Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here, Part 2, “Dating,” here, and Part 3, “Distance,” here.

It was our second New Year’s Eve together, over our first reunion during long distance dating, that Johnny told me there was something really important he needed to talk to me about.

Now, for some context. Before Johnny and I met, I had come through years of entrenchment in eating disorders. At the time we met, when I was entering university, my health appeared much better than it had previously, but my mind was still quite the war-zone. My brain was still hyper-focused on calories and lack of calories and minutes spent burning calories. And I hadn’t even admitted to myself, but, when Johnny left, that war-zone in my mind had waged harder, threatening to take over.

Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 2 SAMUEL 7:28

Since Johnny and I had just gone months without seeing each other, my decrease in health was apparently incredibly obvious to him when he returned. Not simply in my physical appearance, but in my mental clarity and focus.

Never once did I feel Johnny’s lack of love and support. He clung MORE tightly at first, and his gentle, loving promptings scared the eating disorder inside me.

But, Johnny soon realized that clinging tightly was not the answer to my health. If he truly loved me, he would have to let go.

So, New Year’s Eve, Johnny explained to me what he had prayed through. He felt strongly that God was asking Him to step away from being such an influential voice in my life, just for this next season. Johnny explained that he wanted desperately to make everything better, but he needed to act according to his belief that only God could remedy this dark mental illness, and Johnny didn’t want to stand in the way of that because he loved me too much.

We rang in 2017 crying our eyes out, as the eating disorder cringed because Cassie woke up to the reality of her sickness that day. Living this life could mean losing the love of my life… I couldn’t foresee it for what it was just yet, but I knew that I wanted to live freely and whole-heartedly for Jesus, and that the eating disorder was preventing me from doing so.

So, when Johnny left again for Winnipeg, we committed to no communication outside of letter-writing for the next four months.

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. PSALM 9:10

I spent a large part of the coming months in spiritual therapy with some of the most humble and self-sacrificing people I have ever known. To read the full story of how God used this time to heal the eating disorder in my life, head here.

I was a new creation in Christ, and Johnny had shown his trust in both me and in the Lord during this time, which was HUGE.

May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. PSALM 20:5

I have also witnessed Johnny come through immense trials, honoured to walk next to him in his journey with Jesus. The time we both gave in which we synced our words with our actions– we trust you wholly and completely, Lord, so we’re going to surrender everything to you– glorified Him and taught us both so much in the process.

As Johnny last summer endured a lot of challenges and pain during a time that I was much healthier and more thriving, God shifted our perspectives yet again. I have watched Johnny grow from that difficulty in pursuit of God; watched God grant him an amazing job opportunity, soccer skill that blows my mind, and transform his character to become only ever more in the image of Christ. I am absolutely amazed by the grace, love, and genuineness of the man I get to marry.

3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. ISAIAH 51:3

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