I grew up in a small town in southeast Virginia, back in the day before cell phones existed, long distance calls were prohibited by my parents, and the internet was unheard of (i.e. no email). The best form of communication wasn’t texting or blogging. No, instead, the handwritten note via “snail mail” was the most affordable method of staying in touch with your friends and loved ones who lived both near and far.
When you’re in the 7th grade, the note that gets passed to you behind the teacher’s back in school was always exciting and promised to be full of surprise. Most of the time the note-passing was between my girlfriends and myself, and mostly the notes were trivial. Imagine my delight when the tallest, cutest boy in my class (that I sat beside and daydreamed about in secret) passed me a note 2 weeks before summer vacation was to begin! I’ll never forget it. The note read: “Lisa, Will you go with me? Circle one: Yes or No From, Clay” To “go with” someone in the 7th grade seems so silly now looking back at our young age, but at the time it was a serious thing. Of course, I circled “Yes” and passed the note back, giddy with the thought that this boy with braces, the most beautiful green eyes trimmed with long dark eyelashes, curly brown hair, the start of what would eventually be a real mustache, and dimples the size of the Grand Canyon actually LIKED ME!
Two weeks later we graduated from middle school. We stood next to each other in the gymnasium, all of us holding hands in a circle around the room, singing “We are the World”. I cried what seemed like rivers that my first boyfriend and I would be separated for the summer, and in 7th grade, my heart was broken. Clay moved away that summer. I started high school the next fall. Thanks to lack of ability to stay in touch, we grew farther and farther apart, which would be normal for anyone that age. He would come seek me out over the next few years whenever he would come to town to visit his grandmother, but our encounters were for just a few minutes at a time, and just as soon as he was here, he was gone again. Every time I’d see him or hear his name the butterflies in my stomach would flutter around and send me into a school girl crushed up mess.
Clay and I saw each other as young adults, both of us going through the pains of growing up and making bad decisions. When we’d see each other either one of us wasn’t single or one of us had been partying too much to consider the other (I won’t spill the beans on which one of us that was… we both liked to have a “good time” in our younger days).
Years passed. Technology opened gateways of communication. Clay got married. I got married and moved as far away from my small hometown as possible. We both got divorced. We both settled down a bit in our older (wiser) age. Then came Facebook. When I saw his profile page and pictures for the first time in decades my stomach flip flopped and heart raced. He still had those dimples, eyes, and the braces produced a gorgeous smile. Surely he wouldn’t fall for me… after all, I have had 7 abdominal surgeries and gained weight, not to mention those grey hairs that keep popping out all over my head.
We emailed each other for 2 years on Facebook. We even called and texted from time to time, attempting to reconnect in person but missing each other with every try. After I moved to the beach (an hour from his house) he began to contact me more frequently, but I was convinced that after a failed marriage and low self-esteem that I was much better off by myself, just me and my cat and the yarn shop I worked in, and I’d be just fine for the rest of my life in my little happy spot.
I was wrong. Can you believe that?
Clay finally convinced me to celebrate his 39th birthday with him by going to Busch Gardens. We both loved riding roller coasters and this was the only thing he asked for for his birthday. I had already cancelled a previous date to go roller coaster riding with him for fear of rejection. Little did I know that I was just working in God’s time.
I showed up at Clay’s house with a cooler packed to fix dinner. When I got out of my car he stepped out of his house onto the deck. To this day I still don’t know how I managed to stay upright and not let me knees give way. He was absolutely the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. I knew right then that I wanted to know him better, in a different way, but I didn’t understand this feeling. I had never felt it before.
That’s because God was working in me. I had never been blessed with true love, a divine love, a love that can’t be described with words because it’s so strong and can only be understood through the miracles that God works for us and in us. God was working in him too – he felt the same way. We had the best date and birthday celebration at Busch Gardens, we spent the weekend together, and he was a perfect gentleman. This was unexpected in so many ways…
Once I got back to my little apartment at the beach, back to the job I loved dearly in the yarn shop teaching people about my passion (yarn/knitting), I realized that I couldn’t keep my mind off of him. I looked forward to his texts, talking for hours on the phone in the evenings, and our visits that became more frequent as the weeks passed. Before we knew it a hurricane hit and we were without electricity in the country, no water or power for 3 days, and it was bliss. We knew that we couldn’t live without each other. He asked me to marry him, giving me his grandmother’s ring.
Once again, I said “Yes”. We were married in a little white country church five months later.
The love that God has blessed us with is beyond comprehension. I pray each night a prayer of thanks that I have been given this companion, this love, this trust, this blessing. God put us together in His time, not ours. We had to grow up, to have other relationships, time to mature, and time to recognize a blessing when we saw it. We’ve never once had a fight, we share a bond like no other, and it’s God’s divine power working in us that gives us the happiness we both deserve.
Let this be a testimony to you: often times we settle for less than what’s best for us. We all do it. I’m living proof that despite our insecurities, faults, or sins, there is someone in this world made just for you and only you. Don’t settle for less than what God has intended for you. God wants you to be happy, to rejoice in His blessings, to trust that He will provide the right companion for you, just like he made Eve for Adam. If you don’t believe me, well then, pray on it. Speak it into existence. God WILL bless you with the one He made just for you, your perfect fit, your soul mate.
We are living proof that God works wonders. God gives us who we need in our lives at just the right time, in God’s time. There are no real mistakes or coincidences, just steps to propel you to your destiny. Now is the time to fulfill your destiny. I’m thankful to still be fulfilling ours and knowing that God will provide all the days of our lives. This is our story. It is intended to give you hope… and if you’ve read this much, I hope you’re inspired to strive for greatness and true, faithful love… God’s Love. He is my biggest blessing, and he is given to me by God.
In Jesus’ name I THANK YOU, God! Amen!