Thursday, November 21, 2013

Love Story

Several weeks ago, I promised to tell you my story. Forgive the long delay! Life has been quite busy!

So, here I finally am. Where do I start?

When Chris was dying, he talked with me at length about getting married again. He said, "you do better married," and he wanted a father for his sweet girl. So, he told me things like, "Don't wear your wedding ring on your left hand very long." He prayed that the Lord would bring Erika and me a godly man who would love and care for us as he did. And he told all of our loved ones who visited that they should encourage me to get married again soon.

This all perhaps sounds odd to some of you. You may say, "I could never imagine getting married if I lost my spouse." Things look very different, though, when you are a parent with a young child and when you treasure the sweetness of marriage and companionship. I used to feel a bit sad about there being "no marriage in heaven." But what a beautiful truth that is to me now! I am free and blessed to marry again! And Chris wanted it for me. What a gift he gave me--to release me to another.

And so from the beginning of my widowhood, I began praying for a husband. I prayed these things: that he loved the Lord and was in ministry for Him; that he had suffered some loss, in order that he might be able to understand my daughter's and mine (I hoped for a widower, but I did not specifically pray for that); and that he had a daughter, so that he might have a heart for mine.

I admit--I kept my eyes open for this kind of man. I did not see him around. Several people suggested "going online." I hesitated but did think about it for a while. Eventually (last December), I decided to make a profile on Sovereign Grace Singles.

In January, I began corresponding with a widower. We started writing about our losses--something both of us needed and wanted to do. We talked about the nearness of our God and all of His comforts. It was sweet fellowship, and we found ourselves writing volumes to each other each day. There was so much to say, and we felt we never really got to say it all. So, we decided to talk on the phone a few weeks after we began writing.

I think my sister saw the writing on the wall. She warned me: don't fall for this guy. He was 15 years older than I, a missionary (to the Middle East, but currently living in Washington state), and a father of 5 children. "A lot." Alot of years, a lot of ministry, a lot of kids.

The phone call was four hours long. Immediately I loved the smoothness of his voice. I thought he was articulate and thoughtful, and I enjoyed talking with him--immensely. I saw the heart he had for the hurt his children were suffering. I saw his clinging to his Lord through the storm. We talked about our beloved lost spouses--Chris and Bev.

We continued writing and also started talking a lot. And then I made the first move. I told him (in an email!) that I would like to pray about being "more than just friends." It became clear to me that he possessed the qualities for which I had prayed. He agreed to pray about. He called me "Ruth"--who made the first move on her Boaz.

It was a quiet, rather secret relationship. My family and pastor and a few close friends knew about Scotty, but that was all. We felt we needed to discover--without a lot of scrutiny or judgment--what the Lord might have for us together. Remarriage evokes strong feelings in people at times--especially when those people knew and loved our late spouses. It also seems that when children are involved, well-meaning people want to be sure we are not neglecting their needs and feelings. Additionally, Scotty's children are older, and we wished to spare them questions and attention about this relationship. We wanted to allow them time and space to process all of this and to make known their thoughts and feelings.

In June, we met for the first time in person. I flew to the west coast, and we spent 3 days together. I briefly met his children and parents, as well. In July, Scotty came to Minnesota and spent 3 days here. He met my family, and we had some fun dates. Then in August, Erika and I spent a week with Scotty and his kids. These trips went quite well and served to progress our relationship.

On September 26th, Scotty flew to Minnesota again. He gave me a ring that time. It was one of the very best days of my life.

That was a sober, yet very joyful time we spent together. We made plans and promises for this "part 2" of our lives. We thanked God for giving us the gift of companionship again--and another parent for our kids.

And, now we are just one month from our wedding day. We will marry on the winter solstice--December 21st--and we look forward with hope and expectancy that it will mark the beginning of increasing light each day for us all.

Erika and I will be moving to Vancouver, Washington. We grieve deeply the loss of family, friends, church, school, job. It is truly a bittersweet thing. But more sweet than bitter! I am overjoyed to live and work beside a good man again. I am thrilled for my daughter to have the love of a father again. And I am privileged and deeply grateful to love and to serve the five young people that I will soon call my family.

Abby (19), Matt (16), Zacky (14), Yusef (9), and Luke (7) are lovely and tender and kind. And they showcase their Mama's loving and sacrificial input into their lives in a beautiful way. To follow after her is indeed a humbling thing.


Scotty and I do not know what the Lord has for ministry for us in the future. Our general direction and hope is to continue to pursue missions. We pray the Lord would make it very clear to us when we should go overseas--and what ministry will look like for us together. For now, we feel we need to spend time combining our new family and to minister to Arabs here in the United States.

We would love your prayers for us, as we undertake the enormous task of learning to love and serve each other and combine these 2 families into one. Two families who have suffered huge losses. We need much grace! We move forward but will never forget. Thank you! Much love!


Bev
 
 Chris





6 comments:

  1. What a joy to read of God's Providence in your lives. Thank you Emily for continuing to write.

    In Christ Alone,
    Scott Wright

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  2. What a joyous story! So happy for you Emily and praise God for his timing and provision. Many blessings on you as you travel this new path with God.
    Susanne Horn

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  3. Emily, my heart soars for you... for the joy that God has restored in both of your hearts! I will be praying for you as you transition your life "Westward!" I can't even begin to express in words how very happy I am for you!!

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  4. Emily ~ this is beautiful! I found myself crying my way through it, too. I'm so thankful God is blessing you and Scotty with each other, and for the chance to get to know the lady who will be my new sister-in-law! May the Lord continue to bless the relationships he has begun between all of you!

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  5. Beautifully written. Praise be to God for his merciful answered pray's for both you and Scotty.

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