July 2006 Melody and CD met on their way to a mission trip in Uganda Africa.
.It had been years, 6 to be exact for Melody and 5 years for Claudaniel, since they had dated anyone.
Both of them were intentionally serving God as a single. When it came to relationships they both individually were waiting for God's best and His timing.
While Melody was in the 6th year of a 7 year commitment to not date (from June 2000 to June 2007) and with only one year left to go, she met Claudaniel Fabien. She was at the airport in New York while all the teams from BreakDown USA were gathering to be on their way to Uganda. Then right on time for check in, Claudaniel had arrived at the airport. When he arrived, Melody heard all these students screaming and laughing and welcoming CD when he walked onto the scene, "CD!
CD! They all cried." and Melody thought, "hmm...I need to know that guy."
After more than 39 hours of travel, all the BreakDown teams from Tucson, Phoenix, Chicago, others arrived to Africa. Everyone was excited to start a new BreakDown Uganda team. After a day or two, Melody and CD began to get more acquainted. Now, it wasn't love at first sight; they didn't hear any trumpets or birds chirping, but there was something that drew them together each time they talked.
At one point on the trip, it became clear to Melody that CD liked her because at a restaurant while they were chatting, in mid sentence CD abruptly blurted, "You're so beautiful!" An awkward silence came over the both of them. Then in mild shock, CD asked, "Did I just say that out loud? Sorry." and he walked away embarrassed. It was a memorable moment for both of them.
While on the trip, Melody continued to see things in Claudaniel that she had always prayed for. He loved Jesus and was great with the youth. His character was honorable and respectable. He was a strong leader amongst his peers. He was considered the "go to" guy on the trip. CD served everyone with compassion and grace. CD's story was powerful to Melody because he started over. He had been abstinent for the last 6 years and walked in sexual integrity. He even shared that the next woman he kissed would be his wife! Melody hadn't met a guy with such high standards in a long time. Melody kept thinking, 'Wow! This guy has the same heart, values and desires as me'...but she thought, "Naw, he lives too far (in Arizona). I don't feel butterflies. This can't be the 'One'."
Claudaniel took notice that Melody possessed a lot of the qualities he had been praying for as well. He thought, "This girl is as crazy as I am!" Melody filled his thoughts throughout the trip and he continually tried to "forget about her" because he wanted to be focused on why he was there. He even prayed, "God, get this girl out my mind!" Finally he sensed God speak to his heart,"JUST BE HER FRIEND!" And, that's exactly what CD did. Throughout the trip Claudaniel increasingly showed Melody kindness and acts of service.
For example, one night all the lights went out in the lodge they were staying during a storm. It was scary considering it was pitch black in the dorm and in the halls, and they were in a foreign country, in Africa no less! But Melody heard a knock on the door and sure enough it was CD saying, "Here, you go, I brought you some candles and matches." Melody really appreciated how attentive CD was to her. She grew in connection with him, but she fought the thoughts and said, "I kinda like him, he's sweet...but nah I don't know if this is it." Before the trip was over CD asked if he could take a funny pic with Melody. She agreed...
After an amazing trip speaking to youth, loving the orphaned children, and serving people, the trip was over. Melody went back to Chicago, and Claudaniel went back to Tucson, AZ. Immediatley when Melody got home she received a phone call from Claudaniel. He said "I just wanted to make sure you got home safe?" She replied smiling and blushing, "I did...thank you." Then he called her a couple hours later again saying, "I just wanted you to know...that I got home safe." Melody chuckled, she knew something was up.
Claudaniel continued to call Melody after the trip. One day he told her "I know I've been calling you lately, and I just wanted to clearly share my intentions with you." Melody thought to herself, "FINALLY! A MAN who is clearly sharing his intentions with me!" CD continued, "I know you have this commitment not to date around and you've waited 6 years. You only have one year left and in NO way do I want to interrupt your commitment that you have with God. But, can we just get to know each other as friends this year and see where it goes?" Melody smiled on the other line, trying not to show any giddiness and said, "Yes, we can be friends". Then CD said something that really shocked Melody. He said, "I don't know, but I really see a future with you. I feel like we could be a good team."
Melody was shocked because she had privately prayed in a prayer journal specifically for her husband and that he and she would be a "team." So when he said this, it really touched her heart. She didn't say a word about it though. She hid it in her heart and knew that if this was her husband there would be plenty of confirmations along the way.
So, CD and Melody built a friendship for a year and a half. Wonderful opportunities opened up for them to visit each other and meet each other's parents & friends, and they grew and grew in their affections towards each other. There were many confirmations that this indeed was a beautiful love story that God was writing. Though they were tempted at times to "take the pen" and write some of their own things, but they respected the process and allowed God to do it. Then, June 2007 hit...and Melody finished her 7 years commitment to be single unto the LORD.
Now what? She thought. Amazingly enough, God had opened a door for CD to visit Melody convienently the week before her commitment ended. During that week, without Melody even knowing, Claudaniel had spoken with Melody's parents and asked for the blessing to pursue a dating relationship with her. But, after much counsel, CD shared with Melody that though they liked the idea of a dating relationship, it was recommended not to have a long distance relationship...we were encouraged to "take things slow".
Melody was like "WHAT?! TAKE THINGS SLOW!...it's BEEN SLOW! I've been waiting for 7 years!"
This was so hard for the both of them, because they felt like they waited LONG ENOUGH! This advice from people they loved to take things slow caused doubt and fear in Melody. She started to become distant in her heart and think that maybe this was not God's will. She thought, soon Claudaniel would be on a plane back to Arizona and this whole process was probably over. She shared these feelings with CD and this brought him pain and fear as well. They didn't know what to do.
But after a long night of praying and crying out to God. Claudaniel sensed the Holy Spirit ask CD, "Don't you know that I love you?" It resounded so loud in CD's heart that he knew...
God loves Melody and I. He wouldn't lead us this far to dangle this relationship in front of our eyes and then take it away! God is not saying 'No', He's just saying, 'Slow'.
The more Claudaniel prayed and thought things through, he agreed that it wouldn't be wise to begin a long distance relationship. The night before he had to go back to Arizona, Claudaniel with love in his eyes, took Melody's hand and shared with her what the Lord showed him the night previous. He said "Melody, I'm not going anywhere. I have waited for you this long, I will wait a little longer. If it's meant to be, God will open a door for me in Chicago to find a job and an apartment. Once I find that, I will move here to be with you." She embraced him with hope, love but with a pain in her heart. The pain of waiting is so difficult, but produced such a patient endurance in both their hearts. They knew that love suffers long.
So they waited and prayed and continued their friendship. Then June had passed, then July, August, September, and the month of October passed. Oh how each month felt like forever. This process was truely a test. Although there was distance, God opened two unique opportunies for them to see each other and spend time together in that time of waiting.
Just when they felt like they couldn't wait any longer - NOVEMBER rolled around, and CD has an interview for a job in Chicago by phone, and he got the job!! They even agreed to help pay for some travel expenses for him to drive out to Chicago.
November 29th, 2007 with all his belongings packed into his car, he drove more than 1900 miles from hot, sunny Tucson, Arizona to cold and snowy Chicago, Illinois to be with Melody.
After CD moved in to Chicago and got all his things settled, on December 9th at a restaurant Christmas party, Claudaniel grabbed the mic to make an announcement. In front of everyone he shared how he felt about Melody and how in love he was with her. He shared how we drove alomost two thousand miles just to hold her hand. He invited Melody up and asked in front of everyone, "May I have your hand in courtship with the intention for marriage?" She said "Yes!" That was the first time they held hands.
CD and Melody began their official courtship (an intentiional dating relationship). During their 7th month of courtship, romance began to really blossom, and their desire for each other became strong.
One thing CD and Melody discussed early on in their relationship was the importance of boundaries. They had agreed that they wouldn't awaken love (eros) until it's time. To them that meant that they wouldn't intentionally cause or try to arouse each other. They didn't want to "start something they couldn't finish". Claudaniel told Melody, "I'm not going to kiss you until our wedding day." This was a bit difficult for Melody because she wanted to kiss during engagement. But CD explained to her that because he had started over and wanted to walk in purity and honor God and her, he knew it would be best to wait until the altar. This only made Melody even more in love with CD. She hadn't ever met a man that had higher standards than she did. She could see that he truly loved Jesus and wanted to protect and honor her.
There were many beautiful stories during their courtship that clearly showed the hand of God in their relationship that hope to share one day in a book. But to keep moving...
On the night of July 29, 2008, while visiting family in Miami...Claudaniel asked Melody to take a walk on Sunny Isles Beach. Under a starry night sky, as Melody looked up at the stars and into the ocean...Claudaniel was writing something in the sand.
He grabbed her hand and walked her over to it and written in the sand Melody could see the letters WYMM and then there was a huge X in the sand...Claudaniel looked into Melody's eyes and gently said said, "I know we have been preparing and praying for this moment for a long time.
Melody's hear began to race. He continued, "God has provided. X marks the spot, there's a treasure in there"...Melody dropped to her knees and began digging in the sand like a mad woman! She found a white box...and when she opened it, it was empty! She screamed laughing, "CD! Stop playing with me!" While both on their knees in the sand, face to face, laughing with joy CD pulled out a black velvet ring box from behind him and said, "Melody LaLuz, will do me the honor, will you marry me?"
Melody threw her hands in the air with a shout of joy and said "yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!" with laughter and excitement; then she tackled him in the sand.They were so happy.
Melody was so close to CDs face. She wanted to kiss him so bad! She said again, "Yes, Yes, I will marry you!" CD looked into her eyes and said, "Babe, we said we're not gonna kiss until our wedding day right?...with a huge sigh, Melody said "Yes". Then Claudaniel says, "I mean if you want to kiss me once, I think it's ok but just once."
Melody starring at him with intense love, says, "No...no let's wait."
"THEN GET OFF ME GIRL!" says CD as he gently but firmly pushes her off. They cracked up laughing together!
Although the desire to kiss was intense, they didn't kiss that night exercising some serious self control!
Four months later, on November 29th 2008 their dream came true! When Melody was in her white beautiful wedding dress and when they opened the church doors, she thought, "Wow, the time has come. It's here. I am going to marry my love."
When those church doors opened and Claudaniel saw Melody, he was so overwhelmed that tears began to well up in his eyes. There were nearly 500 people at the wedding. When the minister said, "Now you may kiss the bride", that was the first time CD and Melody kissed!" AND THEY HAVEN'T STOP KISSING SINCE!
While on their honeymoon the next day...they found out God allowed their love story to be on the front cover of the Chicago Suntimes, in the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press and they received calls from CNN and Fox News.
Later they found out their story went ALL AROUND THE WORLD!
Today Melody and Claudaniel continue to share their story and let others know that it is POSSIBLE to save sex for marriage and it's worth the wait! They want to encourage singles who have had sex in the past, or have even been sexually abused, it's possible to start over. God is able to heal and restore.
Don't put a period (.) where God wants to put a comma(,) ...
Focus on LOVING GOD, Loving People and DOING His will.
Trust Him for all things...and SEE that HE makes ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR YOUR GOOD.
HE MAKES ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL IN HIS TIME!