I am alive, I promise you. Looking after a newborn whilst working and planning a hen party has put me in zombie mode, and somehow this little blog always takes the knock. I am quite amazed with my friend, Cindy as I’ve never known her to miss a week of posting. Hats of to you, my friend.
Anyhoo, I still have 3 Love Stories for you and I’m quite aware that February ends tomorrow (thank goodness for the extra day…). Here’s the first of three.
Today I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Zoe. She blogs over at Chasing the Wind where she documents life with her husband, Corne, and delightful daughter, Leah. Please pop over there and send her some cyber-love.
Zoe and I have been friends for the past 4 years and she is one of the sweetest ladies I know, always having an encouraging word for you just when you need it the most. She also has a little sass – just enough to make her sweetness plausible, and it’s one of the reasons I like her so much 🙂 . I’ll never forget the one coffee date we had at Mugg ‘n Bean about 2 and a half years ago. Zoe told me how she became a Christian. It’s an amazing story. She touches on it here, but if you get the opportunity, ask her to share it with you.
It was such an honour for me to see Zoe become a mommy last year. We had the privilege of meeting little Leah at the hospital the day after she was born, and my goodness, what a pretty newborn she was! Over the past 9 months, baby Leah has grown cuter and sweeter. I’m so excited to see her grow up.
Now, enough babbling from me…
Zoe and Corne
Our love story begins way back when in 2001…in a hot, stinky classroom full of new faces and a brand new school uniform! I decided to change schools at the beginning of my Std 9 year for various reasons (mostly friendship fall outs that turned nasty) and start afresh at a school where my bestest friend from pre-primary had gone. Groote Schuur was co-ed, duel medium which was totally different to my previous school, Wynberg Girls – single sex, English medium. Besides the glorious fact that there were BOYS it was a much smaller school, there was approximately 70 Std 9’s (Grade 11). This meant I would actually get a chance to speak at least once to everyone in my grade, something quite unheard of at Wynberg. Anyway back to the point of this … so there were most importantly BOYS as mentioned already… however it was ONE particular boy that caught my fancy – but he (Corne) was attached at the time. Besides I was determined to make my feminine mark and NOT be distracted by these boys as my Wynberg teachers warned me would happen. I was not going to school to get a boyfriend, I was going there to get an education! It started off well, I managed to stay single till February where I had a short relationship which ended in the fact that he was too much of a good friend for me to be seriously interested…however there was another boy that caught my eye (I know this sounds like a soapy but I was only 16 at the time so you can forgive me)… but this guy was still unavailable and out of my reach. He was one of the cool dudes that skateboarded and got up to mischief. But I was determined to make friends with him and suss him out! At the time I was good friends with one of his friends Harshad (we did drawing class together) and I would subtly gain all my “intel” from Harshad about Corne. Corne was a painting student at the same Art school I attended, slowly but surely I said a few words to this cool dude at Art and ended up taking an extra subject in Art to join Corne’s painting class…because you know I really loved painting too, it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I slightly fancied the cutest guy in school!
We spent many art lessons joking, chatting…and painting of course (mostly Corne doing my paintings for me) and gradually grew a very close friendship. During that time I was a non-practicing paganist (yes witchcraft … or at least I wanted to be a witch-no jokes) I wore black, had the pentagrams etc, when Corne very bravely asked me about this “religion” I was involved in. He took a chance and gave me a tape (yes we still did tapes then) on a sermon by Bishop Frank Retief and asked me to listen to it and tell him the next day what I thought. I thought it was quite weird but I liked this guy and decided to at least listen to some of it…maybe fast forward a bit and give him some feedback …it might even help with me securing a date with this gorgeous boy. So I listened and I honestly do not even remember the sermon (I think I fast forwarded a bit too much)but it got us chatting about what Corne did on his weekends. Friday nights were out for date nights as he went to Bible Study?? and Sunday was youth and church! This guy thought I was mysterious but to me he was more of an enigma!
We started dating officially at a friend’s birthday party on the 28th September 2001. I am pretty sure we would still have been only friends now had it not been for another one of our sweet friends Jenna who asked Corne if we were in fact an item as we spent a lot of time together but did not do the holding hands boyfriend/girlfriend thing. Corne said to her (apparently) “Yes, if Zoe wants to be” this message was then relayed to me… and I was like “HELL YES!” So we ended the night not just as friends anymore but as boyfriend and girlfriend. Thanks Jenna 🙂
Sunday night date nights happened at senior youth before Church. It was the only time (Corne was a busy boy) that we could spend together other than at school, so I reluctantly went to church just to be close to my sweetheart! How God’s hidden hand was at work. I went to church listen to sermons and it never really impacted me until one particular sermon that changed my life forever. The 4th November 2001, Bishop Frank Retief was preaching about the Pharisee and the Tax collector. I don’t want to sound strange but it was the first time in my life that I finally came to realise the great gift I had been offered through Christ. A salvation that I did not deserve, could never attain through my own efforts but totally free if I wanted it, all because God loved me. For the first time in my life I realised that I did not have to be perfect goody two shoes to be accepted by God (as nobody is perfect…even the Pharisee) That night I gave my life to Jesus and it has been the best decision I have ever made (marrying Corne comes a close second place). It wasn’t however that Corne and I lived happily ever after and never had any issues or that I suddenly changed overnight. We had many fights as I tried to put off the old and put on the new, lost many friends…but it was worth it!
The next stage of this love story continues when we got married (I am skipping about 5 years because otherwise this would end up being a book!) I married my best friend after dating for 6 years on the 1 December 2007. It was the BEST day of my life (until recently when Leah was born it became the 2nd Best day of my life) and I love the fact with Christ at the centre of our marriage, we would always have Him governing our marriage.
And then there was three of us in our new little family. Leah was born on the 9th May 2011 at 07:28am on a Monday morning. She has been and still is a blessing in our lives, she has given us another purpose in life and has brought such joy to our lives that I never knew could exist. At her tender age of 9 months she has taught both of us things that we could never have imagined! The intense, unconditional love we have for her, self sacrificial love that we have for Leah has taught me on a minute scale the type of love the Father must have for each and every one of His children, is truly mind blowing! Life as a Christian family is one with a heavenly perspective, realising that all that is, especially the blessings come from Him who graciously gives and we can only be humbled and fall to our knees in thankfulness, none of it I could have ever imagined or dreamt of or even deserved yet here I write still utterly amazed at how God worked in our young, immature teenage lives so that we would ultimately glorify Him at the end.
Our love story continues with a three way love affair, one I wouldn’t trade for anything!
Thanks so much for sharing your love story, Zoe!