On this Thursday three years ago my easyJet flight from London’s Stanstead Airport touched down on Swiss soil. It was my first time on continental Europe, and the first place I visited was Geneva. People ask me why I picked Geneva because it is not known to be a tourist hot spot and definitely not a great place for a low-budget traveller.

I didn’t pick Geneva. It was the last place in the world I wanted to visit, but sometimes we are directed to places we do not know for reasons we do not understand to be surprised in ways we could never imagine.

God told me to go to Geneva. I could elaborate, but that simple sentence is the most accurate version of the story. I thought I knew why He wanted me in this little place, but in the weeks that followed I was going to find out that I knew nothing at all.

I have spent every February in Geneva in the three years that followed that first one in 2009, and every special day of this special month is a reminder of the way God has been faithful. So here is my Geneva story, one little piece at a time.

I arrived in the morning of February 5 after missing my flight on February 4. Snow blanketed London, the largest snowfall the city had experienced in 18 years. Airports were closed, trains stopped working, and I missed my flight as a result of bad roads. I did not have the spare 80 pounds that a new ticket was going to cost to Geneva. I sat in the waiting area of Stanstead Airport bargaining with God.

I don’t want to go to Geneva. Let me go to Paris. Belfast. Anywhere. 

But I knew the truth in my heart. I had heard Him say Geneva, so I bought a new ticket and spent 24 hours in the airport to board the new flight on the first Thursday of February.

To find out  how we kept meeting and eventually fell in love, you can read more at Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.