Thursday, December 14, 2006

August 1986 -- "We were like them that dream" (Part Seven)

The Announcement was made one night during the August conference at Maranatha. My dad stood on a chair in the fellowship hall after the service, raised his hands, and in a loud voice said, "May I have your attention please?"

Normally, when my dad says that, everyone gets quiet and waits for some important announcement. Then, when everyone's looking at him, my dad will say, "Thank you. I just love attention." And then he will get off the chair and go back to whatever he was doing before. You have to know my dad. He is never annoying or egotistical. Things like that usually only make him more lovable.

This time, though, he said, "Someone else wants your attention." He then looked at us, expecting Tom to explain. Tom was not really prepared for this, but he managed to make The Announcement. We got a lot of applause, congrats, hugs, well-wishes, that kind of thing. And a bit of ribbing and teasing, too.

Later, though, some people suggested to my mom that wasn't this a bit sudden? Didn't we need time to get to know each other better? My mom just quietly referred them to Isaac and Rebekah, who had never even seen each other until the day they married. Rebekah Walker's dad, Pat Horner, puts it this way:

Short thoughts on courtship and long does "courtship" last?

Taken from the biblical account of Isaac and Rebekah--

1. Help her get off the camel.

2. Say I do.

3. Take her into the tent.

Is it the Lord's will for me to be with this person? If the answer is yes, then marry them already!!!

Our thoughts, exactly. Tom observed that we had a lifetime to "get to know each other." We knew enough to get married on; the rest would come later.

In the very first post of this series, I quoted Psalm 126. The first verse says, "When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream." In a later post, I noted the spiritual depression Tom went through, which was a direct result of his saying NO to God. He says that when he said NO, all the lights went out. After he said YES, all the lights came back on, and the very first blessing God gave him was me (see Proverbs 18:22). After years of praying for a wife, God granted his request as Tom yielded to His will. God had turned the captivity back in Tom's life, opening up a whole new life of blessing.

For me, the "captivity" was singleness. A fellow college student had told me that before God would give me a husband, I would have to be willing to be single, perhaps for life. But I just couldn't accept that. I was definitely NOT willing to be single the rest of my life! I struggled a lot then with what God might require of me. I had to learn the truth of Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." I did not need to resign myself to a life of singleness in order to be "rewarded" with marriage. I only needed to have the Lord as my soul's delight. My primary focus had to be on Him, not on marriage. Once I stopped trying to "find someone" and learned to wait on God's timing, He gave me Tom.

to be continued. . .

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