“Your” Wedding? But…We’re Engaged!

29 05 2013

“Hi, Tami. It’s me, Bruce*. I’m calling to invite you to my wedding.”

Your wedding? I’m a little confused. Am I coming to Colorado?” I asked.

“Um, ah, no. It’s not our wedding. It’s mine. You see, I met this girl at a Bible study. We started hanging out together, and – well – she’s pregnant. We’re getting married next month,” he said.

What else he said after that, I do not know. My world shattered, along with my heart.

This fellow was the lifeguard that laughed while I was struggling to make it to the pool’s edge after my high dive accident at Bible camp. He’d asked for my phone number before the end of the week. We began dating shortly after that.

What wonderful times we had. He would pick me up before school, and we’d drive out by the river. Instead of “necking,” though, he would read from the Bible, we’d talk about God, then pray together.

He often showered me with sweet, thoughtful gifts and flowers, and his nickname for me was, “Beautiful.”

Talk about a “storybook romance.” Who wouldn’t love a guy like that?

Now, my dreams of “happily ever after” were gone.

My parents must not have been home when I received that call. I screamed and hollered, and trashed my room.

“HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?”

My anger turned to rage and I ranted at the God who would give me such a wonderful gift – and then yank it away. “You could have changed my parents’ minds and let us get married. Why didn’t You?”

I hated my parents. Yes, I was only sixteen. So what? Why did they refuse to let us get married before he left for boot camp? This was all their fault.

Spent and defeated, I slumped to the floor. This had been too good to be true. I’d known it all along. Who could really love me? After all, I was such a loser. It really wasn’t that big a surprise. Deep down, I’d expected something like this from the start. I’d been found out.

The next time a fellow asked me to marry him, I said “yes” and set the date for just a couple of months out. Every day I was afraid that he would also call and cancel.

The wedding day arrived, and we were still intact, so we got married.

As happens with newlyweds (especially those who don’t know each other very well – we’d only met three months prior), there were many adjustments to be made. I was unprepared for marriage, and my expectations were great. The bar had been set high by Bruce. No one would ever be able to compare.

After fights, when I was alone, I would cry out, “Bruce, how could you do this to me? Don’t you know what I’m going through?”

At other times I would rail against God, “How could You do this to me? Why did you take Bruce away from me? Life could have been so much better. Am I that horrible a person?”

About two months after I was married, Bruce called to say that his marriage was over. Did I want to go out?

“No can do, buddy. I’m married now.”

Then my marriage ended – and I called him. Of course, by then he was remarried.

Then I remarried. Six years into this marriage, he called, his second marriage failed and he was available.

We talked for almost three hours. Would I go to dinner with him?

“No.”

“You could bring your husband. I really want to see you.”

(To say “yes” would be dangerous, I was too vulnerable and I knew it.)

“No.”

Four years later, I was divorced again and living on my own with my four children. I put a lot of time and effort into dolling up our townhouse – lots of lace and frills. I loved it. In my mind, I was convinced that Bruce was also free, and that this was our big chance to begin life together.  I imagined the two of us cuddled up on the couch. My kids would love him, I was sure of that. Kids everywhere loved the guy.

I’d found this promise in God’s Word: “I know the plans that I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I was sure that this was the time when God would make good on His promise. He would set right His horrible mistake for keeping Bruce from me. Life was finally going to be good.

My home was finished, everything in its place, and it was time to make the phone call. I didn’t have his current phone number, so I contacted a mutual friend. I knew they’d kept in touch, and she would know how to reach him.

Since she and I hadn’t spoken in years, I felt it would be rude to call just to ask for his number. We chatted for quite a while, catching up on one another’s lives.

Our conversation turned to romance, and she tossed out this comment:

“I was devastated when I heard that Bruce killed himself.”

Everything went black and I struggled to maintain consciousness.

All my hopes, all my dreams, shattered once again – this time it was permanent. There would be no “next time.”

I hated God more than ever. What came next was very ugly. I rebelled in every way imaginable. It took more than 10 years for me to come to the end of myself and finally realized how desperately I needed God – and how deep His love was for me.

In His great kindness, the Lord began to bring to remembrance things about Bruce that I’d overlooked while we were dating: his immaturity, his struggle with bi-polar disorder, the times he’d put my life in danger while in a rage. Sure, he always apologized sweetly afterward, and we’d “kiss and make up.” It wasn’t all flowers and fluff. There’d been many evidences that he was mentally unstable. In my “love,” I’d overlooked them.

It took a long time for me to appreciate that God, in His infinite mercy and kindness, had spared me. He did not want me to be the one who lived with the guilt of a husband who’d taken his own life; to be the mother who had to explain to his children why he didn’t love them enough to live.

Our last conversation together, when he was so desperate to see me again, had been his desire to say “good-bye.” Within the month, he was dead. I was spared the guilt of not recognizing the signs and doing something to “save him from himself.”

From this, I’ve learned that when God says “no,” He has a good reason. Because I can’t see beyond today, and don’t know others’ hearts, I lack understanding. After this episode, however, it is much easier to trust God’s ways and His wisdom.

God’s plans for me were for good, and not for evil. Thanks to Him, I have a future and a hope…

…and a wonderful husband of 17 years who loves and cares for me.

Thank You, Lord!

\o/

Praise Jesus!

*Name changed

Advertisements

Actions

Information

48 responses

25 06 2013
Jass

Tami…this touched me deeply. I am in a place career wise where I have no choice but to TRUST God and lean not to my own understanding. It’s hard because I’ve never been in this place before, but this posting has further given me the hope that I need to continue trusting God; especially for what I simply don’t know/understand. Thanks for your transparency.

25 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your comment, Jass.

I love it when I have no choice but to trust…I always have the assurance that it’s going to go well with Jesus in charge.

May the Lord bless your labor and give a great harvest for your efforts!
\o/
Praise Him!

18 06 2013
Heather Marsten

Awesome testimony. You are right, what appears in the natural may not be the whole picture, God does know what is in our best interests. I’ve had some similar things in my testimony, wondering where God was. I was surprised when He revealed where He was. I think what messed me up were expectations. I expected Him to answer my prayer one way, and He did it a different way. I missed it until later when I was healed enough that He could show me where He was.

18 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

He is so good to us. I hope we’ll be clued in on all the ways He protected us once we get Home.

\o/

15 06 2013
tinabrenee

Bawling my eyes out now – thanks for the reminder that His ways are not our ways, that His plans for us are much better than our own, that His arm is not too short to save us, and that He is altogether higher than we. Your story causes me to reflect on my own life and stirs my thankfulness for His never having given up on me. Thank you for being so candid in helping others to see, learn and grow.

15 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

This is one of the ways, I’ve discovered, that God brings good out of the miserable parts of our lives. So glad He spoke to you through it. 🙂

\o/

6 06 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Wow, I cannot get over how much your life and mine are similar. I dated a man for nearly five years off and on, I was convinced he was the man for me. I refused to accept our roller-coaster relationship for what it was. After much heartache, I broke it off for the fifth time. He committed suicide a couple of months after. I saw him at a store a little over a week before he died. He asked me to call him, I didn’t. It was devastating having to go through that, to feel guilty over his death. The Lord was very gracious to you that you didn’t have to experience that guilt at the time of Bruce’s death. Praise God for your loving husband and new life! He kept his promise and gave you the future and hope in His time.

6 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Crazy, isn’t it?

When I think of all the ways God saved me from myself, I am overwhelmed – sometimes to the point of tears.

As for guilt – you didn’t cause his problems, you couldn’t fix his problems, and you couldn’t cure his problems either. Don’t let the enemy hand you the “guilt” coat to wear. It belongs in Jesus’ closet.

Yours is the pretty, white robe (probably has a little bling around the hem, too!). 🙂

\o/

6 06 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Yes, thank you, so is your hem! I did struggle with guilt at first especially since he asked me to call him, just before. I even had bad dreams about it. I did eventually figure out I was not responsible. I also have a good husband now. Thank God for his goodness and mercy on those of us that stubbornly insist we know best.

4 06 2013
mosrubn

Thanks for your sincerity, boldness and love in sharing this experience with us your audience. And thanks for stopping by my blog and the encouraging words which you dropped me. God bless.

4 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your visit as well! 🙂
\o/
Praise Him!

4 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your visit as well! 🙂
\o/
Praise Him!

1 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

Again I am amazed, at what you have endured and yet as you say, He has protected and kept you. The LORD with His infinite wisdom knows what is best for us and I am eternally grateful for that! Love you!

1 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Jesus used all this stuff to mold my character. Well, that’s what He got – a character. 😎

\o/

2 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

And one I absolutely love! Have a great day!

2 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂
\o/

30 05 2013
worthless_romantic

So if you’re gonna write a sound track when this book becomes a movie I’ll record your demo for ya.

30 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Awesome – I’ll take you up on that!

See you tomorrow night? Taco salad for dinner.

\o/

30 05 2013
Kari Anne Dorstad

Great example of ” Father knows best”..

30 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

He sure does.
\o/

30 05 2013
inthepottershands988

Amazed again by His grace! I am thankful for God knowing better than I do. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

30 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

You’re welcome.

Oh, if only I trusted Him more!

\o/

30 05 2013
ddclaywriter

God is so gracious. Often his love looks to us like He is keeping things from us when He is only protecting us.
Thanks for sharing a tough ‘lesson for the heart.’

30 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

29 05 2013
Tony

There are many unanswered prayers that is m sure glad never got answered.

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

If we only knew!
\o/

29 05 2013
nitty-gritty

Wow. I’m in awe of God’s grace in your life. Thank you for sharing this. God bless you more!

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

He does extend liberal amounts of grace to me. It’s a good thing, because I sure need it!

Thanks for your comment. 🙂
\o/

29 05 2013
Pure Glory

So often we think we know what is best for us and God tells us, “no.” We are saved much grief but don’t realize it until much later. Thank you for sharing your testimony of God’s goodness! 🙂

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

He has been so very good to me. Love to have opportunities to tell the world! 🙂

\o/
Praise Him!

30 05 2013
Pure Glory

Hallelujah!

30 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

29 05 2013
Heidi Viars

What a grace-filled story …. grace amidst life toughest spots and greatest disappointments and hurts … Indeed, His grace is what sustains us and we can trust that even though we hear “no”, His answer to us is yes and amen in Christ! THANK YOU for sharing!

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

“Yes, and amen in Christ,” so true!
You’re most welcome. Thanks for your comment.

\o/

29 05 2013
tamarknochel

You could write a great “fiction” book based on that story right there! I’d read it! Great lesson!

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Hmm. I’ll have to keep that in mind. Thanks for the vote of confidence. 🙂

\o/

29 05 2013
TeachX3

What a truly beautiful read…

God bless you sister, thank you!

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Hey there! Thanks for your kind comments. 🙂
\o/

29 05 2013
Larry Who

Like you, my biggest hurts in life have been my expectations which were grounded in presumptions and daydream wishes. Yet, God’s plans are always bathed in joy and truth. Great testimony and well-written, too.

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Expectations – they always get me into trouble!
Thanks for your encouragement and support. It means a lot.:)
\o/

29 05 2013
annabachinsky

What an amazing (and encouraging) testimony! Especially for me when I hear God’s “no’s” in my life and I struggle to understand why. His plan is always good for me and sometimes that plan includes my prayers not getting answered the way I want them to. Thank you so much for this!!

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

A little perspective goes a long way!

Keep holding up that shield of faith, dear sister! He’s worthy of our trust.

\o/

29 05 2013
theywhoseek

WOW, what a testimony to how great our God is . . . I am so happy you have found your future and hope in the Lord and that He has blessed you with your wonderful husbands. It’s sad that our pride stands in the way of what His plans are for us, but once we remove it . . . watch out . . . He has great and wonderful things for us! Amen and Amen!

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

29 05 2013
theywhoseek

I meant to say “wonderful husband” 🙂

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

I knew that! 😉

\o/

29 05 2013
thesanctuaryofmyheart

Thank you for sharing this!! God is so good and so faithful.

29 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yes He is good – even when it looks like He’s not.
You’re welcome.

\o/

Your turn!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: