When a woman texted an uplifting Bible verse to the wrong number, she couldn’t have imagined what this small mishap would lead to.
It was 2009, and Brenda Rivera hoped merely to cheer up her friend with the Lord’s council of “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,” but instead cheered up a total stranger named Isiah Stearns.
Isiah replied, “Amen to that, who is this?” and Brenda quickly realized she had the wrong number, and so apologized. But Isiah saw it differently.
He told TODAY he saw someone trying to help with his walk with god, and resolved not to let the happening pass quietly.
The next day he called her, which left Brenda “a little creeped out” but who nevertheless hoped the stranger would leave a voicemail—which he did—saying the Bible verse really brightened up his day.
“I could just tell he was very genuine. So I decided OK — I’m gonna call him back,’” Brenda said, adding that she learned he lived just 50 minutes away from her parents and sister in Ohio. “I said maybe we could meet up when I visited my family. We had an immediate connection.”
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So began a little long-distance romance with a type Brenda never thought she would be with—a bare-shaven white guy who didn’t know how to dance.
But love works in mysterious ways, and after Brenda offered to set up a sort of interview with Isiah and her mom, he sportingly agreed.
Her mom came back from lunch with an 11 out of 10 rating for the suitor, telling her daughter she would “marry this guy.”
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Today, Isiah and Brenda Stearns have had 13 years of marriage and 6 children: Victoria, 11, Veronica, 10, Samuel, 9, Vanessa, 7, Benjamin, 4, and Ezra, 1. Isiah meanwhile ditched the skinhead look for a thick head rug of salt and pepper.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, and Brenda said that she could never imagine having such a brood without Isiah beside her.
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