Sunday, August 29, 2010

Love Story

Anita had only ever had one dream for her future.  She wanted to be a stay at home mom.  But at twenty three it seemed her dream was nowhere near to being realized.  She had never even had a boy friend.

It wasn't that the boys didn't like her; it was just that she had made up her mind not to pursue a relationship with any man she did not feel she could marry, and she would not marry anyone that did not fit her high Christian standards. And so she was still single.

I loved having her home with me.  She was a wonderful daughter, a marvelous hair dresser, and a terrific singer and musician, and we always sang together where ever we went.  It was a great arrangement for me, but I ached for her and prayed that God would see the yearning of her heart and fulfill her desire.

We traveled extensively during this time, my husband preaching and the girls and I singing, and one of our favorite churches was just south of us in Michigan.  We knew and loved all of the core congregation, but, of course, their were always new people coming in, and we enjoyed meeting them as well.

One week end we arrived on a Saturday evening and stayed at the pastor's home for the night just as we always did.  In the morning when we gathered around the big dining room table for breakfast, a young Latin-American young man came and sat down beside us.  The pastor introduced him as Noe Reyes, the son of a minister friend in Honduras.  He was staying in the pastor's rental house next door, and often took his meals with the pastor and his wife.

My Momma mind instinctively started checking him over.  Could this be the one?  He certainly was likable, entertaining us with stories of Honduras in his heavily accented English, and it seemed he was not married or engaged.  I looked over at Anita.  I could see she was enjoying his company as well. 

After church many of the congregation headed over to Country Buffet for lunch.  I was a little disappointed to notice that Noe was not with us.  After we were all settled and starting to eat, Noe and a friend arrived.  They had started to go someplace else, but had changed their minds and joined us. The only seats available at the table were right next to us, and again we were entertained with Noe's lively conversation. 

Later that afternoon as I was visiting with the pastor's wife, she started talking about Noe.  "He's such a nice boy, so helpful around here, and he really loves the Lord, but the poor boy desperately needs a wife."  She said he was in his early thirties and knew it was time to settle down, but he just hadn't found the right girl. Again, my momma mind was at wondering.

We didn't see Noe again that weekend.  He had gone off with his friends somewhere, and I was disappointed.  If he was really looking for a good woman, why hadn't he stuck around to get to know Anita?
She certainly was attractive enough, and I knew he had enjoyed her violin music and her singing.  What was the matter with him anyway?

On the trip home Anita and I discussed Noe in a round about way.  "He seems like a really nice guy," I said, and added, "I wonder who we could pare him up with." I then proceeded to list a few of her older unmarried friends.  To each name she found a good reason why they would not be suitable.  I never suggested the name, Anita, and neither did she, but I think we were both wondering the same thing.

Anita and I were eager to go to Michigan again, but when the opportunity finally arose, Noe was not there.  I think we were both disappointed.  It wasn't until the missionary conference at that church that we saw Noe again.

His parents were visiting from Honduras and his father was one of the speakers.  In the afternoon we were sitting and visiting in the pastor's living room.  Noe asked Anita to play the organ and she played a few songs. We got talking again, and the subject came up about ages.  He asked Anita how old she was.

I had no idea how important Anita's answer was to Noe, but from the moment she told him that she was twenty four, he never left her side if he could possible help it.  I found out later that he had been thinking she was about sixteen, and was chiding himself for taking an interest in a girl half his age.  He kept saying to himself, "no! it isn't right!" but the minute he found out that she was not just a sweet "little" girl, everything changed.

I heard later that he told his parents, that same day, that Anita was the girl he was going to marry.  But Anita had told the Lord, many years before, that she would not step into any kind of a relationship with a man unless she knew it was God's will for her, and she was not about to give her heart to any man, no matter how pleasant he appeared, until she knew she had that assurance.

Her struggles and the assurance that followed will be the subject of my next blog post, Love Story part 2

For the previous posts read Funeral Party

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