I remember a time when I felt somewhat lonely. I had gone through a divorce and was single. Being alone was hard; always coming home to an empty apartment and then to an empty house. I started to wonder where my life was going. What were God's plans for me? That was the burning question; pretty much my constant companion back then. I liked a good surprise but I much preferred knowing what might be down the road. I guess that was my nature.
Someone close to me kept reminding me of a verse found in Jeremiah, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord." I grew weary of hearing that even though I knew that God was in control.
And then one day I started to realize that God had already placed someone in my path. This person was someone I had known for a while and had grown to respect very much. Although we came from different worlds our common interests began to surface through our many conversations. I felt good being in his company. His smile was contagious! I was certain that God had brought this man into my life. Yet deep down I wasn't convinced that I deserved someone like him. I was still very good at punishing myself for my past iniquities.
I wondered how this man could care for me when I was still hanging onto so much hurt, sorrow and pain. Couldn't he see how tightly these emotions clung to the walls of my heart. They lived in there. And they barely slept. I would lay all my grief at the feet of Jesus and the next day I would take it back. I struggled to just let it go.
Still there was something different about this man. Something that made me feel comfortable. Something that made me want to let go of the things that weighed heavily on me. His demeanor was calm and gentle. He never got angry even when I thought there were situations that just might warrant his getting upset. He simply didn't. I liked how he treated people with respect. I enjoyed talking to him. We enjoyed being with each other. Sharing our stories, hopes and dreams became easier with each passing day.
We talked about Jesus and about the church. And over time, I learned how he managed to rise above the ashes of his own pain. He encouraged me to put all my trust in God, not in man. Trust that God is always walking with you.
I was happy and excited! And over time the load felt much lighter.
"Will you come to church with me?" I asked him one day, my heart pounding inside my chest. I wanted to introduce him to my friends. I wanted them to meet the man that was changing my heart.
"I would love to." He said, his blue eyes dancing.
That Sunday morning we walked into church together. My hand rested in his. Our fingers intertwined. He looked amazing! He wore a dress shirt and tie along with dark dress pants. Stunning to say the least.
I hoped my friends would like him -- would welcome him.
"This is my friend, Tony." I said as he reached his hand out to greet my friend.
They exchanged pleasantries and smiled at one another. I smiled too. Everything was going well. There was a lunch after the service in the fellowship hall. My face could have lit up the entire room. I will never forget the precious words my friend whispered in my ear. "He must be a breath of fresh air for you." She was genuinely happy for us.
I couldn't wait to write those precious words between the pages of my journal.
I couldn't wait to write more of our story.
Today, we live on a farm just outside of Jarvis, Ontario. We've been married for 9 years. This month we retired from raising pigs. No more livestock. We will continue to farm, growing corn, wheat and soybeans.
And when people ask me what I'm going to do with my time when we retire, I should tell them......
"I to enjoy the 'breath of fresh air' I married. I want to live, love and laugh together. Our work in the barn is finished and yes we give God all the glory because without a doubt we know that God put us together. We look forward to what God's plan is for our future."