In our first two episodes, you've been brought into Shekinah's world, but there's a big piece missing...her husband, Justin! Join us as they celebrate their one-year anniversary, by sharing their relationship journey, from dating, to engagement, to getting married in the middle of a pandemic.
They are diving into what they've learned about themselves, each other, and marriage in the first year.
Welcome to the Walters' couch! Let's get right into todays' Truths & Promises.
Colossians 2:7: "...rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness."
Get Caught Up with Episode 2: That Ephesians 3:20 Type Favor: 3 Degrees Debt Free
From the Walters' Couch: It's been a year, but why did we get married so fast? - Transcription
Shekinah: Hey y'all. It's another episode of the Truths and Promises podcast. And today, I have something a little special for y'all. I think we're going to call this "From the Walter's Couch." Is that what it is?
Justin: I like that.
Shekinah: And as you can hear, I have my wonderful, lovely, handsome, so fly, intelligence, so strong. Everything husband sitting right next to me.
Justin: I didn't know I was all that. I appreciate that.
Shekinah: You are all that, and then some more. So I'm excited for this. Y'all, we are literally sitting on our couch. Definitely, we won't be video recording this cause my hair is all over the place. We're mixed matchin'.
Justin: I'm in my outside gear from walking our dog in the snow.
Shekinah: We had our first snow here in Minnesota. So when you hear this, it will actually be the day after our first wedding anniversary; look at us. But yeah, we're recording this a couple of weeks early, and it just snowed here in Minnesota. So we had the opportunity to go out and take our dog, Diamond. Who is, walking back and forth. You may or may not hear her at some point, walking around right now, but we got to take her out for her first snow.
She was eating it, running around crazy. All right, babe, don't be yawning in my podcast,
Justin: That's the purpose, to be on the couch and have a comfortable conversation. As if we are talking without the mic.
Justin: So I may yawn a couple of times, you know, that's usually, that's what I do.
Shekinah: Because he finds my conversation so boring...
Shekinah: It's because you work so hard,
Justin: I'm just a yawner.
Shekinah: You and diamond. Absolutely. So yeah, this is going to be a really free-flowing conversation, but to give you a picture of what we want to do in our time here, we're really hoping that we can give you all insight. Into where it is, I guess we've been for the past year. What sort of relationship advice do we have, how we've seen God move, uh, how do we even get to this point so quickly? Uh, Engaged October 2020 married of November 2020. And here we are a year later. So it was a very quick-moving process, but it was definitely all God. , and so we kind of want to just talk about that.
Justin: I'm gonna give y'all the inside...the scoop.
Shekinah: All right. So let's go ahead and get into this conversation. The first place I wanted to start was with if you could get any piece of relationship advice given our past few years together; what would that relationship advice be? It could be as many points or viewpoints.
Justin: All right. Let me just start off by saying I'm not a relationship guru. I'm still trying to figure this out myself, you know? But, I feel like everyone has experienced that the next person can use or use within their lives or within their situations. So this is what I'm do give my opinions and how I feel about relationships and how you should go about it. So initially, I would say, you know, your relationship is your relationship, and it doesn't look; it doesn't have to look like anybody else's. Right? You know, no one person or two people are the same, everybody has differences. God made them differently. Right? So each relationship is going to function differently. Right? So I would say that, especially in this digital age, I would say to a certain extent, you should probably keep, you know, your relationship private, right. Things that don't need to be shared. Don't need to be shared on social media or certain groups within your lives or certain friends, or, you know, to share things that you are comfortable with, with the groups that you are comfortable with, right? , Yeah, and your partner, right? Especially at certain stages in your relationship. I think, you know, there's, there are certain people you want to let in a certain people you want to keep out by. When we first started dating, we had counsel from our pastors up in Rhode Island over in Rhode Island since we're in Minneapolis and out east. So over in Rhode Island. So yeah, we had counsel from them, and I was good at that initial stage because, you know, they have a fruitful marriage, and they have been through the dating stage. They've been through all types of stages. So, you know, they've been married for what, six years or something.
Shekinah: They've been married for over a decade.
Justin: But they've been married for a long time, and like, those are people that we felt comfortable with coming to them with advice. And, you know, maybe we didn't see eye to eye, you know, So, you know, just what that being said, going to people where you feel confident that they can give you constructive criticism and unbiased advice and advice that's uncapped, you know, advice meaning that they are not afraid to tell you where they failed or where they could have improved, you know, cause that initially can help you, avoid those situations in your relationship. So, yeah, that would be one piece of advice, you know, keep it private, seek advice from people that you trust and who have fruitful marriages or fruitful relationships. And then also just, you know, be grateful, graceful with each other, you know, nobody's perfect.
Justin: You know, nobody has all the answers, you know, you're in this together, you know, it's not you against the world or her against the world, him against the world. She against the world, you know, it's both of y'all against the world, and you kind of need to have this team mentality as opposed to this individualistic mentality, right. Because I think, especially in today's society, we have this individual, like propaganda goes on all the media and everything -is about me, me, me, me, me. Right. But you know, life is about love, about relationships, and about people. So you can't get far without relationships and without people, you know, there's, there's a cap on how far you can get and how the quality of life you can have without people or without relationships.
Shekinah: Yeah. No, that's all really good. I also like how you say no two relationships are the same. I think I had to learn that a lot throughout my single season. I think our relationship has taught me that in a lot of ways, you know, sort of checking my expectations at different points. At the same time, I expect it to look like this, or I expected to look like that, or this is how it worked out for so-and-so. So this is how it should work out for me. But that game of comparison, man, it's crazy. God really does give us our own stories to walk out and to live out fully. And it's so important that we leave and to each and every single one of those journeys that we have and accept them as our own unique journey and not necessarily play that comparison game a lot. I think you even touched on, you know, Privacy and making sure you're not putting everything out there to everyone and anyone, all the time. And I think that's been a large part of our relationship, somewhat purposefully. And I think somewhat accidentally; I fell off of social media after getting engaged and getting married. I mean, I was also dissertating and trying to get a real job. So there were a lot of things happening all at one time.
But I sort of fell off social media for a little bit, and I realized how comforting that was; I was able to live in the moment, like when we go out to dinner, or we would go out on random dates like we still do. It's like, oh, I can be in this moment instead of figuring out, is this picturesque, can I get a picture?
Can I do this? Do I need to post it? What should this story say? Like, it's been more just like living in the moment, which has been so important. In the middle of COVID like we don't get to go outside that much. So when we're outside, I like to be outside and away from my devices so that that's been really real.
I don't know that I would add much else to the relationship advice you gave, honestly. That piece on grace that you mentioned was going to be my go-to because I think that's the biggest thing I've learned. One, grace for myself. All right. I've been managing my own life, well, not my entire life. My parents managed until I was about 18. And then after that, I sort of was like in control of everything I did everywhere I went and like, I'm really good at managing me as an individual, as a single woman, but managing yourself as a married person is a little different, right? And you have to have, for me, I've had to have grace towards myself.
No, I'm not going to be able to cook and clean every day, as well as do all my research and run 1140 Glory of whatever else God might give me like, I have to be gracious towards the things that I can accomplish. Day to day or week to week, but I also have to be gracious towards you in the way that you do things because, inevitably, they're different than the way that I do things.
And so we've learned grace, I think, in so many situations. So I agree with that relationship advice. Would you say there's been a place like in our relationship where you feel that you've seen God the most, whether it's in this year of marriage, Or prior to marriage, a place that you feel God is really like shown his face and shown up for us?
Justin: Yeah. I would say for me; I think God really showed me who he was in our dating stage. And like, even like my single stage, right before I met you, like, God really like came down and it was like, all right. Let me show you what this is. Don't even think about anything else. Just focus on me and, at that time, I was really like in tune with like, get connected with God and like, you know, trying to understand the Bible and just trying to be in His presence, and through that time, like I was really, at the time it was really, really putting God first, you know, I was talking to my friends about God and stuff like that. You know, I probably seemed like this crazy radical religious person, but like, it was honestly, it was the worth it, you know, it helped focus me, and it helps give me something to look forward to.
Even when in I single phase, you know, I might've felt lonely, or I might've felt this and that, and then he led me to Chicago, right? Like who would've thought I would meet Shekinah so fast and marry her so fast, like these things are unheard of, especially in today's society. People look at you like you're crazy, you know?
So yeah, I think God showed his face in my single phase. And then also in our dating phase, you know, there were times where I was just unsure of myself because the situation was completely different than what I've seen in my past and what I've seen in my family lives and what I've seen just in my circle, you know, you know, people get married and really just leaning on faith and leaning on, you know, guiding counsel. Like that whole situation was new for me, you know? So for me, it was like really trusting, trusting God, and trusting this new phase. And like, I don't really understand it, but okay. This is a leap that I'm gonna take, right? and sometimes you just have to take that leap and say, all right, God, I'm putting this in your hands. And then through that, you really understand, like, those are when the best results happen. This is the fruit of that leap. Marriage. Yeah. So,
Shekinah: yeah. Yeah. I feel like God has been super gracious to us in so many different ways and has shown his face towards us, our relationship, our purpose together. Like, I feel like I could tell them about the most recent incident with Diamond and like how stressful that was, or even moving here to Minnesota.
I think this was the first sign of grace. Well, maybe not at first, but this is one of the biggest signs of grace that I noticed from Justin. When babe, you were like, "I'll go wherever you want to go, wherever you want to move wherever your career takes you, except one place." But you were like; I'll go anywhere except that one particular place.
And it was like, all right, cool. Well, what about Minneapolis? And Justin goes, "yeah, there's like a 0.5% chance that I'll ever move there.", but that's all we needed to get all the way. Well, like 5%, and God really showed his face in that because it was like, all right, Shekinah is going to land a job somewhere. She's going to accept the offer. And then Justin is going to have to get it together, find a job, and we're going to have to move. And so we expected this like I had negotiated in a whole one-year transition to make sure there was time for Justin to find work and for us to get our lives together, to move all the way out here.
But God showed up and showed out, Justin, ended up landing a job, that there was no job description for, that there was no job application for like, they made the description and the application after they made the job offer to him. So I know like the last episode was about that Ephesians 3 and 20 type favor. And that's what happened. All over again. So it's those moments that it's like, okay, God, this is confirmation that this is where we're supposed to go, and this is where we're supposed to be. And I think he does that for us time and time again like I think about even when we got engaged that day. Okay. Let's talk about that. What was that process like for you? Like buying the ring, asking my dad for my hand...what was that like?
Justin: It was nerve-wracking. Like the whole process was just new to me. Right. So I never even knew anybody in my close circle that had asked somebody to marry them. Right?
Shekinah: Our wedding
Justin: My wedding was my first wedding, which is crazy. It's like, so I really had no blueprint to go off of. Right? So would that being said, I was doing a bunch of research just in terms of like buying a ring, you know, I went to buy something that was authentic first off. I don't want to buy something that was fake or whatever. And then, like just doing research, I'm like, oh wow, these things cost a lot of money. This is the most money I've ever spent on anything in my life.
Right? And like, you know, you guys don't know me, but my wife does. Right? I like the budget and I'll, you know, I like to spend money consciously. So it was like, that was like a big leap of faith in that, in that aspect.
Shekinah: We knew it was when we would sit down with Shirley and Mel, Shirley would go, "Justin, you don't even need to buy Shekinah a very expensive ring. You don't even need to do it. She'll take anything. And honestly, in that moment, I wouldn't be so very, I wanted to be married so bad, but I was like, yeah, I'll take anything. Like, we can go get one of those 25 cent bubble gum. Yeah.
Justin: So, yeah, that was, you know, but knowing like, if you want to marry someone, you want to make them feel good and stuff like that. So I understood like she was saying at the moment, like, it doesn't really matter. But we all know it matters. Yeah. So like through that process of me, trying to find a ring was very, it took a lot of time and just figuring out what you liked and you know, what was out there in the market and the best place to buy. You know, what's the process of buying a diamond? You know, that was a process in itself. And then a process of honestly, the process of like asking your parents, you know, like being in a marriage and stuff. That was, that was simple for me because...
Shekinah: My dad didn't give you a hard time?
Justin: Nah, he didn't give me a hard time at all. But I think because I knew what I wanted, and he probably felt that I knew what I wanted. You know, I've met them before.
Shekinah: By that time, you saw them two times. I mean, I don't know exactly when you asked; you might've met them two times in person, like when you went down for an 1140.
Justin: I asked them around March or April. Oh, it might've been around there. Sometimes, my timelines are trash. I know it was like spring or summer.
Shekinah: So then was it before we had gone to Florida again? Cause that was the third time you had seen my parents in person was when we went to Florida that August, August of 2020, that real risky, real risky mid pandemic flight.
Justin: Yeah, it was definitely after that.
Shekinah: That you asked them for my hand? So we, we went down to Florida, stayed there for ten days, came back,
Justin: sorry. No, it was way before that.
Shekinah: So definitely early summer, late spring of 2020
Justin: Definitely early summer.
Shekinah: And he didn't give you a hard time?
Justin: You know, I think they just knew like, you know, we had to, we had good counsel, Shirley, and Mel. We had a, you know, we were taking the right steps and, you know, I was just serious about what I wanted and knew what I wanted. And I think, you know, coming to him and understanding like who I was and the plan was, and, I think that made it easier for him to be like, yeah, okay. All right. Okay. Then your mom was there when I asked him. And I think they were like at a family, my grandma's house, at your grandma's house. So he stepped outside, and there's like, steps that come here, and he's like, okay. All right. So you really can't imagine someone else. And I was like, yeah, I can't.
Shekinah: My dad said you cried...
Justin: I think so. I did.
Shekinah: How are you going to cry at that, but you ain't even cry at the alter? You know, every woman's dream is where a man cries as she walks down the aisle.
Justin: I don't know why I cried, to be honest. I think cause I knew I was coming. I was coming from your house. And I'll call them on my way back to my apartment. So I was on the road, so I don't know, cryin' on the road is kinda risky. My voice might have been a little shaky, and you know, so, but yeah, there was that, that's when I asked, you know, that was, that was good, that was, a nerve-wracking process as well. It was just new for me and just experience. I've never had kind of just going off of faith. Like I didn't, I didn't have any blueprint necessarily.
As I would just like, you know, that's another thing, going back to what advice you would have for relationships. There's no blueprint to relationships necessarily, right? There's no blueprint to your timeline. There's no one thing that should happen. It's when things when God allows it to happen, and that's when it should be. He allowed it to happen. He allowed me to open my mind to be married. He allowed, you know, to show grace in terms of my thinking and my understanding of marriage. And that's when he made me ready. You know, I wasn't ready years before that. He made me ready, exactly when I needed to be ready. Yeah.
Shekinah: That's real. That's real. Cause we both. We met, coming out of old relationships.
I know, I think when we met, I had been maybe six weeks out of the last relationship or something like that. And there was like this healing process that was also happening during that time, but this like preparation process. I felt prepared, and don't get us wrong. Like you can't ever actually be ready for marriage.
Like you don't ever actually know what it is until you're in it. But like, I think I've felt the most ready I've ever felt in my life. Like I could look back at the times that I thought I was ready and go, yeah, I definitely wasn't ready then because of one, two, and three. But when I look back at the moment that I met you, I felt the most ready.
That I thought, you know, that I think I could have ever felt, even in the midst of like that heartbreak that I was going through, because you were also there like a heaven send in ways that. I didn't expect a man that I met on Tinder to be able to be, you know, you started like ministering to me like you said, you were really seeking God at that time.
Shekinah: So you started sharing scriptures with me and podcasts and ministering to me. And I remember messaging with you and going, oh, so you're really religious. And you were like, well, you know, I'm seeking God and blah, blah, blah. And like we had that conversation. I was like, oh, interesting. I'm actually an ordained minister.
Shekinah: That was just, it was just kind of a funny experience.
Justin: Very funny experience. It's crazy how things work. That's crazy.
Shekinah: Yeah, God knows what to do. God knows what you need in the moment that you need it. And His timing can not be questioned. And honestly, in so many things that we've gone through in our relationship, People would say the timing was off from like just the that's not usually how relationships work, you know, for my parents, we were probably moving too slow. I mean, they got engaged after eight days of knowing each other married after four months. So, I mean, even the pastor, Shirley, and pastor Label, like they got married three months after knowing each other or something crazy like that. So, and I mean, they plan their wedding and all of like three hours.
So like our little slow-moving selves was nothing to them, but to like a lot of our peers, it was like, whoa, are you sure? Like, this is kind of fast. Someone even was like, oh, is Shekinah pregnant? Is that why she's getting married so early? No, we were abstinent. That was not happening. So, no, that's not why we got married so quickly, quote-unquote, but the timing seemed really perfect. I don't know if you have thoughts about that? Like, has anyone ever asked you, why are you getting married so fast or like.
Justin: Oh yeah, I felt in my circles, like I said, nobody has done this, especially at my age, you know, I'm fairly young for considering marriage. So a lot of people were like, oh, really? Okay. So it was, you think, you know, you didn't really feel the support at that level, especially being a, a man, you know, being a man and kind of looking to get married at this age is kind of taboo or like people like, oh, tripping, bro. You know, you need to live your life or do this, et cetera. And the things that they tell you that you should be doing, which actually just creates more nonsense. And it just, it just creates things that you aren't prepared for, where your mind and your body aren't prepared for it.
So it's like, I didn't feel the support at that level. Right. And I think once people started to see the fruits that came out of our relationship and see the fruits that