In the summer of 2006, at a retreat with just God and me, and after being single for 22 years, God said three things (not audibly):
1. I was going to get married
2. To a man I didn’t know
3. Did I trust Him
It was almost two years later when God told me to go on E-Harmony. After arguing with him for several minutes (as I had with girlfriends who’d tried to get me on E-Harmony through the years), I finally obeyed. Two weeks later I was matched with a handsome, godly man. I prayed God would nudge him to contact me, if he was the one He’d told me about in 2006 AND if he was the reason God wanted me on E-Harmony.
Two hours north of me God was using two pastors to convince Ron to go on E-Harmony. He’d become a widower when his beloved wife of 40 years passed away, and he was suffering from the loss of his devoted helpmate. His pastor friends were trying to get him out of the house—and encouraged him to go out to dinner occasionally. So there we were, two strangers. We lived two hours away…and God hand-picked us for one another. He is the Perfect Matchmaker.
• Our fathers (both deceased) had the same middle name: Orville.
• My father and his uncle had the same first name: Lloyd
• Our mothers (mine was deceased) both played bridge, both were obsessed with good manners and “proper English”, neither left the house without looking like they were on their way to a photo shoot
• I prayed a prayer three years before we met—a prayer no one knew about. It was a silent prayer between God and me. I asked, “Lord, if You ever want me to get married again, please give me a man who will make me a scrapbook.” My niece had shown me an elaborate scrapbook that her fiancé made for her as an engagement gift—it highlighted their dating season. It touched my heart that he loved her enough to make it for her. The weekend Ron and I got engaged, he gave me a scrapbook. It was impossible for him to have known about my prayer. I knew it was God’s way of reassuring me that Ron was the nameless man He had foretold about in 2006. The scrapbook has served as an incredible reminder, especially during our early “adjustment years”, that God introduced us to each other and He is our Champion—our Referee—our Love—our Commitment—our Present—our Future—our Success—our Everything!!!!
It’s hard to believe it was ten years ago tomorrow we said, “I do”. My beautiful daughter, Kate, was my Maid of Honor, our then-pastor Mike Worley officiated the ceremony, and the incomparable Leif Horrell sang our wedding songs.
Ten years have gone by quickly…and many wonderful memories have been made. We Praise the God Who created us and knew all of this before the beginning of time. And yet I still wonder, why is it that I ever doubt Him? BC (before Christ in my heart) I used my filter and my faulty “picker” to make my choices. AC (after Christ came into my heart) He became my filter, and His Picker is Perfect. As we become more dependent on Him, He does His picking through us. He says to delight ourselves in Him and He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). That’s because as we delight ourselves in Him, by spending time talking to Him, praying to Him, listening for His still small voice inside our hearts, and we get the fragrance of His Word inside of us, He’s able to direct our steps. And before long, His desires for us become the desires of our heart…put there through His Holy Spirit within us.
Give it a try…let’s do it together. Every day, let’s read at least one scripture… maybe out of the book of Psalms, the book of John, or the book of Philippians. As you figuratively sit at His feet for a minimum of one minute a day, before long you’ll be surprised by the growing sense of peace and joy that take root in your heart. I would also encourage you to take an extra minute or two a day to keep a journal next to you as you read. Write the date somewhere on the page and record what you sensed, learned, desired…or any thought at all you had while reading the one verse. You’re the only one who’ll be reading the journal. After a short time has passed, look back over your daily notes. I think you’ll be inspired by the Holy Handprint that becomes apparent to you.
I have a dear friend who inscribed notes in journals for years based upon her Bible readings. One day she read through the insights she’d noted…most of them very private. She then removed the pages she wanted to keep and threw the rest into her fireplace. Not only did she release the deep hurts she’d recorded, but she felt the warmth of the fire as if the Lord was embracing her while she let go of the past.
I care about your brokenness. Having been crushed into deeply wounded and fragmented pieces, I know and understand what it feels like. Don’t give up! I almost did. I have no words to describe how exceedingly thankful I am that I didn’t. In that dark place, I couldn’t possibly see or imagine what tomorrow (which I’m now living) would look like. I could only see the darkness of the season I was in at the time; it seemed impossible to ever experience sunlight again. But, alas, I did and I do.
One verse a day…give it a try! I’ll be right there with you! Here’s a verse for today to give you a jump-start: “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” This scripture is from the book of Psalms. It is found in chapter 46, and the verse is 1. It’s from the New Living Translation Bible. It’s a beautiful and life-giving scripture in any version you use. If you have a smartphone, you can even download the YouVersion app (or another Bible app) and read any book of the Bible you choose. Or just read their Verse of the Day each morning to jumpstart your day.
May God shine His beautiful and loving Face upon you. As you spend more time with Him, I promise the Light of His beautiful Face will shine peace and joy inside of you…even in the midst of your circumstances. Bless you!