“I feel like the luckiest person on Earth,” says Anna-Sophia, reflecting on the special day she became Mrs. Jacob Wilson. The gleaming Californian sun wholly reflected their overflowing love as they vowed to forever serve one another as Christ served – on July 2, 2011.
Walking hand in hand on that glistening afternoon, Anna-Sophia and Jacob made their way back down the aisle, gleefully high-fiving their family and friends, expressing their fun personalities and ultimate joy that God had written such an incredible love story. Upon first meeting, the couple never would have thought that God was orchestrating their story. But it’s clear that as they were aligning their hearts with God, He was aligning their hearts with one another.
The couple first met at a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base in Salem, Oregon. Anna-Sophia was full of hesitation and uncertainty as she flew from Sweden to the States for her very first time. Growing up in a Christian home, she was familiar with God but His love was yet to resonate in her heart.
Even though the YWAM program was to last for six months, she was only planning to stay for three weeks. By keeping her trip short she could please her parents and have the opportunity to be in America before returning to her boyfriend in Sweden. However, two weeks into the program, her life was forever changed.
“God just completely got ahold of me,” says Anna-Sophia. His unfailing mercy and grace inspired her to completely surrender and recommit her life to the Lord.
As her faith so greatly deepened, Anna-Sophia felt God wanted her to break up with her boyfriend back home. One long-distance call and a broken heart later, she was done looking for dating relationships and promised to let the faithful God write her life’s story.
“God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself.
Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to answer.”
Continuing to grow in their friendship, Anna-Sophia and Jacob often found themselves retreating to each other. “He was the guy that I talked to the most out of anyone there,” says Anna-Sophia. Their humor and easygoing conversations led them to be really close friends. “It was nice because neither of us were looking for anything,” says Anna-Sophia. “We were just being friends so there was no hidden agenda.”
A couple months later, the group travelled to China for Outreach, breaking into two groups that physically separated Anna-Sophia and Jacob for a few weeks. “That’s when I realized how much I missed you,” admits Jacob, turning to his wife.
Living out God’s plan, they travelled [with the rest of the group] to minister in Thailand for the remaining few weeks before heading back to America.
The two of them, both made a list for what they looked for in a spouse. “I felt like I was reading about him when I was reading my list. And that made me really embarrassed because I thought he was going to think I just made up this list to secretly show him that I liked him,” says Anna-Sophia.
But since both of them have aspired to work on the mission field, their hearts and desires were very similar in looking for qualities in a future spouse. God clearly had His hand on them and created them with identical morals and life ambitions.
One of their fellow leaders from YWAM saw the intensity of the spark between the two of them. She encouraged Anna-Sophia to go upstairs and pray about Jacob, because she thought they were perfect for each other.
“This is still so weird to me, when I came back downstairs Jacob was sitting on the couch. And when I saw him, my heart just started beating really fast,” says Anna-Sophia.
She ran back upstairs to find out that her friend and her friend’s boyfriend had been praying that Anna-Sophia and Jacob would start dating. Funny thing is, Jacob had a friend who told him the same thing.
And that’s when God began intertwining their love and continuing to unfold their happily ever after. However, neither of them had talked to each other about it because YWAM holds a “no-dating” rule.
“They want you to focus on God more than anything else,” says Jacob. And they did indeed focus on God. By focusing on Him they were soon to find out that God is the best writer of romance, even when you least expect it.
Upon their arrival back in the United States, the two of them went for a walk. They discussed their feelings and plans for the future, discovering that everything lined up. An abundance of communication and prayer ultimately led them to begin dating; a relationship began by God and centered around His holy name. Not everything went by plan but their faith remained in the Heavenly Father, who consistently proves over and over again that He knows best.
Soon all the puzzle pieces fell into place. Anna-Sophia was able to get her visa in three days and moved back to America, living with Jacob’s grandparents in Sacramento. Now that they were residing in the same town, the couple attended a community college together. God’s plan ultimately became their plan.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife,” were the words gracefully spoken two years later. Her family from Sweden and his family from Sacramento joined together in celebration of their God-given love. John 13:1-17 portrays the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet and instructs that we should do the same. Among the warm summer breeze and beautiful song of “How Great Thou Art,” Jesus’ example was mirrored during their ceremony. Anna-Sophia and Jacob yearned to faithfully represent their commitment of serving each other, and thus the couple, could become more.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We’re so confident that He’s taking us where He wants us to be,” says Anna-Sophia. With a vibrant smile beaming across her face, she explains that as Christians we simply can rest in the fact that the Lord is always there, willing to take us step by step if we choose to follow in faith.
Attending Biola University in Southern California is equipping the couple to further pursue the Kingdom of God. Recently, Anna-Sophia has embraced an incredible blessing of receiving the Biola Missionary Scholarship. “God, you want us here so you have to provide,” she had said. And he did.
God has played a key role in their marriage. “He [God] is everything! We always try to make him the center,” says Anna-Sophia, “And I know that’s easy to say and sometimes it’s hard to follow but we always try to seek His guidance in everything we do and in everything we decide.”