I had the opportunity of interviewing this very special young lady.
About 20 years ago Rachel and her sister Alanna invited me, a new Christian and member of their church into their home for dinner. To this very day I haven’t forgotten how kind she and her family were to me.
And now, I’ve been given the opportunity to be a blessing back with my book/ministry Single Ready & Waiting.
Well without further due let’s dive into our interview.
IMC: Welcome Rachel. Tell me prior to meeting Kevin your husband what type of men were you tired of meeting?
Rachel: I was tired of meeting men who were simply not interested in me or had no real NEED for me in their lives.
IMC: And you have a precious little girl… did this influence your dating choices in any way? How?
Rachel: Actually because I had a child from a previous relationship, this caused me to be extra cautious. I refused to allow her to view anyone as a potential father figure except for Kevin.
IMC: How did your friendship with Kevin develop into a Courting relationship?
Rachel: To be honest it all happened at once.We became friends, he brought me breakfast almost every morning on his way to work, he made me laugh everyday, and then we started going out places. However we both knew that the feelings were there and that we were for each other. I knew the first day I met him! It was just a matter of getting to know each other better.
IMC: During your relationship was there ever a time that you didn’t see eye to eye on something? How did you overcome this challenging time?
Rachel: Yes! Although my daughters father is in her life, I take care of her by myself, well now with Kevin’s support of course.As much as I would love to take action to enforce and amplify his parenting obligations, Kevin always reminds me that she has what she needs and to leave it into Gods hands. So eventually, I did.
IMC: How did you know that Kevin was deserving of you?
Rachel: Because he always put me and my daughter first alongside his children.Also, he needed me and I needed someone to need me. I was never important to anyone to the point where I was a necessity in their life until I met him.
IMC: How did you know that you were deserving of him?
Rachel: This took a while to discover because I was always letting trash into my life. Then comes this MAN! I was in the process of rediscovering myself after I read ” Single Ready and Waiting”. I was in detox mode. It took months to realize that I deserved to be finally loved and that yes, it was real. I was not used to it, so much so that I would complain to my friends that he was to good to me. They said it’s because I’m not used to being treated like a lady. Then my eyes were opened like Yes! I do deserve this! It was a whole new world to me.
IMC: How did he pop the question?
Rachel: It was my last day at my previous job, Christmas Eve. He knew where I worked and what time I would be finished. I went down to the below ground parking lot through the underground shopping grounds and I saw this man that looked exactly like Kevin grinning from ear to ear. To my surprise it was him with flowers congratulating me on my upcoming new job. I thought wow this man knows how to make a woman feel special, and then he got on one knee and proposed! I was in complete shock and I was not expecting it at all. It was the best Christmas gift I have ever received!
IMC: How did you prepare your daughter for this major transition in both of your lives?
Rachel: Kevin and I allowed my daughter and his children to spend time together on weekends. I also spoke to her about the change in our home location, family structure, sleeping arrangements and new school etc. She was just happy to see her siblings more often, however for a toddler it did take some time to get used to and my step-children were a great help.
IMC: If there is one piece of advice that you would share with single moms looking for love, what would that be?
Rachel: It’s impossible to have one piece of advice lol so here are a few!! Be extremely careful who you invite in. A lot of people will come knocking, selling all sorts of goodies, but allow God to open the door for the right person, not you.
IMC: Welcome to In My Chambers Cassandra. At what age did you begin to desire marriage?
Cassandra: Around the age of 25
IMC: What did you learn from others about marriage?
Cassandra: A variety of things, but the main thing that stuck out from marriages that I admired was that God was at the centre and that love was a commitment not just a feeling. It wasn’t a fairy-tale or a romantic movie but making a choice to do whatever it took.
IMC: Was dating permitted in your church? If so, how was it different from “worldly dating”?
Cassandra: Yes, it was permitted. However it was advised to hang out in groups and limit alone time
IMC: Were you ever close to getting married before? How did you know that he wasn’t God’s perfect will for you?
Cassandra: Yes, I was engaged, we broke it off 6 months before the wedding. From the time of engagement I felt like something wasn’t right, even though I loved him, I didn’t feel any peace. I kept having bad dreams and I was losing a lot of sleep. I didn’t know how to explain it to anyone. We were in the midst of planning the wedding and I was feeling obligated to go through with it. I didn’t want to hurt him and I didn’t want our families to be upset with me. I thought maybe it was cold feet. After a few months of going through this I finally shared how I was feeling with my fiancé at the time. He suggested that we meet with our Pre-Marital counsellors and talk it out. That was the best and worst day! They asked us ALOT of questions, and we broke up in that 1st session. The amazing thing was, as soon as it ended I felt like a burden was lifted. Even though things ended for us, we were able to say, it was for the best and parted as friends. It wasn’t easy but I’ve never regretted that decision, the months following were difficult, a lot of people had questions, and it was exhausting trying to keep explaining myself. However through that process God was there every step of the way. A few months of feeling uncomfortable was better than going through with a wedding and living in a marriage filled with regret.
IMC: You got that right!!. Then you met Andre..who you were friends with for 14 years tell me how did he move from the friend zone?
Cassandra: A mutual friend had talked to me about him, and they had wondered if there had been any interest in each other at anytime during our friendship. I had never looked at him that way, and had never had romantic feelings about him. Months went by and he would cross my mind and I would dismiss the thought immediately. Then one day I was dropping his sister off, and when I saw him, God told me that he would be my husband. I almost fell out, and thought I could dismiss it but it wasn’t working! A couple of months later, I was down in Niagara visiting my family and Andre was planning on getting a group of our friends together while I was down. Instead of us hanging out one time, we ended up talking for hours on end every day that’s when I knew I was in trouble! We shared things from our past, we shared our dreams, goals etc. We’ve always been able to speak to each other easily but all of a sudden, things got awkward between us, something had changed! On the last day that I was visiting, we finally had the ‘conversation’. ‘Soo what’s going on with you’?
We started laughing, and we both commented that ‘God had a sense of humour’! We didn’t want to rush into anything. I think mainly because he was scared of my Dad and my brother! He said that we should take a few days to pray, fast and seek the Lord for his will. We contacted my mentor Pastor Evelyn to get her input and prayer. Long story short, it took longer than a few days to wait on God. There were things God had to work out in each of our lives. So we stayed apart until it was time. There were no phone calls, messages etc. We began courtship 8 months later. The time apart was quite difficult but it’s the best thing we could of ever done!
IMC: Now for the most exciting part of our interview..How did Andre pop the question?
Cassandra: On Christmas Eve, he said he was going to take me to Niagara Falls to see the lights, but before we went he said that we were going to drop off a gift for our friends. We got to their house, and we got out of the car. In the distance I could see fire, I saw our friend Stephen lighting something. Then my eyes adjusted to the dark, and there was black rope on a fence. There were letters about 5 feet high and it spelled out ‘Will you Marry Me, and each letter had caught on fire! I literally lost it! I was so excited! Then above my head these lights came on. I didn’t realize we were under a pavilion. Andre was on his knee, and I was jumping and screaming like a crazy person! I wasn’t even sure if I had said Yes!
IMC: Why did you say YES?
Cassandra: So many reasons, but I knew he was the one and the will of God for my life. The peace of God was constantly present and I never doubted for a moment.
IMC: Advice to your fellow “Single Ready & Waiting” women?
Cassandra: My advice is to surrender all to Christ and to trust in his timing. He knows the desires of your heart. Also enjoy the season you’re in. When I was single, I had a day that I longed to be married and that’s normal however I refused to wait on a spouse to enjoy my life. I travelled and I did things that I wanted to do. You are complete in God and only can make you whole. When the time comes for marriage, you won’t be dependent on your spouse to make you happy. Also don’t let anyone make you feel bad because your single! God has the final say!
In My Chambers with Mr. Andre Powell
IMC: The Bible say’s “He who finds a wife” (Proverbs 18:22).
At what age did you become marriage minded?
Andre: In my 20’s
IMC: What were you looking for in a wife? Was it hard to find?
Andre: I was looking for a virtuous woman, one that had a real relationship with God. Somebody that had been proven through trying times in their life and they remained steadfast in the Lord. Also someone that I could be myself around, and they would love me for me. Of course I wanted someone as well that I would be attracted to and intelligent.
IMC: Was there ever a time where you questioned God about whether you would get married or stay single?
Andre: Yes, most definitely there were those times. My past relationship didn’t seem to go anywhere. This led me to question God if I was supposed to be single.
IMC: After 14 years of friendship things changed. Cassandra moved from the friend zone to becoming bone of your bone…Did you always have a knowing that Cassandra would become your wife one day? How did you win Cassandra’s heart over?
Andre: We were very good friends, but I had no idea that she would end up becoming my wife one day! As far as winning her over, it was mutual between us! God opened our eyes to see each other in a different way.
IMC: What advice do you have for men in regards to finding a wife?
Andre: Surrender your life to God, and don’t rush into anything . Allow him to bring that person into your life. On our own we tend to mess things up. God’s timing is everything. He might also be teaching you how to put him first before getting into a relationship.
IMC: Well said. Thank you Cassandra and Andre for sharing with my readers. May you continue to make God your first love and the ROCK in which your marriage stands because all other ground is sinking sand.
This has been another In My Chambers blog interview. ©
IMC: Welcome to In My Chambers Nike. Before meeting your knight and shining armour. What was your dating experience like?
Nike: I dated a wonderful guy in high school who unfortunately died. Then I didn’t date again until I was in University. I didn’t have much time and I found the dates I went on to be super boring.
IMC: You are a woman of Nigerian descent, how important was it for you to marry someone from the same background?
Nike: I would say it was 50% important to me. I really love our Nigerian culture and tradition and I also knew deep down that my father would have wanted me to marry a Nigerian man.
IMC: In my book Single, Ready & Waiting I wrote about the importance of getting parental blessing when making the serious decision to marry someone. For you, it just so happened that you met a Nigerian man. Can you tell us how you met?
Nike: My cousin invited me over to her boyfriends house to braid her hair and within a few minutes this FINE 6’5ft black man walks in. My heart stopped for a second and I remember whispering under my breath “damn he’s fine and he’s wearing native attire” lol!. He walked up to me to introduce himself and then proceeded to ask me my name and where I was from. Once he heard I was Nigerian his eyes lit up!
IMC: Sounds like love at first sight.:) Where did you go for your first date?
Nike: Our first date was at Coffee time near Weston Rd and Finch. We spent over 8 hours just talking and getting to know each other. It felt like 2 hours because we had so many things in common and we just kept talking till morning. It was a simple yet amazing first date.
IMC: How long did he court you before popping the question? And how did he do it?
Nike: We courted for 2 years before he asked me to marry him. He proposed at my sisters house in Vaughan. He reenacted the ring scene from “Step Mom” by tying a long string to my ring finger and sliding the ring down as he said some fancy things (I don’t remember cause I was in shock). Once the ring hit my figure he asked me to marry him and of course I said YES!
IMC: Awe….in three words or less how would you describe your wedding day?
Nike: Perfect, simple and incredible
IMC: As Christians, how do you include God in your marriage?
Nike: Daily morning prayers together, attend church and we have devotionals together at 5:30 am before the kids wake up.
IMC: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make after saying “I do”?
Nike: We never lived together before getting married so I would say living together was a big adjustment for the both of us and cooking..LOL.
IMC: What advice do you have to share with Christian single women?
Nike: Lay your request before God and wait in expectation. Psalms 5:3
I wrote what I wanted in a husband and put that in my Bible and waited for God to do it! He answers….. NEVER settle for what is not God ordained. He promised you THE BEST so be patient and wait…. He’s got it all under control.
IMC: And there you have it folks…God’s GOT IT ALL UNDER CONTROL!!!
Remain faithful as you wait for there is nothing too hard for the Lord to do.
©This is another In My Chambers with Tanika blog interview all rights reserved.
Welcome to another In My Chambers Blog Interview.
I hope you’re enjoying the SRW blog just as much as I enjoy interviewing my guests and sharing them with you.
Well, without further due let’s meet the lovely Cassandra Cassamajor.
IMC: Cassandra before meeting Mr. Right did you get involved with Mr. Wrong?
Cassandra: I sure did! I met a whole bunch of Mr. Wrongs. Before I met Mr. Right, I was entertaining a relationship with someone who wasn’t saved. He was a great guy and he had all but the most important of the qualities I was looking for in a man – he wasn’t a Christian. He said he believed in God but he didn’t go to church, he didn’t believe in reading his bible, and most of all, no part of his day was devoted to spending time with the Lord. But I led myself to believe that because he said he believed in God, thing would work out between us and we were equally yoked. Boy was I dead wrong. And it didn’t take me long to see that he wasn’t right for me but I really loved him, and he loved me too, so I stayed with him. Things went south quickly when he started inquiring about taking my virginity. And that’s where things ended. He realized that I was actually serious about remaining a virgin. So he decided to be with someone who he could be sexually intimate with.
IMC: Many singles are meeting their mate in various ways..through the internet, at church. How did you meet your mate?
Cassandra: I met Jeff at my local church in Toronto. He lived in Montreal but he was in Toronto for the weekend visiting his family who attended my local church. His cousin introduced us to each other after Sunday morning service. The following day, I spoke with him for 2 hours. After that long conversation, I knew there was something special about him, so I didn’t play hard to get.
IMC: How did he win your heart over?
Cassandra: He won my heart over with his humility and sincere devotion to the Lord. More precisely, he won my heart over when HE told ME that he didn’t want us having sex until marriage! What?! In the past, I was always the one who had to bring up the sex talk and explain my vow to remain pure until marriage. This time around, he brought it up and he lived up to it.
IMC: How did he pop the question?
Cassandra: I travelled to Montreal for the weekend of his birthday. I planned out the entire weekend, leaving no room to rest or to be tempted lol. One of the activities that I planned was going to a shooting range. He kept on asking me about the details of the shooting range and I wondered why but I didn’t investigate further. It turns out he got into contact with the manager at the shooting range, planned the proposal with him and even had a professional photographer capture the moment for us. After shooting and missing a few times, I hit the target and Jeff and our instructor were so excited and asked me if I wanted to see where I hit on the target. Still clueless, I said sure. I was handed the target and on the it was written “Will you marry me?” I turned to look over at Jeff and there he was on one knee saying a bunch of sweet things I cannot remember. And I said YES!
IMC: Since getting married what would you say is the biggest adjustment you had to make?
Cassandra: The biggest adjustment I had to make was to learn how to live away from my family, friends and church family. Jeff and I were in a long distance relationship for our entire relationship. We knew that at some point someone would have to relocate and we eventually agreed that it would be me. Leaving Toronto, where I was born and raised and where I lived for 26 years was tough. But I am remaining in constant communication with my family, friends and church in Toronto. I visit and they visit too. Looks like I ended my long distance relationship with Jeff to begin many long distance relationships with my loved ones in Toronto. I’d say that I’ve mastered long distance relationships lol.
IMC: Being away from family, church and your close friends what do you do to stay grounded?
Cassandra: In order to stay grounded, I personally need to stay busy. For as long as I could remember, I’ve always lived a hectic life. I juggled working, being in ministry, volunteering, going to school, and having to maintain a healthy long distance relationship. I finally have a chance to rest but resting too much has been stressing me out. So I try to fill my days with projects. Other than applying for work, making sure the house is in order, that there is food on the table and that my husband is taken care of :), I have been devoting way more time to seeking the Lord, studying His Word, writing, reading, doing research, trying new recipes, sewing, organizing, reorganizing and decorating our home and keeping in touch with my family and friends in Toronto.
IMC: What advice do you have for young women who may be feeling depressed about their single status especially when they see their friends dating and getting married?
Cassandra: I truly believe that God has a unique plan for us all and He is always on time. And that goes for all aspects of our lives. While you may feel depressed about your single status, others may be feeling depressed about their dating and marriage statuses. Embrace your season of singleness and don’t you dare settle for a man who is not equally yoked. Let the desires of your heart be known to God, trust in His timing, be patient, work on bettering yourself and have fun while you wait on the Lord. Psalms 37:5 says “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6.
IMC: Lastly, You are currently looking for a job in Montreal. You never know who could be reading this interview:) What kind of job are you looking for and how could someone get in contact with you for a possible interview or job lead?
Cassandra: Awww thank you Tanika! Though my education and experience is mostly in Real Estate Law, Criminal Law and Immigration law, I am opened to working in any legal department. I can be contacted on LinkedIn: Cassandra Destra or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMC: Cassandra, thank you for sharing your love story with me and my readers. I pray God’s continued blessings upon you and your marriage.
Well friends, like I always say “God Has A Master Plan With Your Name On It!”
Stay tuned for another In My Chambers blog interview. ©
Tanika Chambers, Author of the book Single, Ready & Waiting: Your Guide to Courtship