Isys + Luís—A Love Story from the Amazon

My name is Isys, and sunflowers are my favorite flower because they’re always facing the light. I am the protagonist in a love story that I like to call “Luísys (Luís + Isys)—written by the finger of God.”

In 2016, I moved to Brasília and Luís moved to Manaus. We didn’t know each other, but a mutual friend told me that this guy, Luís, was interested in a childhood friend of mine and asked if I could help him. I called my friend, but she told me that she liked him “as a friend”. My mission was over, but as a result of the Cupid saga, I ended up with the poor guy’s number.

I was the first to say ‘hello’, and from that day we became best, virtual, friends. We had many things in common, among them a broken heart. Me here and him there, exchanging advice and encouraging each other. Talking to him became an important part of my routine. We became good friends, and the best part, there were no ulterior motives.

The meet-cute

A few months passed, and I was invited to be maid-of-honor at a wedding in Manaus. The day before the wedding, the groomsman that was going to walk down the aisle with me said he couldn’t go, so the bride suggested I invite Luís to take his place.

I was embarrassed, but I invited him anyway, and luckily for me, he accepted. We walked in together and everything went well, but nothing was the same after that night. I thought of him more often, and it scared me because I didn’t know if it was reciprocated, and I didn’t want to ruin our friendship.

Our conversations became ambiguous, as if we wanted to tell each other what we felt but weren’t sure how it’d be received. It was the typical “I don’t want it, but if you want it, I want it”.

Christmas was approaching, and he commented that his family intended to spend the holiday in Purupuru, in the interior of the Amazon, where most of the houses are on the waters of the Rio Negro. I insisted that my friends take me. I imagined arriving there and pretending I was surprised to see him. His family left, and he decided to stay home. But when he found out I was on my way to Purupuru, he decided to go too.

When we arrived, Luís stayed on one side of the river and I on the other. At church, we talked little, because apparently, we had become shy around each other. We stayed at the church all day, and on one occasion his mother asked me bluntly what I thought of him. I was stunned, but I replied that I thought he was a good guy. She came close and said: “Let me know if he comes our way,” and started telling me to be patient, because he liked me, but wanted to take it slow because he was recovering from a heartbreak. I nodded, agreed, thanked her, and thought, “This is the mother-in-law of my dreams!”

The talk

After sunset, we had the courage to talk alone on the boat. He called me to the bow of the boat, and we talked about things I can’t remember because my heart was racing. I leaned against the boat rail, hoping he would take my hand. After some time, the plan worked. It was a simple touch on the hand, but it was as if the whole world had stopped for me to live that moment. I felt things I didn’t know existed and wished that moment would never end. The sky was so beautiful it didn’t look real. We were on a boat, in the middle of the Amazon River, early in the evening, and without power. The only light that occasionally appeared was that of the masthead light, which the captain would use to look for logs in the river. The sky was clear and sparkling with stars. I have never seen a sky like that before or since then. It was as if God Himself had arranged our meeting.

The days passed, and it was impossible to ignore what had happened. We decided to pray together and wait for God’s answer. We did, until, during a walk on the waterfront, he surprised me by asking if I would be his girlfriend.

Four years later

Almost four years of long-distance dating passed until another question was posed. I said yes!

The proposal took place during the fireworks that welcomed 2020. The holidays were consumed with planning, budgets, and everything that involves a celebration like a wedding. What we didn’t imagine was that a few weeks later the whole world would experience chaos: the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many difficulties haunted us during this period. Like most entrepreneurs, Luís suffered the impact of the stagnant market, which also affected our budget for the party. We needed to build our home, fund the party, buy furniture, and pay for the honeymoon at a time when prices rose across all businesses. It seemed unfeasible. As if that wasn’t enough, my father faced a difficult time and almost lost his life. Amidst so much uncertainty, the wedding date was set and postponed several times.

A fairy-tale ending, but better

Fairy tales always have a period of conflict to overcome before the couple gets their happy ending. My life isn’t a Disney movie. It’s something better, a story written by the King of the Universe. As a daughter, and therefore princess of the Heavenly Kingdom, my happy ending was more than guaranteed, because “all things work together for good to them that love God”.

One night, after we asked God for an answer in prayer, obstacles were removed in an amazing way. Funds appeared from where I still can’t explain. The house was built and furnished, and our wedding took place on October 4, 2020. It was a miracle—the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced.

Today, I look at everything we lived, and I can understand in detail what the Bible says about God’s plans being bigger and better than ours. I understand so perfectly why He asks us not to be anxious about anything, but with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, surrender our purposes to Him.

The five years of our relationship, from the first “hi” on WhatsApp to the “I do” at the altar, gave me the best and most educational experiences of faith I have had in my life.

It seems lucky to live such a beautiful story, but the secret is that our theme from the beginning was (and still is): “A threefold cord is not easily broken.” And for those who think that our “happily ever after” ended with the “I do”, I would like to say that the altar is just the beginning. There’s still a lot of story ahead.

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