Written by: Michael Smith
Once there was a beautiful young woman with strawberry blond hair, and a lovely soprano voice, who loved God, and lived with her mother on a little farm in the country. Although she yearned for someone of her own to love, she had decided the best way she could honor God was to be patient, and wait for Him to bring to her the one man who God had prepared for her. This was not an easy thing, and caused much heartache and anxiety at times, for she could see her friends and others developing relationships, good and bad, and getting married in what seemed like droves, while she bided her time.
At last the city began to encroach on the little farm in the country, and despite their love for the old place, they prepared to move farther away, to the land of Lakengren, a lakeside community, where the days could be spent paddling a kayak, and nights spent quietly. This caused much anguish for the fair maiden, because she knew the location was far away from the church she had grown up attending, and all her friends, but with much prayer she found the determination to follow her mother to this faraway place.
But the distance from their church was great, and so, the beautiful young woman and her mother began to make plans to find a church closer to their new home…
Also attending the maiden’s church was a somewhat careworn and lonely man, who, although he had in early years given his life to God, and accepted Jesus as his Savior, had made mistakes, but was determined to rebuild his relationship with God, and strive to be the man he knew he should be. Leaving a job as a reference librarian, in a college on the Texas/Mexico border, he had returned home, to live with his parents, and seek out employment near to his family. His parents had been attending the maiden’s church for some time, and he had happily joined them.
It was here that he had seen this lovely maiden from a distance, as they both loved music, and sang in the choir, but his shyness, and his drive to make something of himself, made him put thoughts of romance away for a season. While he began to establish himself in his new career in a nearby city, he had times when the idea of meeting this nice girl passed through his head, but in matters of the heart he was not very brave.
Not brave, that is, until the day he heard that the beautiful young maiden and her mother were going to be leaving the church! Suddenly it seemed very important to him to say something, anything, to this young woman, before it was too late!
And so, knowing that his parents were interested in visiting the new church the maiden and her mother were going to attend, he clumsily and desperately touched her arm, to inquire as to the location…for his parent’s sake, of course!
Taken aback by this sudden interruption, the maiden somehow gathered herself and gave him the information, after which the man hastily retreated with his thanks. What a fool, he felt he was…and what a weird, yet exciting, thing, she thought.
On the following Sunday, in May, the man and his parents visited the new church, and sat near the maiden and her mother. Afterward, there was a potluck supper, and opportunity to converse, so in the course of conversation, the man and the maiden discovered some interesting connections between them, such as their jobs, and other common interests. But all too soon the man and his parents left, leaving the maiden wondering what to think of it all, and leaving the man with the misapprehension that the maiden didn’t seem all that interested in him! He was wrong, of course, but how could he know that this young lady had determined not to seek a romance of any kind until God brought someone to her? He had looked for outward signs of interest, and missed the deeper hope that now started to grow in her heart!
The summer passed, and neither knew that the one was still thinking of the other, wondering what God might have in store, or if, or whether, He had something planned for them. The maiden was frustrated, but hopeful. Why would God bring someone into her life for such a brief moment, and then take him away? Perhaps it was just a test of her faith. The man was confused. Why could he not get the thought of the beautiful young maiden out of his head? On into the fall they struggled, apart, until at last, with the opportunity of seeing her again, he decided to go to a wedding he hoped she’d attend, in the vain hope of maybe, just possibly, getting to talk to her.
And this time he would not let his chances pass by, he would gather his courage, and act!
He didn’t know that she was also hoping to see him, and looking for some opportunity to talk to him! Alas, at the reception, that first day in November, there didn’t seem to be any way for either of them to break the ice! He was nearly ready to leave, and then who knew when they’d see each other again?
He’d begun to resign himself to a missed opportunity. She’d begun to get impatient.
While he dithered, a little boy with a cup full of peanuts decided this was a good time to dump them out on the floor between them! As the man knelt down to pick them up, she willed herself to act, and approached.
“Hi!” she said, sounding cheerfully pleasant and yet somewhat hesitant of his reaction.
He was nervous, and wanted to keep the conversation light, while he faced up to the fact that, now or never, he would have to follow through on his decision to ask her out, but in his flustered state he could only think to put the peanuts back on the ground.
Amazingly, this involuntarily silly act only led to a shared laugh at his absent-mindedness, and she rescued him from his shame by hurrying them to a garbage can; hoping he would still be there when she returned. Meanwhile he was lamenting this inept start, and trying to find the courage to ask if she would like to go out sometime. But she did return, and they fell into an odd conversation, alternating between casual banalities and everyday conversational pleasantries, until, at a momentary lull, he found himself blurting out the question he had longed to ask!
The maiden was taken aback at first. She had hoped to encourage further communication between them, but wasn’t quite ready for a date. Not wanting to discourage his attentions, but hesitant about how to proceed, she proffered her email address, and an opportunity to continue their conversations in writing for the time being.
This was success! The man was ecstatic! It wasn’t a date, but they had suddenly found themselves sharing the sweet moment at which a romance had started. As he left that afternoon he was buoyed along in his journey by the prospect of further contact with the lovely maiden, just as she was now tentatively and hopefully looking forward to what God had in store for her, and for them.
As the months progressed, their emails became phone calls. Their first nervous visits became wonderful outings. Their words became love songs, and their commitment to growing together in their relationship with each other and with God deepened, until at last he knew what he had begun to believe months earlier, that God wanted them to share their lives forever as husband and wife.
In June, after returning from a two week vacation to Ireland with his friend, during which time his enjoyment of the Emerald Isle was tempered by a steadily growing yearning he felt to be with the maiden, he purchased a ring, and prepared in his clumsy way to ask for her hand, but fate intervened. A deep conversation between them about their relationship led to her asking a question to which his only honest answer was “Because I was about to ask you, would you marry me?”
And although his great, still unformed plan for a wonderfully romantic proposal was swept away in the immediacy of the moment, her “yes” was the most beautiful thing he had ever heard.
So, with tears of joy, and prayers of thanksgiving, their lips touched for the first time, and the euphoria of the moment, ordained by God to happen in a way neither of them had imagined or anticipated, made it clear that they had truly been blessed with God’s best for their lives, now and forever!