It was March 29, 1997. I do not recall the exact time, but I estimate that it was after four in the afternoon. My fiancée Suzanne and I had decided to watch a video on marriage by Dr Tony Evans. We were two months away from our wedding day.
Our marriage had been prophesied to Suzanne in September 1996 while she was living and working in Louisiana. Her work colleague, Trin Johnson, had called her one morning, telling her that in a dream earlier that morning the Lord had shown her a man named “Errol” proposing to her.
Suzanne was stunned. Trin had no human way of knowing that I, Errol, had been calling Suzanne my “soul mate” for eight years. For those eight years, Suzanne had insisted that we would never be anything other than friends. This experience followed two others that she had with Trin in the previous four months.
The experience with Trin calling my name to Suzanne influenced her to return to Barbados in December 1996 to get married to me, after living and working in the US for nine years. I was stunned by her decision, for I knew that Suzanne’s dream was to complete a law degree and that she had hoped to re-enter the law programme at Louisiana State University or enroll at Grambling University.
As we watched and listened to Dr Evans’ teaching that afternoon, Suzanne, spurred by something in the video, suddenly paused the tape. She got up and returned with the piece of paper that she had received from Trin in May 1996 and had been carrying folded between the pages of her Bible for the last ten months.
Trin had given Suzanne this piece of paper, and communicated that she could not explain what she had written. She said that God had awoken her after 4 a.m. that morning, led her to the dining table, and had her scribble on a piece of paper. She said that after she stopped writing, she was surprised to find that she had written 12 messages and each was to a different individual.
The first message was to Suzanne. Trin was sure that the messages were from God. She was, however, clear that she had received no interpretation of Suzanne’s message. All the others seemed to be clear and specific. Part of Suzanne’s was vague.
The second half of the message was clearly a message from God to Suzanne regarding her knowledge of, and relationship with, Him. The first half spoke of “this individual that I (God) have placed in your spirit” and that she should “seek the individual”. For ten months, Suzanne wondered who “this individual” was and for what purpose he or she was being placed in her life.
As Suzanne read the message on this 1997 March day as she had so often done after receiving it, she suddenly turned pale and slumped back into the chair and the paper fell from her hand. With a stunned expression on her face she said, “Guess what date is written in the top right hand corner of this piece of paper”. Before I could answer, she said, “the wedding date that you and I set two weeks ago. May 31 has been in writing on this piece of paper for the last ten months. The individual who this message speaks of is you!”
I took the piece of paper off the floor and began to read it. I immediately began to shake like a leaf in the wind. In front of my eyes, in the top right hand corner was indeed the wedding date that Suzanne and I had set two weeks earlier. It had been in writing on this mysterious piece of paper for ten months. I was frightened.
All of a sudden, God became real and alive to me. He was no longer a God that I was only reading stories about in the Bible and seeking to understand in the now. He was suddenly alive and real in this time. I quickly came to the realization that there is nothing that is hidden from Him and that He knows all things. In all honesty, I was not so much afraid of Him, I was afraid of the things in my life that I knew were not of Him and were hidden from most people and that He could reveal to anyone at any time.
My other immediate reaction was to call Trin in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. God had revealed our wedding date to her at a time when we were not even courting, and she had, four months later, seen me in a dream proposing to Suzanne, two months prior to my actually proposing.
When we reached Trin, I said: “Two weeks ago we called you and told you that we set the wedding date at May 31. Why did you not tell us that you knew the date already and you had written it on the piece of paper that you gave to Suzanne 10 months ago?”
Trin exclaimed: “Errol and Suzanne, what do you mean that I wrote your wedding date? I do not even remember what I wrote. All that I can recall of that day is that after God had me write the message, He said to me, ‘Record the date and time that you have received this and the date and time that you give it to Suzanne’. He said that there is something particular about the dates and times, but He never told me what was particular about them. Are you telling me that He had me write your wedding date one year in advance?”
Trin was genuinely as stunned as we were. She quickly ended the conversation saying, “I need to go and praise my God, and our God!” Just before she disconnected, I heard her exclaiming, “Oh my God, Oh my God!”
From that moment, I wanted the level of connectivity with God that Trin Johnson had. I wanted to know God in the way that she had demonstrated. She wrote that message and gave it to Suzanne, not having a clue what she had written. However Trin, confident in knowing that God had led her in writing the message, gave it to Suzanne saying that it was from God.
Ten months later, it was unquestionably confirmed that the message was from God!
I also realized that in 1988 at a time when I constantly challenged others about whether God and Jesus were real and suggested that they were but mere fictional characters in a storybook called the Bible, this same God had placed it in my spirit to call Suzanne Elizabeth Haywood my soul mate. I called her this for eight years, despite the fact that she keep emphasizing that she saw me as nothing more than a friend. God had revealed to a non-believing flirt and sinner who his “Eve”, his God-chosen wife, was to be.
I suddenly understood that I had actually heard from God for one of the most critical decisions in my life and did not know. God spoke and I heard. He speaks. I came to appreciate that it was God who had told me not to marry my first wife and the reasons why I was not to marry her. These reasons became the precise reasons why the marriage failed. She and I discussed them and worked out how we could overcome them in order for our marriage to be a “success”. If only we had known that it was God who had spoken!
Beyond the shock of coming to the realization that Suzanne was to become married to me on May 31, I began to appreciate for the first time in my life, the number of ways in which God had been speaking to me and seeking to influence many decisions in my life. I suddenly began to appreciate the number of times that I had followed His guidance, and the numerous other times that I had not.
I also began the process of seeking to appreciate what is Godly love, grace and forgiveness. Above all, God was now real and no longer solely a God of the biblical stories.
Suzanne and I took note that Trin had gotten the written prophecy from God about our marriage date on May 31, 1996 at 4:44 a.m. and had given it to her at 9:25 a.m. on that same day. Trin had said that God said that there was something particular about the wedding date and the times. Our question became, ‘what is the significance of the times?’.
On our wedding day, I drove to my parents’ home to collect my dad as he was to be my best man at the wedding. Seeing that we were well ahead of our scheduled time, I decided to stop by the cricket field close by to watch the team of which I was a member play for “a little while”.
As we were watching the game, there was a sudden commotion around my car. A man driving under the influence of alcohol had damaged the government-owned car I drove. My immediate response was, “the devil is seeking to stop God’s wedding”.
Completing the required police statements and other related matters resulted in my no longer being early for the wedding. Suzanne was an early bride. In fact, she delayed her arrival at the church in order to ensure that she did not get there ahead of me.
When Suzanne joined me at the altar at Hawthorne Methodist Church in Barbados and the Reverend spoke the first words, my eye caught the time on the clock on the wall behind his head. I turned to Suzanne on my left and whispered, “Suzanne, look at the time on the clock on the wall.” It was 4:44 p.m.!
Not only had our exact wedding day been revealed by God one year in advance, but also the exact minute that Reverend Commissiong would commence the ceremony after Suzanne joined me at the altar. We had come face to face with the awesome power and knowledge of God. We now know that He knows everything.
A friend by the name of Margaret sent me an email after nine on the morning of our wedding day. She shared that God had led her at 3 a.m. to post a message about our wedding on the Internet. She sent me the message in the email. I read her email and thought that there was nothing “supernatural” in her message and decided that she was just getting carried away after having heard the story of how God had led us to this day.
In talking to Margaret on the telephone, I told her that since she believed that she had received a message for us from the Lord, that she should feel free to attend if she wished. Despite the late invitation, Margaret attended our wedding.
While Suzanne and I sat at the bridal table at the reception, Margaret got our attention as she waved at us from among the guests. When I caught sight of her, she signaled for me to listen to the words of the song being played through the speakers.
As I listened, I heard the words “together forever”. I reached into my jacket pocket and took out the email that she had sent earlier. I reached over and showed Suzanne where she had those exact words in quotations marks in this message that she said she had gotten from God after 3 a.m. that morning.
As I leaned towards Suzanne, my eye caught the time on my watch. It was 9:25 p.m.
Not only had God revealed the exact date and time of our marriage one year in advance, but also He allowed us a third experience that serves to reinforce to us that He is real!
4:44 p.m. and 9:25 p.m. May 31, 1997 are forever etched in our minds as the beginning of our quest to come to the full knowledge of who God is.
Our questions are: “for what ultimate reason did He permit us these and all the other experiences that have followed, and the ones to come?” “How can we ensure that His will is done in our marriage and in our overall lives?”