Eight months after Eric died I went to camp with some youth leaders. We were having a retreat and planning time. The first night that we were there, the youth pastor took us to a tall tower to do the zip line. Along the way, I met quite a few people that were also youth leaders. I chatted with them all and found the group to be very nice. I even spoke to a few teens that were helping with childcare. I found two of the teens, in particular, to be very charming and funny. I went about my night completely oblivious that my life was about to take a dramatic shift.
After surviving a horrible night with the kids that involved them sleeping/freaking out in my micro sized camp bunk, I "woke" to go to breakfast. I sat by a rather hilarious family and tried to drink as many watered down cups of coffee that I could get my hands on. Meanwhile, one of the men in the group kept staring at me and I thought to myself, "oh man, I MUST look bad because that guy will NOT stop staring at me!"
After the retreat, I went about my life and the next youth meeting I went to serve. Upon arrival, I saw the staring man and walked up to him and said "Hi, nice jacket" as I pulled on his jacket collar. The look of shock on his face made me acutely aware of my social blunder-I overstepped personal space. Feeling a bit foolish, I stepped back and tried to look less ridiculous.
The next week was my birthday and everyone was so sweet and supportive. I even got flowers! I was so blown away and felt so blessed. I had no expectations for that day and God just showered support and love on me through his people.
During this time, I felt that God was prompting me to be open to WHATEVER he had for me. I readily agreed and thought that God was slowly buy surely moving me towards ministry. God challenged me in a little different way. I felt God nudge me to allow the staring man into my life. I said "no" without hesitation. God then "gently" reminded me that I had said that I would be open to whatever he had for me so I relented...a little. I thought to myself, "what is the least invasive way to allow this guy into my life without me really having to let him in?" (I know, really spiritual...anyway...) I decided to friend request him on Facebook. He accepted and then God pushed me a bit farther. One night I saw that the man was on Facebook and God nudged me to chat with him. I did not to and yet I obeyed with a quick message...hellp. He quickly responded with concern and I realized that I had miss-keyed. We started to chat when the man wrote, "some day I will have to tell you about the night that we met." Well, that was bait to an overly curious fish and I said, okay!
We met at a barnes and noble. This man proceeded to tell me the story of how we chatted on the way to the tower on the first night when God did something in his heart. God opened his heart up, love rushed in and God said, "you can get remarried" (he was divorced). He did not think or want to get remarried ever again so he was completely thrown. He kept saying that he was not saying that this situation had to do with me specifically, but I knew better. It was as if God had put a huge vegas sign above this man's head and was saying-This guy is in your future! I didn't know him from Adam and I was not looking for a relationship. Yet, here was God's plan staring me right in the face. We then took the kids to Burger King so that they could eat and play. We continued to talk and then I said the unthinkable, "but he is so old". This poor guy thought, well that's it, but that was only the beginning. He nervously chatted on until I had to leave to put the kids in bed. That night I emailed him and said that I had a few things to say if he would like to hear them. We met the next day and I told him that I had a pretty good idea what God was trying to tell him. I told him that I think we were supposed to get married. From that time on, we started talking. I grilled him. We prayed. We realized that yes, we were supposed to get married and so on May 28, 2011 we tied the knot.
P.S. from his side of the story...when he met me and God opened his heart, he was floored. He kept staring at me and thinking, "does she have anything to do with this? That can't be..." I talked to his kids and they were hilarious. He said to his daughter, "she's really nice" and he never says stuff like that so she thought that meant something significant. Then the night that I grabbed his collar, he freaked out because that gesture seemed to indicate that I might think he was okay and he didn't want to really think what that meant. He started to fast and pray and after three days God told him that I would come to him. He anonymously gave me the flowers for my birthday. The night that we chatted on Facebook, he was at his office in town waiting for his daughter to finish work at a corn maze. Normally he would have been home in the country where he didn't have internet. The night that we met, he was lotioning his hands when his ring broke in half. It was a ring that he had worn on his wedding finger for five years. He had committed to God to be a Godly man because single men have quite a few opportunities for ungodly behavior. That ring breaking really freaked him out because it was clear that God was starting a new chapter for him, only that path was yet to be determined in his mind. My declaration that we were supposed to get married freaked him out, but he stuck around to find out if I was crazy or correct.
We moved in to my new husband's house and started to blend families. He has three teenagers: A boy who is 19, a girl who is 17 and another girl who is 13. Are you dying to know their names? My husbands name is Christian. The kids are Josiah, Sophia and Helena. After a month and half, we found out that we were pregnant. I am now typing with new my daughter, Naomi Joy sitting next to me. She was born on march 2 and she is tiny! The kids all love her and are so excited that she is here.
I know that this post only spurs on tons of questions and I am going to post more to answer those questions. I may even put some pictures up as well! Dare to dream! To finish up this post I would like to say, isn't God amazing! He redeemed what was lost and continues to bind up our broken hearts. He is good.