Jeff & April:
A Love Story
(A Story Of God's Faithfulness)
By: April Nye-Davis
After several failed attempts at relationships, I had decided that I could just continue to be single for the rest of my life. After all, I'd already done it faithfully for 50 years! What was another 25 or so!?
I had been in music ministry since I was a teenager and had been called by God into this ministry. I felt a strong conviction to live a pure life. There was always temptations, but God always made a way out of them.
Through each of my relationships I learned some valuable lessons. I learned that God can take your mistakes and turn them around in your favor and for your good. I also learned that I was trying to offer the anointing on my life to men in exchange for the hope of love. It was something that wasn't mine to give and should have been guarded even more than my own purity.
But the yearning for companionship continued to pull at my heart, each time prompting me to pray. I remember praying, "Lord I don't want to get into a bad situation again, so if you DO send me someone, I want him to desire to be with me and REALLY love me!" Through the years I had prayed many prayers concerning what I would prefer in a husband but had never prayed for that specifically. I also had a long list of things that I DID NOT want.
The thing I didn't realize is that God was listening to every one of those prayers.
Several years ago, the name Jeff Davis came up in my friend requests on Facebook. I recognized his name, but couldn't remember why. I friended him, and like so many others, I began to watch some of his life's journey.
I watched as he shared so many heartaches. He lost his grandmother, then his Dad, then his Mom and after all that, he lost his wife to cancer. During this time he also suffered a stroke that threatened to end his music ministry forever. I remember silently praying for him and thinking, "How much more can this poor guy take!"
Throughout all this time, Jeff and I had a handful of exchanges where I would either offer prayer, or maybe advice, if he was seeking it. There was never anything more between us than there was with any other acquaintance on Facebook.
But then something happened! God started speaking to Jeff Davis through dreams. At first he didn't realize that they were related to me. In one of his dreams he saw a foot on a gas peddle in a running car. God spoke to him and said, "If you will take your hands off the steering wheel and just push the gas, I will take you where I want you to go!" Then on another night God woke him up and told him to go back to his first love, Praise & Worship.
Jeff did his best to comply, even canceling a recording session that he had set up. But Jeff still didn't understand fully what God wanted him to do.
After months of silence on Facebook, during the grieving of his wife, Jeff went to his friends on Facebook to get some advice on how to do ministry all alone. I just happened to see that post that morning. I knew all too well how to do ministry all alone. I had been doing that for several years. I thought, "I could write a book on that subject!"
Many of his friends left him encouragements, telling him of their confidence that he had what it took to do it. I was pretty sure that, even though they had good intentions, that few of them really knew what it was like to minister, much less do it alone. I, on the other hand, decided to be real with him. I let him know that doing ministry alone was hard, but that if he leaned all the way on God that he wouldn't ever regret it.
I guess my comment stunned him and he had to learn more about this person that gave that kind of advice. He went to my profile and claims that he took one look at my latest picture and suddenly was smitten! He immediately sent me a private message and struck up a conversation.
It was obvious that he was attracted to me and he loved talking to me. This was brand new territory for me. Someone wanted to pursue me! It was brand new territory for Jeff. He was driven to pursue a woman. We were both in uncharted waters but we both were at peace.
We began to talk daily, several times a day. He expressed a desire to see me in person at some point. This was the point in my past relationships where I started making all the efforts in the relationship, but I calmly agreed and suggested that maybe he could plan a trip sometime and meet me at one of my ministry appointments. I mentioned one a few months out with the thought that he'd need the time to make that happen.
I went on with my schedule, all the while communicating with Jeff almost constantly. After several days he continued to express a desire to meet up with me soon . After securing permission from the Pastor, I invited him to the week of meetings that I had just started. Jeff eagerly accepted and began the long drive from South Carolina to North Ridgeville, Ohio.
Early into his journey, Jeff lost part of his brakes. He couldn't find anyone to fix them. He felt compelled to keep driving in order to make the morning service the next day. It was crazy and dangerous and something he would have never done before. Using his emergency brake to stop, he traveled safely all the way to the church.
Jeff was so excited to meet up with me and showed up right at church time in an attempt to approach me cautiously. But church hadn't started yet and I was waiting to greet him as he came in the door. He later confessed that he would have married me right then if he could have.
The funny thing was that God wanted to reunite with Jeff too. During the altar time that morning, Jeff received prayer and was slain in the spirit and the presence of God hovered on him for some time. I had just said to myself, "If he doesn't get into these kind of services, then that would be a big red flag to me not to pursue this any further." He later confessed that he had gone so far away from his Pentecostal roots and that God was restoring that to him at that moment!
After that incredible service, Jeff and I were able to get to court one another. I never met someone who put me so at ease! He was so courteous and would ask permission to hold my hand or put his arm around me. He would admire me and compliment me. I couldn't hardly believe it! I was actually being pursued! He actually wants to be seen with me!
I was amazed and stunned and found myself thinking I was in some kind of dream. "Could this really be true?" "After all these years, have you answered every desire of my heart?"
Even with all of that, I was hesitant to dare say that I was falling for him. He was convinced. I was afraid, but I wanted it to be true. But one night it just came out of my mouth almost involuntary, "I love you!"
The church was intrigued and watched the whole miracle with amazement. My friends grilled poor Jeff as to his intentions, and encouraged me to take my time. We fully intended to pursue our long distance relationship after the revival meeting.
We called each of my family individually to inform them about our relationship before we released it publicly. Some of my family were so amazed that they made the trip to Ohio just to see it with their own eyes and to meet this man who stole my heart so quickly.
After we publicly announced our relationship, Facebook buzzed with our news. Most people who followed our paths were so shocked because we had been quiet about it up until then.
Jeff had driven back to South Carolina after the meeting, but was only home a few days before we decided that we couldn't be apart. He came to Indiana through a blizzard and arrived 24 hours later. I was convinced of his devotion by that point.
He joined me on a ministry trip to Richmond IN. We quickly discovered that it would be a great expense to try to continue this ministry together without being married since we were needing two rooms now.
We couldn't see how we could go forward in our destiny without being together. So, after thinking about it on our way back to Kokomo, we felt it would be best to be married right away. We got our marriage license the next day and then called my family to a church in town and got married. We left that night for another ministry appointment in Niles Michigan and haven't stopped ever since.
My life is an example to many of a lifetime of prayers being answered. Jeff says often that he wishes that we had been together from the time that we had just met. I do wish that I had his love all these years but I see the hand of God throughout the course of our lives. I see how he worked through all of the trials and triumphs, tears and joy. God does hear our hearts cry and he is touched by the feelings of our infirmities. Trust Him! He is faithful! Just look what he did for me!