It’s hard to believe, but this is my wedding week. I didn’t think I’d ever write those words again. My husband, Dave, has been gone now eight-and-a-half years. After his death, I simply went on with my life and told the Lord that if he wanted me to marry again he’d have to bring someone to me, preferably to my front door.
Well, that didn’t happen, exactly. I met Melvin more than a year ago at a prayer meeting. There’s a wonderful group called The Siouxland Prayer Alliance. My friend Shawn Lohry, the director, started it about 19 years ago. They are prayer warriors who meet and pray for a specific church or ministry at their location. They pray across denominational lines. They pray for the church, their pastor, their members, the entire region, our country and much more.
On this one particular Saturday morning we were at Heartland Baptist Church. Some of the members there graciously made breakfast for us. My friend, Donna, and I sat at Melvin’s table and shared lively conversation. The three of us had a good time.
Then a little while later he spoke at my church to the Care Core Ministry Team, an off-shoot of Stephen’s Ministries. It’s a great group of people who are kind and compassionate souls. One of the guys, Mark, asked Melvin to share about the healing ministry he and his wife had for many years. Afterward, I went up to him and asked if he remembered me. He enthusiastically did. We sat and talked for a long time, until it was time to lock up the church.
Melvin called me later that week. We chatted for a long time. Then out of the blue, surprising myself, I said, “I should visit your Bible study class sometime.”
He said, “What are you doing this Sunday?”
Knowing that I wouldn’t have time to go to my own church and make it over for Melvin’s Bible study, I decided to attend his church. I unknowingly sat in the row behind where he always sits, in the exact space behind him. As he came into church he saw me and said, “Sit with me.” So I did. I enjoyed worshiping with him.
Then on to his Bible study class. I don’t remember a time when I felt so instantly comfortable with a new group of people. I’ve since come to love them and to think of them as family.
Afterward, Melvin invited me to lunch. We talked for three hours and a friendship began. As time passed, we began to pray about getting married. We both agreed we wouldn’t make any decision until we heard from the Lord.
On July Fourth, 35 miles apart in our own homes and reading the same morning devotion, we both heard the same answer. That was the day Melvin proposed to me and the day I answered “yes” with no hesitation or doubt.
As we get ready to begin our new life together, we remember and honor our former spouses. Because we had such good marriages with them. Because they loved us so well, we can now love one another. I wrote this little piece about them. It’s called, “We Remember You.”
We remember you. The sweethearts of our youth. We said our “I dos” as time stretched out with endless tomorrows. Life was as fresh as the first tulip in spring. We grew our children and harvested a life during summer days when lightning bugs danced at night and busy lives filled our days. When living life was as easy as watching corn grow.
We remember you. The hopes and dreams we planted in lives together we thought would never end. We remember you with endless love. With thanksgiving that you are happy for us even now that we have found love again in this season of our lives. Somehow we know that just as the Lord is in the middle of our union, so are the two of you. The sweethearts of our youth.
We sow new hopes and dreams that sprout from the love we planted with you. We harvest blessings of love in this new season of our lives. As we move forward together in faith and love, we remember you.