Not Looking for a Hiking Partner





After the second marriage disaster, I had nowhere to look but up.  I turned my life over to God. Slowly, steadily He started putting the pieces of me back together.  It was not because I deserved it, but most definitely because God is a good and loving Father who binds up the wounds of the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18 NIV).  He cares for His children even when they are far off the road and are completely covered in mud in the ditch.  He lifted me out of the mess and put me on a path to come closer to Him. (Psalm 40:2 NIV).  Sometimes, He will put people in your way to help you on the journey.

When I wasn’t ready or looking, the serious, good-looking guy that had dumped seventeen years earlier waltzed back into my life.  We started meeting.  Once we went out on a Sunday morning.  At the time, I felt conflicted because I really needed and wanted to go to church.  It was the only place I could feel God’s healing presence.  Going on a date instead of to church that Sunday made me feel like I had missed a dose of critical medicine. 

The next Saturday before our date, anxiety about Sunday outings began to eat away at my peace.  I went for a walk to clear my head. I thought, “This is ridiculous. You sound like a Bible thumper.  You can go out whenever you want.  Wait, what am I doing going out anyway?  Remember, two time loser?”  As I fretted, I heard the voice of reason, “Instead freaking out about this, why you don’t tell him the situation? If he doesn’t like it, you he’s not the guy you need in your life.” 

My spirit answered back, “Of course! Honesty in a relationship. What a concept.”  I was scared to have the conversation, but I was convinced it was the right thing to do.  He arrived shortly after the walk.  I took a deep breath and got up the gumption to have the conversation.  I hemmed and hawed, “uhh…Chris, um… you know last week when we went out on Sunday?”

“Yes”, he replied.

“Um…well.  I missed church that day.  I know I haven’t really told you about this, but church is important to me right now.  It’s the only place where I feel like my heart is being healed”.    He was paying attention. He wasn’t squirming or running out the door.  I went for it, “If it’s all the same to you, could we keep the dating thing on Fridays, Saturdays or after church on Sunday?”

Without missing a beat, he replied, “Sure and maybe if you ask me, I’ll go with you.”

I was taken aback.  I thought, “Steady girl, say something.”  Audibly, I questioned, “Okay, I’m asking.  Do you want to go with me to church tomorrow?”

He said, “It’s a date.” 

From that day forward, I had a journey partner.  We’ve been married for nine years now. Talk about a surprise blessing.

Has God ever surprised you with something you never expected?  Has He ever given you what you need instead of what you want?

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