Steady as You Wait – Guest Post

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The following testimony is written by someone very special in my life.  Paula Hernando was the secretary of the Christian college I attended in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in the early 2000’s.  I volunteered in her office and enjoyed chatting with her sweet personality!  She was a blessing to me as she made me feel welcome in a foreign country, a new church, and a new school.  Like many of us, she had to wait a little longer than planned for her “Mr. Wright” to appear.  But as you’ll read, it was well worth the wait!

I remember as a child picking up a special flower and pulling the petals off one by one. “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me…” I would take the steps down an imaginary aisle holding tightly to my grandmother’s geranium as if it were a grand bouquet.   I would imagine my future husband whisking me off my feet and carrying me away.  However, when I reached my early 20’s, the desire to be married was no longer a quiet childhood game.  By that time I felt I knew everything there was to know about life and love and marriage (insert chuckle here), there was only one thing missing:  A man!

I knew instinctively that peacefulness was so important while waiting for my future husband to arrive.  I did the best with what I had and tried to pretty myself with make-up and hair styles that were flattering. Everyone around me told me to wait for God to bring just the right person in my life.  I’d like to say that I was the picture of perfect patience, but I had difficulty with the idea of delay.  I questioned God about it continually.  I couldn’t understand why desire didn’t equal readiness. It became increasingly stressful for me as I aged. Through this process, God made me ready to handle a serious adult relationship.  It was a readiness that I couldn’t produce in myself.  Only God knew when that moment would arrive.  In a practical sense, I had to come to the place of hopeful peace in the midst of an intense desire to be married.

“This could be the year that you meet your man, because if we wait for you, we’ll wait forever.” This was an encouraging prophecy that came to me a few years before I met my husband to be.  While I waited, I kept the following scripture in my back pocket:  “… blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45). I held to these promises that brought me a hope that God would one day answer my prayer.

Then one day in 1998, I had the responsibility of arranging billets for students at my new job as secretary for a Christian college.  My new assignment had to be housed within an afternoon. I was to meet him later that day to discuss the arrangement and give him a map to his new home.  When Dario arrived, my heart did a little flutter and I’m sure I blushed.  Thus began a friendship where we seemed to be drawn to one another.

By the end of 2002 I knew I wanted this friendship to blossom into more.  I loved his walk with the Lord, his warmth, his ability to keep me fascinated in conversation, and his funny way.   Through the assistance of mutual friends, Dario asked me to dinner. This began a 5-month courtship as our love and anticipation grew.  We were going steady!

I remember the Lord giving me a directive one night as the scripture leapt off the page of my Bible: “Be still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall; for the man will not rest until he has completed the matter this day” (Ruth 3: 18). Little did I know that during this time Dario had for two weeks held a boxed engagement ring in his pocket, looking for an appropriate time.

During one of our planned picnic dates, we visited a beautifully restored nursery, complete with dazzling colors in lilies, peonies, and other tiny flowers and plants.  Dario asked me to marry him in this beautiful backdrop of God’s creation.  I said, “Yes”!  I was 39 years old.  We were married October 10th, 2003.

We had the blessing and support of our leaders, our friends, and a faithful God.  Our courtship was blessed with a prophetic word with personalized details along with a personalized scripture: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:   If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10).  We knew God was blessing our union!

To the single regardless of age:  God knows your heart’s desire just to be loved.  Remember He has loved you first and wants that heart’s ache to be fulfilled just as much as you do.  You have His attention.  God is preparing you both.  Remember He already knows who that man is!

Paula’s Advice:

Be the best you, you can be!

  1.  Prepare yourself spiritually to crawl in close to Father God. He will fill your heart with warmth and love.  For a man who is seeking, your love relationship with the Lord is really hard to resist.  Seek to be inclusive with Jesus.  Go steady with Him.  Pray for your future husband all the blessings you can think of to ensure God’s blessing is on him and you will meet just at the right time.
  2.  Prepare your mind and emotions to handle the challenges of relationships. Find the books that will help you do that.   Marriage can be a challenge.  Give yourself some tools in understanding human dynamics.
  3.  Is there anything you can do to prepare yourself physically? Don’t fall for the lie that a pretty face and trim body is the only way to attract that man.  Or a handsome physique and bulging muscular body is the only way to attract a lady.  However, strong healthy bodies are important for handling stress and giving your future spouse the best you that you can be.

All this…while you wait.

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Paula Hernando is a fellow blogger and published author.  You can read more about her and her book at http://www.emptyhandstoopenarms.com.

 

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Tape and a Broken Heart

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I walked up to my rental car, a brand new PT Cruiser, and started to open the door for my drive to church.  That’s when I saw the little white apartment business card tucked in the window.  Strange.  I turned it over and read a neatly written note: “Call me sometime.  I’d like to take you out.”  It was signed, “Kevin.”

My heart pounded.  My neighbor wanted to take me out?

Two weeks before, my tail light had been crushed by another neighbor’s careless driving.  I had come out of my apartment a couple days later to scrape my windows before going to work and had discovered a note and roll of tape on my windshield.  “The same thing happened to me,” the note read.  “Thought you could use this.  Kevin.”  The message was followed by his apartment and phone number.  I glanced at the apartment doors around me.  Directly ahead of me, the door slightly ajar, was the apartment.  I quickly entered my car, tossing the roll of tape on my seat.  Thoughtful, I thought.  But who was he?  It was obviously someone who had seen my plight and thought to use it as an introduction.

Because I was wary…and nervous…I waited a week before approaching my benefactor’s door.  I mean, the least I could do was thank him.

Bundled in my winter coat and boots, I stood outside his apartment and knocked.  I was met by a good-looking man in his thirties.  His face broke into a big smile as he opened the door.

“Hello, are you Kevin?” I asked.

“Yes!”

“I’m Christa Heider.”  I smiled sweetly, handing him the tape roll.  “Thank you for giving this to me.  I was actually getting it fixed the day I found it.  I appreciate it, though!”

His smile was still in place.  “I didn’t know if you needed it or not.  The same thing happened to me before.”

After you exchanged a few more words about the police and their rules for driving without a tail light, I bid him goodbye.  “Well, thank you.  Have a nice day!”

Still smiling, Kevin confidently called after me, “I’ll be seeing you!”

I got into my maimed Explorer, knowing something romantic was up.

Then a week later, the date invitation showed up on my rental.  I immediately went into panic mode!  This meant confrontation and I never liked that.  I didn’t know the guy well enough to go on a date, and I didn’t know anyone who knew him.  Besides that, I didn’t have that peace in my heart that said God was okay with it.

I eventually called him and said I wasn’t comfortable with a date.  He was a little confused, but respected what I said.  I, on the other hand, was dejected.  How many times was I going to have to say “no” to someone’s advances?  When could I give my heart away and enjoy the company of my first boyfriend?  I felt discouragement overtake me and tears came to my eyes.  I knew what the right thing was for me, but sometimes doing the right thing hurts in the beginning.  That’s when I heard God quietly tell me, “Christa, let me hold your heart until your husband comes.”

To be continued…