|Laura and Randy on their wedding day|
I was intrigued when Casey asked me to be a part of her June blog series – or her “not settling for less” posts. But I must confess my attempts at real-life romance story aren’t so novel worthy. You see, once upon a time, I almost compromised for keeps, sure my Prince would come at a certain time and look and act and talk a certain way and sweep me off my rather large size 9-1/2 feetJ. When that didn’t happen, I flat despaired. But let’s backtrack a bit…
During high school I had two dates – both with friends. In college I had one date – with another friend. At 21, I’d never been kissed. I read romance novels voraciously as if to make up for the black hole that was my love life. I even wrote them, full of the angst and longing that I felt over not yet having met “the one.” Purity wasn’t a big issue back then. Passion was in. I made a list of qualities that my real-life hero needed to have. I prayed over the list and it grew longer. He had to be tall, dark, and handsome. Smart. Funny. Godly. Sadly, godly was at the bottom. The church guys I knew were so boring!
I wanted an Ian/Captain Jack/Red Shirt/Colonel McLinn kind of man, the ones that existed in my imagination. Not real life. I never bothered to ask the Lord what kind of mate He wanted for me. I just kept showing him my list. And when my hero came along I nearly missed him.
He was dark and handsome but not tall. Smart but not super educated. He worked with his hands while I worked with my head. He was – gasp! – several years younger than I was. He wasn’t funny, just godly. He was super serious and had loads of integrity. A bit boring, I thought. When he looked my way, I wrote him off. And moved several hundred miles away J.
|Laura and Randy ~ 2011|
Soon after I became involved with a guy who met almost every quality on my list. He was even an Olympic-level skier who hung out with Olympic medalists. Only he wasn’t godly. Over time, the closer we became, the less concerned I was with spiritual things. My love for the Lord grew cold. I wondered why my life felt barren and empty. I was over 30 and nothing was like I wanted it to be. So I ended the relationship and asked the Lord to forgive me and show me a better way.
Soon after I made the break something remarkable happened. A complete stranger approached me and gave me a verse. It was Joel 2:25 which reads, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” Stunned, I took the promise literally and was humbled that the Lord would not only forgive me for taking a wrong turn but was willing to restore those lost years. I knew He was fully capable of doing that. I just didn’t know how His promise would play out.
Shortly after that, a letter appeared in my mailbox. From the man I’d written off several years before. We’d had no contact since then though I hadn’t forgotten him. And apparently he’d not forgotten me! We met up at Thanksgiving to renew whatever it was we’d bypassed years before. And then we married 10 months later. Now, 18 years later, he’s my hero – and a godly one. I sometimes wonder what might have happened had I not ended that compromising relationship and come back to the Lord – and Randy.
As Christian women, we’re called to be the bride of Christ. He is our groom, the ultimate hero. One who is always faithful, who never disappoints, who loves with an everlasting love. We can trust our heavenly groom to lead us to our earthly groom, if that is His best for us. In the meantime, our charge is to let Him to do that if He chooses ~ and to not interfere with His perfect plan by insisting on our own and settling for far less than He had in mind.
Casey here again: All this month I have had a giveaway of Never the Bride by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl Mckay and hopefully it will encourage you on your journey. Leave a comment on how YOU are NOT settling below and I'll draw the names from all the posts and announce the winners (one from every Settling post) the first Friday of July.