The day this is posted will be my sweetheart's 53rd birthday. We'll be on a convention cruise that we earned from Nature's Sunshine Products. My hubby loves to cruise. I tolerate it since I do enjoy getting to see friends and I get a lot of walking in. Every cruise we've taken I've come back weighing less or at the most a pound more. This time we have a balcony which I will enjoy tremendously since I love to have fresh air around me. Listening to the waves splashing while I drift off to sleep will be delightful.
To surprise my one great and terrific man, I thought I'd tell all the world our love story. God had a special plan for both of us in bringing us together. He always says that he got things in his wife that he didn't even know to ask for (and he means it in a good way), but I tease him that my list of 21 items was not long enough. You'll have to read the rest of the story to know about the list ......
I was living and working in Atlanta. Randal came from Oklahoma City for various sales schools in the IBM Education Building where I worked. I remember him inviting my friend and me to a party at the end of one of the classes, but we declined. The schooling process took about a year, so he was patient knowing that he would be back.
One day in the hallway he stopped me and mentioned he'd be back in two weeks for another class and wondered if he could give me a call and get together. My only response was, "What for?" Randal says that he was glad he had completed a few sales schools so he didn't skip a beat in his response. His answer was, "For a coke and some fellowship." That's an answer I never had before so I certainly had no training to stand on. I said, "Sure." He asked for no phone number and that was the end of the conversation.
At the time I was studying Spanish and was breathing and dreaming it because I liked the language. I was in touch with friends in Mexico that I'd met prior to taking the course so I used it anytime I could which included answering the telephone by saying, "Bueno!"
Randal had come back to town and proceeded to look my phone number up in the phone book. There were several Powell listings and he had gone through them all but one without finding me. He called the last option and when I answered in Spanish, he figured he may as well hang up ... but he didn't. (All that sales training, right? :-)
Our first date was early November and we were married early April of the following year. This may not seem too odd except for the fact that I never intended to get married. I had dated a guy for 3 years and another for 4 years, but would not consider marriage. I still have no idea how all of this transpired mentally other than to say it was just Providence. This was surely the man of my dreams, right?
At one point while we were dating I did come across a piece of paper on which I'd written 21 things in a man that I wanted. Reviewing them, Randal had 19. In case you're wondering what he didn't have, it was black hair and being a great dancer. Actually most of our dating was talks on the telephone since we lived so far away.
Randal bought me a beautiful locket with a diamond chip from Bailey, Banks and Biddle for Christmas. I thought it rather extravagant for knowing me such a short time, but when I left for Spain with my Spanish class for New Year's Eve, I was thinking about getting him something while I was there.
What a challenge it was for me to come up with what to get. I looked at leather things and practical things and I kept going back to a jeweler down the street from the hotel. There was an 18K gold cross there that was very unusual and hollow with open ends. I thought it was unique, but Randal had been a Christian since childhood so I figured he had a drawer full of crosses and I didn't want to add to it. Randal had just led me to the Lord shortly before leaving for the trip. There continued to be a tug towards that cross and the only logical reason I could come up with is that he wouldn't have an 18k gold cross since gold in the USA was generally 12K or 14K, so I bought it.
Randal didn't know that my return ticket had a diversion from NYC to Dallas before returning to Atlanta. We had talked on the phone at the airport and I gave him that telephone number to call me after my flight came in from Madrid. That was when I would surprise him and tell him I'd be arriving in Dallas in the amount of time it would take for him to get there. When I got to NYC the terminal that the telephone was in was locked down. Closed! He was going to be calling from work since they allowed use of the line after hours for long distance calls. That was still in the days of switchboards, rather than entering a extension number, so there was no way for me to reach him.
Dragging and hauling my bags around the airport trying to find some way and somebody that could let me into that terminal seemed to take forever and it was getting close to the time my flight was to leave for Dallas. I did get in, I did get the call, and I did fly to Dallas, and Randal did meet me. Providence again, I'm certain.
Late that night I gave him the gift I had purchased and he opened it and had a strange almost shocked look on his face. I rehearsed again what I'd already said many times in Spain, "Oh! Another cross!" He recovered quickly and said he liked it and I left that behind. The next evening he asked me to marry him. I was a bit shocked and said I'd have to think about that. In the meantime, he wanted to tell me a story. So I listened to this:
"Since I was a teenager I have prayed for my wife. That she would be safe and God would watch over her and prepare her for our marriage, etc. While I was in college I began asking the Lord how I would know my wife when I saw her. After one of these conversations I remembered the Bible story about Abraham sending out a servant to find a wife for Isaac. (Gen. 24) The servant upon arriving near the town well with his camels prayed, asking God for favor and to know which of the daughters of the townspeople was to be Isaac's bride.
The servant asked the Lord for it to be that when he said to a girl, "Please let down your jar that I may have a drink," that she says to me, "Drink and I will water your camels also," that this be the one you have chosen for Isaac. Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came with a jar on her shoulder, went down to the well to fill it, and on her way back, the servant hurried to meet her and asked his question. She gave him a drink and afterwards said, "I'll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking."
Upon pondering this Biblical scenario, Randal asked the Lord to do the same for him. Not having wells or camels, his "sign" was to be the first girl that gave him a cross. So .... you can see I was a bit off on how I translated his reaction to the cross, but I was certainly right to bend to the strong impression in Spain that I was to purchase it.
Oh! To hope that I would have the servant's heart that Rebekah had. The Bible tells us he had 10 camels, which can drink up to 21 gallons of water in 10 minutes. She volunteered for quite a bit of dipping and hauling for a stranger, but what a great reward she had. She became the beloved bride of Isaac, inherited the wealth of Abraham, and became the mother of the nation of Israel.
The example that Rebekah sets is that whether we realize it or not, our actions and attitudes determine our future. So the next time you get an opportunity to serve, think of Rebekah. God may use it to get you to the next level of living. Always do more than is required of you and do it cheerfully.
You may enjoy this book, "Praying For Your Future Husband - Preparing Your Heart For His."
For the guys, who may be seeking a wife, keep this Scripture in mind: "Seek not a wife" (I Cor. 7:27). Just as God brought Eve to Adam and Ruth to Boaz, He will give you good wives if you will seek Him first and not a mate. A wife is a good thing according to Proverbs 18:22: "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD." Seek the Lord, and He will give you the right wife and she will be a good thing.
Donna lives in Central Virginia with a wonderful husband and a cat named Squeek. She is a lover of God, nature, wildlife, birds, gardening, photography, travel, simple living, natural health, pets and seeking a peaceful, healing lifestyle. Life has many hurts and sorrows but within "the [divine] nature in us" we CAN overcome. You can also find her posts on Google+ and Twitter.
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