24- A Budding Romance
Watch with me the progression of God’s bigger romantic plan.
In September, 1977, I was the Sunday School Superintendent at church. A man, Dan, came to church with the people who had recently led him to the Lord while he was working for them in Colorado. Dan was moving back to Reno, which was his hometown, and the couple, Al and Barbara, wanted to be sure he was situated in a good Bible-teaching church. Dan, on his very first visit, seeing that my name in the church bulletin was the same last name as theirs, asked Al and Barbara if they were related to me. They said no, they had no relatives in Reno.
It must have been the Lord Himself who got Dan’s attention, and he wondered, Who is this lady?
In the next few weeks, as he connected me to the name, he became very interested in meeting me.
Spoiler: The guy gets the girl! The story of how it happened is so arranged by God. I love it. I hope you do too! It will be the subject of the next few posts, because the way we prayed, the way we treated each other, the way we surrendered to the Lord daily, set the tone for our next 38 years.
A few weeks later, our church celebrated our statehood on October 31st with a Nevada Day costume party. During the square dancing Dan and I linked up. My roommate, Karen, had sewn an attractive gypsy costume for me, arranged a matching headband in my hair, painted my nails, and sent me off in a flourish of good wishes for an awesome evening. Dan wore old patched and frayed work clothes, and bulky, beat-up work boots, and was dressed as a miner. He was a nice guy, and we had a lot of fun together, but I was not particularly impressed.
Dan and I attended the same prayer groups, talked at church, and he came to see me at the A&W a few times. He invited me to a party, and we also went to a party that Georgia, my boss, hosted. (She was actually a very nice lady outside of the work situation! Love you, Georgia!)
Dan was becoming a good friend.
I have several pages of diary notes that Dan wrote about our blossoming friendship and brief courtship. I love this peek into his heart:
I asked the Holy Spirit what I could offer Georgann that she needed to hear. He said to tell her, “you are loved” (not, “I love you”).
Later, after an evening with friends, I was humbled by the Holy Spirit saying clearly, “she’s for you.”
I was humbled because I know her value and I didn’t feel deserving. But I learned that only in humility can I accept God’s grace.
We went to the opera with my Mom. God removed all the obstacles. I prayed to God: I’m available to be changed to be closer to Georgann.
MARCH We met at a park: I told Georgann how much I loved her. By His Spirit I was free to do that. She said hearing that made her feel special. I assured her she was.
Easter Sunday. We shared closeness, but I still felt hung up. I was advised (by my grandmother) to let my past marriage die so God could go to work. I told Georgann I was letting it die and confessed that I was truly falling in love with her. She explained that she wasn’t available. We prayed together, giving thanks for each other.
I had a discussion with Matthew about the dangers of falling in love, the analogy of being on a river with a waterfall ahead, or at least inescapable rapids.
My fervent prayer to God is that He protects us from getting into a relationship that would lead to tearing of hearts. An involvement based on fleshly desires that would have to end completely.
Lunch at the Arbor: We talked about our potential relationship and decided to take a long hike together. We let everything go and are waiting on the Lord to guide us.
Again, the circumstances seemed to be arranged perfectly by God and the outcome was seen as His work.
I prayed whoever she was waiting for would make his position clear. And that she would be able to discern the truth.
Prayed for God’s true attitude towards her and repeatedly received His unconditional love to bless her. Amazed and overjoyed at His work in my heart, its strength, permanence, and great comfort.
At this point, only by that spirit (of unconditional love) was I able to carry on with what looked pretty bleak.
Is your heart bleeding for this serious, passionate, God-fearing guy? Mine is! Keep reading…