but when the summer came to a close and it was time for us to leave for our respective states, I was completely torn and didn’t want to leave him, knowing I wouldn’t see him until March. We ignored the Lord’s command of waiting to pursue each other until March and began to date, even though we knew not to do this.
Embracing Our Season of Abrahamic Sacrifice
"Finally, after a weekend in October of 2017, we decided to officially end our relationship until the Lord spoke to us saying to reconnect, which I believed was going to be in March. The Lord spoke clearly that Forrest and I were trying to keep something alive God hadn’t breathed life into yet. We were investing so much time into trying to stay together, we had ignored the Lord during that season of our life. He will never let anything come before Him. He said He wanted to prepare us in a very specific way for marriage, but we weren’t letting Him. We had to let go of each other and put our gaze back on Jesus to have the fullness of the preparation He intended for us. He had already given us a promise to hold onto, but we had to sacrifice it in order to rely solely on our beloved Jesus... Unbeknownst to either of us, and almost immediately after breaking up, we both signed up for the same mission trip to Honduras in March, of all months."
[BECCA]: The next few months were trying times for Forrest and me.
[FORREST]: By the time we parted ways for school, I was in heavy anxiety and the Lord was slowly breaking me down and stripping my feelings away.
[BECCA]: I neither understood this deep anxiety he was experiencing, nor knew how to comfort him in it. I knew God had promised us marriage, but I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t want us together to prepare for it. We knew we were living in disobedience but tried everything to keep even the slightest feelings towards each other. Nothing lasted. And, for a while, we were dating, knowingly living in sin, and feeling miserable. Neither of us had feelings for the other, but we couldn't let go.
[FORREST]: I really did not want to let Becca go; however, despite my disobedience, the Lord continued to reveal to me she was my future wife. I remember two occasions in particular at the start of the school year which were absolutely insane.
The first was during orientation. I was experiencing pretty heavy anxiety and I was grasping for anything. So, I asked the Lord to set off the fire alarm if Becca was my future wife. I walked out of the building after the session and the fire alarm alert panel was beeping in a comparatively quiet manner. I told the Lord that would suffice, but I was looking for the main (LOUD) fire alarm to go off. I went on to my next session and when I came out, I heard the noise clear across campus. Although I continued to doubt, this was big for me.
The next thing was a few days later when we were at the National Zoo. I was looking at the lions and I said to the Lord, “Lord, if Becca is my future wife, make the lion roar in the next 10 seconds.” I started to count down. When I got to zero, I turned around and started to walk away; however, before I got out of earshot, the lion started making a huge ruckus. Another confirmation. I’m not saying you should test the Lord, but in my anxiety I did and He, in His great kindness, honoured my requests in His own way and it was a huge blessing to me.
However, the Lord had told us not to date. It didn’t make sense to me. She was going to be my wife, but I couldn’t date her? I ignored the speaking of the Lord in my life, ignored exhortations and words from others, and became very deeply confused. I blamed the situation and anxiety on everything but the true reason.
I had asked to have a heart which was for Him above all other things, and I had asked for my future wife to love Him more than she loves me. He was giving me those things. If you mean business with the Lord, He will mean business with you. You will never regret doing that, no matter how daunting and hard it may seem. By October, I was at the end of my rope. I was attending a conference and I was overwhelmed by my anxiety and I just couldn’t worship. I was physically pulled to my knees and crying when I felt things being ripped off of me. I had my hands closed in fists, but I physically could not keep them closed, despite wanting to. The Lord was asking me, “Do you love me? Do you trust me? How tightly are you going to hold on to your life?” When I finally said, “yes” to Him, my hands were completely open and I was so relieved (for reading on surrendering to God, check out a piece which influenced Becca and I greatly during this time: "Embracing the Cross" by Francois Fénelon).
[BECCA]: Finally, after a weekend in October of 2017, we decided to officially end our relationship until the Lord spoke to us saying to reconnect, which I believed was going to be in March. The Lord spoke clearly that Forrest and I were trying to keep something alive God hadn’t breathed life into yet. We were investing so much time into trying to stay together, we had ignored the Lord during that season of our life. He will never let anything come before Him. He said He wanted to prepare us in a very specific way for marriage, but we weren’t letting Him. We had to let go of each other and put our gaze back on Jesus to have the fullness of the preparation He intended for us. He had already given us a promise to hold onto, but we had to sacrifice it in order to rely solely on Him.
[FORREST]: Unbeknownst to either of us, and almost immediately after breaking up, we both signed up for the same mission trip to Honduras in March, of all months.
[BECCA]: This shows the Lord was setting us up to walk into His promise throughout the whole process.
[FORREST]: We went about our lives feeling free because we were now living in the Lord’s timing and waiting for His grace on the relationship. We only talked a few times, and the conversations with her were some of my most treasured times in that season. At times, we would talk eight hours or more and it was so peaceful and easy. The Lord continued to confirm we were going to get married and reminded us He was going to fulfil His promises.
[BECCA]: Yes, the conversations were always refreshing and I felt I was talking to my best friend.
[FORREST]: It was during this season I knew I deeply loved Rebecca. It was a deep understanding that no matter what came in life or how I felt, I could never leave nor stop loving Rebecca in the deepest way.
This love is not from me. I can’t conjure it up. It is Divine Love. I have never experienced such a deep feeling of commitment. I remember being overwhelmed by this feeling and the feeling that I could never be with anyone else, even in the times I felt the most emotional and romantic distance from Becca.
[BECCA]: The Lord also gave me a deep, deep commitment for Forrest during this season apart from him. My heart was only for the Lord, but I could see how He was preparing me to be a wife. It was as if he put a veil over my eyes and it was impossible for me to see another male in a romantic light. I fiercely tried to rid myself of affection for Forrest, but I couldn’t. It was so deep in me. I had never experienced anything like it, and it was a feeling so mysterious and unearthly that I knew Heaven had placed this unwavering commitment inside of me for Forrest. I would try to explain it to the people around me, but no one understood. I would tell them, “Yes, we broke up, but we’re still getting married. God told us we would.” People would just nod and say, “Time will tell.”
God also taught me a special lesson. He told me if I missed Forrest and wanted to experience his heart, then I needed to draw nearer to Jesus. I needed to give my everything to Jesus. I needed to let Jesus wash His blood over every crevice of my life. I will only be able to experience the fullness of Forrest’s heart by first experiencing the heart of Jesus. Forrest and I would not be able to love each other best if we didn’t love Jesus most. We have to choose Him in everything. Jesus has to be my husband first before Forrest ever can. Jesus is jealous for our love, hearts, intimacy, conversations, etc. He’s crazy for us. I could never bear the thought of giving Jesus my second best when He gives us the greatest supernatural treasures of Heaven every second of our lives.
[FORREST]: We saw each other briefly in February, which was rejuvenating. I yearned for the next few weeks to fly by. We were so committed to each other and it wasn’t even a commitment from ourselves. We couldn’t say “no” to what the Lord was doing to bring us together, even if we wanted to; however, we did not know what seeing each other again in March meant. We assumed it was just meant talking again and being able to pursue our friendship for a few years until we were ready to move toward marriage.
[BECCA]: While this was my assumption as well, I also really believed Jesus was going to do something so grand in my heart. We had a conversation a few days before leaving for Honduras and felt the release to be so free for what Jesus was going to do. I was so excited to adore him and talk to him in freedom I could hardly stand it!
[FORREST]: However, we did not even envision or imagine what God was going to do in our hearts in reality. He had different plans, as He always does when we start to put our hands on our relationship and try to structure it and mould it into how we think it should be. He paints our lives and relationships like He wants to paint them.
"I Love You"
"On the night of March 12, 2018, in a little village named Yoro in Honduras, Forrest and I were talking in the bed of a truck as we looked at the stars. He looked like he always did, then I looked away and looked back at him, and it was as if God had taken away the veil He had put over my eyes. I saw Forrest so differently than I had moments earlier. I was filled with a crazy, Heavenly love for Forrest and I had no explanation for it other than Jesus. In the middle of our conversation I said, “I love you!” He looked at me and asked if I was joking! I could only giggle at how shocked he was, but truthfully I was a bit shocked myself. I couldn’t believe how much I loved him in an instant! Forrest thought it would take years for me to love him because of how seriously I guarded my heart, but it came so quickly and naturally. I hugged him and continued to tell him I was absolutely and completely in love with him! He didn’t tell me he loved me back, but it was okay because I had secretly seen a video he made on his phone in which he stated he loved me. ;) I knew he was waiting for a very special and specific moment so I was perfectly fine with telling him I loved him a million times and him just receiving it. ❤️"
[BECCA]: My daddy, who accompanied me on the trip to Honduras, and I landed in the Atlanta airport on March 9, 2018, when we saw Forrest looking for our terminal! HE WAS SO CUTE. He was talking to his mom, who I adore, on the phone. It was during this time at the airport Forrest and my dad were able to catch up a bit. This was only his second time meeting my dad, and he had made a sign which said, “I do not see our friendships PETERing out anytime soon. :)” My last name is Peters. :)
[FORREST]: After a short flight, we arrived in Honduras, and it was bliss. I loved being next to her, and it was obvious we were deep “in like."
[BECCA]: We sat next to each other every chance we could and talked and talked and talked. We had so much to catch up on. The leaders of our trip thought we were madly in love.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” This is a verse which has meant a lot to me throughout my entire life, and I’ve meant serious business with it. I’ve never given my heart away and I’ve always guarded it. My mom advised me since I was young, “Don’t tell a guy you love him until you know he’s going to be your husband.” I took that advice seriously, too. I had never said “I love you” to anyone. It holds a lot of weight in my heart. On the night of March 12, 2018, in the little village of Yoro, Honduras, Forrest and I were talking in the bed of a truck as we looked at the stars. He looked like he always did, then I looked away and looked back at him, and it was as if God had taken away the veil He had put over my eyes. I saw Forrest so differently than I had moments earlier. I was filled with a crazy, Heavenly love for Forrest and I had no explanation for it other than Jesus. In the middle of our conversation I said, “I love you!” He looked at me and asked if I was joking! I could only giggle at how shocked he was, but truthfully I was a bit shocked myself. I couldn’t believe how much I loved him in an instant! Forrest thought it would take years for me to love him because of how seriously I guarded my heart, but it came so quickly and naturally. I hugged him and continued to tell him I was absolutely and completely in love with him! He didn’t tell me he loved me back, but it was okay because I had secretly seen a video he made on his phone in which he stated he loved me. ;) I knew he was waiting for a very special and specific moment. ❤️
[FORREST]: Little did Becca know, but a few days prior Jesus told me to tell her I loved her, but He told me I needed to talk to Becca’s dad first. However, as Becca said, much to my surprise, she beat me to it. Due to the fact she has never said it to any guy before, it has since become the most powerful phrase she can say to me. It carries so much weight.
After Becca told me she loved me, I expedited my attempt to sit Becca's dad down. One night before dinner, within the next two days or so, I was able to do so in the dark bunk room (the upstairs of the house had no electricity) belonging to the guys on the trip. I told him I loved his daughter and wanted to ask for his permission to pursue her. In typical Peters fashion, he affirmed me for 5-10 minutes, gave me some solid advice, and then gave his permission, reminding me no matter what happened, he would be in my corner.
[BECCA]: On March 14, 2018, Forrest took me on our first date ever! I was so excited! We were staying outside of a village in the mountains of Honduras in a little wooden house with no electricity. We climbed to the top of the mountain where we began reading the Bible and praying. Then, the night continued through a series of little activities, and I ended outside of our little house in the pitch dark with Forrest. He began telling me the heart process the Lord took him through, everything he adored about me, and ended with telling me he loved me!!! I was so excited (and I recorded it)!!! Keep in mind, we had little running water, so neither of us had showered in 5 days... which means I knew he really, really loved me. ;)
[FORREST]: AH, the freedom of doing it all in the Lord's timing and under His leading! :)))) We were both thrilled.
"Interestingly, within a few days of being there, the Lord took away every desire I had to do any of the things on my bucket list if it meant delaying my marriage with Becca or meant her sacrificing some of her dreams. My desire was just to be with her and support her with whatever dreams were in her heart. I took note of the desire and pocketed it thinking how useful it would be in a few years when we decided to get married. However, within a week or so of the Lord placing the desire in me, I clearly heard Him tell me to get engaged to Becca that summer."
[BECCA]: The rest of the spring was freedom for us and we began to pursue each other again! Having the freedom to love Forrest was extremely rejuvenating! Oh, I couldn’t believe I was in love with him, and I still can’t! He’s so easy to love, but it still shocks me Jesus chose the most amazing man I have ever known to spend the rest of my life with. I can’t believe Jesus created our hearts to love each other in the most Divine way! He blows me away!
Although we knew the Lord had promised us marriage and He had used our season apart from each other preparing our hearts for it, we didn’t think it would be in our near future. Forrest and I tend to be very independent individuals, and I believed marrying him would deter me from the adventures I had planned. He also had his own ambitions, so WE decided it would be best to get married in 2-3 years. I capitalize WE because, once again, we did not include the Lord in that decision, which definitely meant our plans would most likely not turn out how we initially thought they would. When will we ever learn? :)
[FORREST]: The spring was also such a sweet time of seeing each other often and growing together. It was so fun to be in her presence again, hold her, get to know her in person, and adventure with her.
[BECCA]: In May 2018, we arrived in Africa to spend our summer as students at the mission’s school we talked about in the first in-depth conversation we ever had in April 2017. I was so excited for the adventure Jesus was taking us on!
[FORREST]: I was so excited to be spending the next few months with her as well. Interestingly, within a few days of being there, the Lord took away every desire I had to do any of the things on my bucket list if it meant delaying my marriage with Becca or meant her sacrificing some of her dreams. My desire was just to be with her and support her with whatever dreams were in her heart. I took note of the desire and pocketed it thinking how useful it would be in a few years when we decided to get married. However, within a week or so of the Lord placing the desire in me, I clearly heard Him tell me to get engaged to Becca that summer.
I was taken aback. I was wondering how it could logistically happen, or if she would even want it to happen so early. The Lord told me I would have to rely on the body of believers and I believed I had heard Him say it; consequently, I started walking in it. I wasn’t really praying into it or anything beforehand, but of course, I wanted to marry her. I told the Lord it was a really big decision and I knew He cared about our hearts so I asked Him to please confirm it in undeniable ways. I decided to only tell two of my friends and I asked them to pray, then I left the rest up to the Lord. He gave me a date (June 11th) to tell Becca that I thought we should get engaged that summer, and then I began waiting for His confirmation.
[BECCA]: Forrest began to bring up marriage more, which confused me. We didn’t discuss it much prior to then because we knew it was years away, but I could tell Forrest was falling more in love with me and my love was increasing for him, too. I thought it was great! He would tell me how he had a growing desire to give up everything to be with me, which was amazing, but again, we thought marriage was years away.
During this time, we began to receive prophetic words randomly from people about our future marriage and how joyous and impactful it was going to be.
[FORREST]: The first sign was from a Mozambican pastor named Charles who I had known as an acquaintance for less than two weeks. He came up to Becca and me and asked if we were engaged. We said, “Not yet,” and he quickly added, “Well, I feel to prophesy over you that your marriage is going to be one filled with joy. I also feel to remind you that marriage is not a sin.” I felt it was a confirmation, but I asked God for something more specific.
Later in the week, another lady named Ancy on a 10-day mission trip from Dubai came up to us. We had never met her before, but she asked if we were married. When we said “not yet,” she told us three weeks prior, the Lord had told her to remember the word “ranchers.” It just so happened I was wearing a shirt with the word “ranch” on it that day, and so she proceeded to tell us she had asked the Lord if we were the people she was supposed to speak to and He had said, “yes.” She asked Him what she was supposed to tell us and He said to tell us our marriage was going to be profoundly impactful in the Kingdom of God and in the lives of other couples. In addition to a few other things she also said the Lord told her that right then we were wondering about “how and when” and He just wanted to let us know He was in it. That was enough for me!! I started crying and Becca had no idea what was going on with me.
[BECCA]: The Lord was doing a great work in Forrest during this time, and every word we received confirmed he was the man I was called to spend the rest of my life with!
[FORREST]: I was fully convinced and I told the Lord I wanted to honour everyone involved, so if Becca, my parents, or her parents said “no” to us getting engaged, I wouldn’t do it (keep in mind I thought this was a real possibility because of our ages and the spontaneous nature of it). I told Him that He would have to change hearts, and sure enough, He did as He always does when the planning is left to Him and when we operate out of obedience to Him.
[BECCA]: On June 11, 2018, outside of a pavilion in Mozambique, Forrest told me the Lord had clearly spoken to him about getting engaged that summer. He asked for confirmation, and the Lord gave it through those prophetic words - ah, now I knew why Forrest was crying! He was so sweet and gentle in explaining all of what Jesus was teaching him, but I couldn’t help but be a bit nervous. I had plans for the next few years that would not be able to happen if I married Forrest. I would be giving up all of my adventures, but that’s all they were, MY adventures. I hadn’t talked to the Lord about it once. Naturally, He changed my plans! I should’ve expected it! The Lord wasn’t calling me to adventure, He was calling me to be Forrest’s wife; to learn how to create a home for him; to learn his habits, likes, and dislikes; and to create a solid foundation for our marriage to stand on. It took a few days of prayer, but I couldn’t deny I was to be engaged to Forrest within the summer, then marry the man of my dreams within the year. It’s been the greatest decision of my life.
[FORREST]: Before long we received one more prophetic word from a couple we had just met: people were going to think we were crazy and might not understand, but to just keep going and not forget the Lord's speaking.
Shortly thereafter I asked my parents, and then her parents. They both said, “yes,” as well!
After receiving a "yes" from all the appropriate parties, I began planning the proposal, and y'all, every. single. plan. I had fell through, yet Jesus reminded me, “love is about commitment, not glamour.” Since March I had been journaling hundreds of reasons I love Becca and Jesus and I wanted to have those as part of the proposal. My plan was to have these reasons written on small strips of paper and hung along a path Becca would walk to the spot where I would propose. I was finally able to find a time and place, but, the two days leading up to the proposal, Becca and I were in a rural South African village and I had no time to finish my plans. The Lord was right (as always), I was going to have to rely on the body of believers. While I was gone, a small army of people did assorted tasks like write the hundreds of things I love about Becca and Jesus on small pieces of paper, pick up the ring, collect supplies, order food, etc. The only thing I did was age the paper, cast the vision, shower, and show up.
[BECCA]: So, I must confess, when you’re living on a little base in Africa with your love and you’re together every day, it’s not easy to hide secrets from each other, so I knew Forrest was planning the proposal the entire time. I actually had a good idea when he was going to propose. In fact, two weeks leading up to the proposal, I’m pretty sure I asked Forrest to propose to me at random locations and times every day with a string or blade of grass. At the beginning of the summer, there was no desire to be engaged at all, but by the end, I wanted to be his fiancé as soon as possible! It’s incredible how quickly our hearts can change when the Lord speaks!
The day Forrest proposed, we had finished outreach in a little South African village. They had been having a revival all weekend and it was an INSANELY HEAVENLY experience to be a part of. We left around noon and ended up getting back to the base where we lived around 5pm, which was a few hours later than expected. We rode in separate vans coming home and I couldn’t stop thinking how every day moving forward I was going to wake up engaged, and then one day, married! AH! It was very exciting! When we arrived, I immediately went to take a shower, which takes longer than usual because we only had ice cold water all summer. This meant you would douse yourself with water quickly, turn off the water, soap up, and then repeat the process until you were clean. It takes a while. It was SO SO SO kind of Jesus because He gave me three thirty-second increments of warm water while I was showering. I felt like He was spoiling me because I was getting engaged. After showering, I bundled up in my clothes because it was South Africa’s winter and we were on top of a mountain, which made it extra cold. With my still wet hair, dirt from the village still under my nails, barely any makeup on, and my sockos (socks + chacos) on, my friends escorted me down the mountain a short distance to meet my sweet love.
[FORREST]: The engagement was so indicative of our relationship. Becca was led down the hill by our friends. I met her by a pathway lit with candles (well.. only at the entrance. We didn’t have enough to the line the whole path). I was in the nicest clothes I had: a Patagonia collared shirt, my khaki pants, the black and blue socks I got in my Christmas stocking, and my green insulated tennis shoes. I led her down the path by the light of my faltering headlamp.
[BECCA]: The path was about 150 feet long and had around 800 notes Forrest had been writing every day since March, which included what he loved about Jesus and me.
[FORREST]: She asked me to read her some of the things I loved about her, and then,...
[BECCA]: He walked me out onto a rock face overlooking Nelspruit, South Africa, the city we were residing in.
[FORREST]: Under the sky of the Southern Hemisphere, we sat down on a makeshift couch made of two mattresses, and we ate our picnic dinner.
[BECCA]: The dinner consisted of traditional South African dishes made for us and we sat there for around 30 minutes praying, talking, and holding each other. I was so nervous!!!
[FORREST]: When the "photographers" (our amazing and talented, non-paid friends with phones and a camera) arrived, I got down on one knee and proposed to her using her favourite line from Pride and Prejudice.
[BECCA]: It was so dark the photographers and videographers had to get so close to us, so you can actually hear everything he says to me in the video. I was kissing him the entire time he was proposing, and after he used my favorite line from Pride and Prejudice, and asked me to be his love forever, I was so excited and started kissing him more!! I said "YES," and then we continued to read letters and watch videos from our friends and family.
[FORREST]: She said “Yes!” At 8 o’clock, we made our way back inside the gate of our base in time for our safety curfew. Inside the gate, we were met by our sweet friends who had so diligently poured into us over the summer and truly made the evening possible and celebrated the new stage in our journey with them! :)
[BECCA]: Now we’re engaged and I am so incredibly honored to love Jon Forrest Holcombe for the rest of my life!!!!!
[FORREST]: I used to think you could miss "the one," but now I know God has someone chosen for you whose heart was made to complement yours and whose hand was made to fit in yours. You don't have to go around dating this person and that person trying to "figure out what you like and what you don't like." Wouldn't you rather have a love which is not based on feelings or qualities which may change as life goes on? Wouldn't you want to hear from God that you were making the right choice, His choice? How else could you be totally 100% confident?
Jesus said the following things:
"Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does" (John 5:19).
"For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken" (John 12:49).
"I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me" (John 8:28).
This was Jesus' attitude, and it is at the heart of our story. While we haven't always obeyed perfectly (and we still mess this up), we want God to lead and guide, and He wants to as well. He cares about each one of y'all's hearts and each one y'all's love stories. Don't waste your time giving pieces of your heart away to random people. Focus on Jesus and He won't let you miss the one Heaven has fashioned just for you before you were born, and had in mind for you before time began.