Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Life is full of surprises. I think we get ourselves into a routine, or rut, where cause and effect are predictable.  Dennis' death punctuated a string of failed relationships, which in one respect never had a chance because each new one was built on the rubble of its predecessor.  I lived alone for nine months, collected a pride of cats, and settled myself in for a life of solitude.  I just didn't think I had it in me to try again. People I loved had their own lives, which didn't align with mine. I was learning to accept that, and discover a new M.O. for myself.  At least I though that was what I was doing.  

What I really did was "let go, let God".  I always thought I knew better than He did what I needed and wanted.  At least it seemed that I did.  And when I "let go", a funny thing happened in McDonald's.  Even more fun was the folks who worked the morning shift and knew both of us separately began to watch us arrive to have breakfast together.  They smiled, and became part of the relationship that was unfolding.  

I think it's a tall order to "let go, let God".  Most of us say we do, but in reality we're all Indian givers.  We're so sure we know what we want, and how we want it to be, we never give His ideas any credibility.  I knew I could live alone. But I didn't want to. I knew I could take care of myself just fine. But the bottom line was I'm not HAPPY alone. Having been such an abysmal failure in the past, I figured remaining alone would be better for everyone.  But not for me.  I wore my "aloneness" as a sort of penance, my "just desserts" for having done so poorly in the marriage department. Kinda like Hestor Prynn's red A.

But THAT wasn't what God really wanted for me either.  Again, I wasn't letting go, and letting Him, I was orchestrating what I felt I deserved.  

Do you do that? Are you your own judge, jury and executioner? That's not the message we're given.  Can you "let go, let God" in your own lives? Start with the little things for some practice, and then move up to the bigger stuff.  There's so much God wants for us if we'd just shut up and listen.  

That's the part I didn't do well: Listen.  I always dumped the dramatic sorry saga of my life on someone early in the game, for what reason? Sympathy? Empathy? a Warning? Who knows. But this time I kept my mouth shut.  I listened to what this man was saying to me. I gave the Master room to work.  

I guess what I'm trying to suggest to you is that you quit trying or orchestrate every bend and turn in the road, quit cutting off someone who's speaking to you because you know what he's going to say (or think you do) ... back up, back off, and give Him room to work in your life. You might be surprised at what happens next!
Things happen when you least expect them. I posted last almost 5 months ago! Whew! many changes. Some bitter-sweet, some wonderful, some not so hot, but then change is what keeps us going. For openers, There’s a man in my life.

We met on the 26th of April, in McDonald’s of all places. I was in line in front of him, and ordered “My Usual” ... (oatmeal); He was behind me assessing me from the ground up ... jeans, pony tail, the voice, and then his turn where he ordered “my usual” as well (sausage McMuffin), and turned to look at me sideways, and said “wow” to himself.  We had to stand aside and wait for our food; I noticed his AZ hat and said “where about in AZ?”  Then our food orders were called, and we got them, and he asked “Would  you like to have breakfast with me”, and I said okay, and we did. 

About the first or second thing out of his mouth was “I’ve been married before and I’m never getting married again”.  (God Laughed).  I said I’d like to do things and go places but I won’t do it alone (his feelings to a T).  He asked if he might have my phone number to call me, and I gave him a business card, then thinking “good grief, you gave him the one that says you’re a pastor, that’s the last you’ll hear from  HIM”,.. but he simply asked for my first name. 

I left to go do bookkeeping at a local restaurant; He stopped by my house on the excuse of helping me with the 50 pound bag of corn cobs in my trunk, but I wasn’t there. He tried a second time, but then left for Detroit, as it was the third anniversary of his daughter’s death, and he was going to pay his respects.  

Sunday I went to Wal-mart to get a simple silver bracelet. I had a bracelet with silver bells, but lost it, and was in the process of making a new one. The only one available had a disk on it that said “Hope”. 

Sunday evening he called and asked if he could “stop by” on his way home, and I said yes, so he did. He said he’d been thinking about me a lot, and wanted to get to know me better. He showed me two fortunes (from fortune cookies) he’d gotten that night: One of them said “You’re about to receive one of life’s most precious gifts, Hope”.  The other was “you’ll be pleasantly surprised soon”. 

He asked if I would be interested in dinner/movie ... and we made a date for the next evening.  After dinner/movie, he took me home, and as an afterthought, ducked his head and kissed me chastely before he left.

Tuesday he took me to see his house in Greenbush (19 acres, wooded, ponds, hills, flat lands). I fell in love with it.  He said he was developing “strong feelings” for me.  In the mean time he started fixing things around my house, because the greatest satisfaction he has is making a positive difference in someone else’s life. (direct quote).

By Thursday he was head over heels ... a week later, he asked very firmly, “will you marry me”, and I said yes.  We’ve been together ever since. May 24, our one month’s anniversary, we stood in the kitchen and said our vows to each other, and exchanged rings that read “I am my beloved’s and she/he is mine”. 

Both of us feel God was behind all this, as the things that happened in the sequence they happened was just too much to be chance.  

I feel  cherished, loved, respected, treasured ... and I feel a whole lot of things I’ve never felt before. We’ve taken each other to places neither of us have ever been.  After a quick trip west, we turned around and went to PA for him to meet my family.  I was anxious about that, not sure what the kids would think. But the one I expected to be the hardest to sell wasn't, and really bonded with him. When we left, of her own accord she reached for him and hugged him, and told him to take care of mom. 

For once it’s on my terms, and his, and they are the same. It’s not on the heels of some other failed relationship.  

I’m happy. Simply, completely, refreshingly happy.

SO, in a year and a day, we’ll make it official.