Jemimah Wright met and married her husband in six months, after years of waiting, aged 44.
Alister and I met and married within six months in 2021. Our marriage was nothing short of miraculous given that we were in COVID lockdown, and we lived in different countries. But it was also miraculous because God had been speaking to me about what he was about to do, even though in the natural it looked impossible.
My beliefs being shaken
In 2020 I moved back to my parents in Norfolk for COVID lockdown. I was 42, and feeling discouraged that my circumstances had not seemed to have changed much from my student years. My four brothers were all married with children, but I was still single. I had been living in a tiny room in a shared house in London; I didn’t have a family or a home of my own.
I am aware these things are not rights, they are privileges, and when we come to Christ, we lay down our lives and surrender to his will. However, when it seemed everyone else was getting the blessing I was praying for, I had to fight to stay soft-hearted and not let disappointment embitter my heart. I knew God was still good, even though my circumstances were trying to make me believe a different story.
I had seen God provide miraculously for me over the years in my work as a freelance journalist and author, but, in the area of my love life it felt like he was against me, as nothing worked out.
I have written several missionary biographies, and there will always be a page or a chapter where it looks like God is not there, that he has forgotten, but he always comes through, and is always faithful and always good. I used to tell people that again and again, but it felt like my very words were being tested. Did I really believe God was good when it seemed he was ignoring the deepest desire of my heart?
When I was in my late 30s, single and aware that 40 was fast approaching (which psychologically felt like a cut-off point of being ‘too late’), I had a dream:
I was standing in front of a big, steel, immovable door. I was trying everything in my own strength to open it, but it would not budge. Eventually I gave up, and despondently sat on the ground with my back to the door. I then woke up.
The feeling of frustration was still so present. “This is what it feels like to find a husband and get married,” I told God as I got out of bed. “It’s impossible.”
That evening I went to a worship night at a friend’s house in London. A girl said she had a word for someone in the room. She explained: “I have a picture of a big, steel, immovable door. You have tried everything in your own strength to open it, and it’s impossible. God says: ‘it’s not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit’ (Zechariah 4:6). He will do it, you just have to let go.”
I was astounded. The girl had described the exact door I had seen in my dream, and God had spoken into my situation – for what felt like the first time.
For the next year I got so many words and pictures from random people about a door that God was going to open, and it would be quick and easy…but in the natural nothing happened.
Learning Jesus is enough
About four years later COVID arrived, and I left London to stay with my parents. My dad had prostate cancer. He was an evangelist as well as a businessman, and he was so frustrated with lockdown as it meant he was not able to tell people about Jesus easily. So I started an Instagram page for him and filmed him sharing one-minute testimonies.
In the autumn his illness progressed and he had to go into a hospice. A week before he died, and although he could hardly speak, he said the first thing he was going to ask Jesus when he got to heaven was to bring me my husband. I knew something was going to shift.
Dad went to be with Jesus in November 2020, aged 86. I had always been afraid of being single and alone when he died, but when he eventually did go, amazingly, I felt the closeness and comfort of Jesus. I remember going for a walk the next day, and telling Jesus I was OK. I felt him say: “A man will always let you down, but I will never let you down.” I knew at that point I did not need to get married. I wanted to but, if I didn’t, I would be alright. Jesus really was sufficient.
In January 2021 I was at home with mum. We were snowed in, had run out of oil, so had no heat. We were still in lockdown, so my grieving mum could not see anyone, the telephone had broken and everything looked bleak. One morning I was sitting reading my Bible and praying, asking God for hope.
Suddenly I felt him speak about a husband: “He is coming in spring, and coming from Africa.” I wrote what he said down in my journal, but I was cross; I still didn’t understand the door dream and I was scared to hold onto this next word from him and be disappointed.
During that time I wondered whether to close my dad’s Instagram account, as he was now in heaven. However, I felt like I was supposed to continue the account and tell my own story. So for ten weeks in early 2021 I uploaded a new video of me telling my story of what God has done in my life each Sunday.
A lasting connection
On Monday 17 April (springtime in the UK), I woke up in the middle of the night and heard the words: “Transition, transition, transition is coming!” I didn’t know what it meant, but the next morning I wrote the phrase in my journal.
Two days later Alister got in contact via my dad’s Instagram (unbeknown to me, I had followed him when I was trying to start my dad’s account. I had looked for similar accounts, followed their followers and hoped they would follow my dad back…Alister did).
Alister had seen my testimonies, and what I had said had spoken to his situation. He put out a fleece: he posted a picture of some beautiful flowers, deciding that if I commented, he would message me. He had seen from my Instagram that I love flowers, so hoped it would work. I saw the picture of white anemones in my stories and gave a clapping emoji. Alister responded with a message, and from there we started talking.
Alister lives in Cape Town and, as I had spent a year there in 2003, we had some friends in common. We started talking on the phone, and spoke every day for hours at a time for two months. We made a deep connection so easily; everything felt like an open door.
Even though South Africa was on the UK red list, I was able to travel out to Cape Town for seven weeks. I stayed with a friend who lived ten minutes from Alister, and we would spend our evenings after work together. One Saturday in July 2021, Alister took me on a hike up a mountain, and when we got to the top, he asked me to be his wife. We married on 23 October, six months after first being in contact.
I was 44 when I married, and, interestingly, the Hebrew sign for four is an open door.
Over the past few years, when my life seemed barren and I was living in the “hope deferred makes the heart sick” part of Proverbs 13:12, I felt God reminding me again and again: “even when you can’t see it, I am moving”.
God has also spoken to me through Ephesians 3:20 – He is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”, and meeting and marrying Alister has been that for me.
Do you have an interesting story about how you met your spouse? We’d love to hear it! Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.