The Scene—A Sacred Place in a Special Town
It was August 2, 2014, and I (Loral) was going to be maid of honor in one of my best friend’s wedding celebration in Grand Rapids, Ohio, a town that had been a refuge for me during the last five years of city life in Chicago.
During those previous five years, my friend and I, as single ladies, would have visits about three or four times a year. We would pray diligently about all the circumstances of our lives, with a significant portion of the prayer being for our future husbands. Whenever we could, we would sit on a swing on the banks of the Maumee River. It was such a beautiful place.
My friend had actually met her husband along the river, and they had gotten married the previous September 7th there, but were now having the bigger party a year later for family and friends.
Originally the celebration was supposed to be in May, but because my friends husband was in the army, and away, it had to be moved back to August.
These are all important facts to my story. You see, I hadn’t even met Seth in person in May. By August, however, we had become quite serious about each other. I had invited him to come to my friend’s wedding as my date.
Taking A Risk
I was a bit nervous because previously when I had been dating, if the guy wanted to bail, a wedding was a sure fire excuse. But, Seth had laid some pretty strong hints that his intentions for me were permanent.
So, I took a huge risk. I took him to the swing where we had prayed. I told him the story of how we had prayed for our husbands there, and that I believed that he had all the characteristics that I had ever prayed for. I genuinely wanted him to know, and I could tell, to my relief, that his heart was delighted.
But I had taken this risk when I didn’t have that much time before I had to be with the bride to get ready, so there wasn’t much time for discussion. It was a sweet moment, and I left it at that.
A Lovely Time
We embraced, got up, and I went on to get ready for the wedding and the evening. I gave a toast for my friend, Seth and I talked much throughout the celebration, and the wedding ended with fireworks. It was truly a picturesque evening. I was so glad Seth was with me.
An Unexpected Walk
After the wedding was over, he was going to drive me back to the bride’s parents house, where I was staying and he would go back to his hotel. Just as I got in the car, he said, let’s go back to the swing. I gladly said OK, but didn’t think anything about it since we didn’t have much time before.
We held hands, walked along the riverbank, looked at the moonlight and then went back to that swing.
The Mood Shifts—And Our Lives Change Forever!
We were hugging on the swing, and all of a sudden he was very quiet and serious. He said I have something to ask me, but warned me it was all out of order, and then, there on that swing, where I had prayed for a husband for several years—he asked me to marry him!
You know we have this blog and we are married now, so you know I said a resounding YES! But where it was was so special!
I never dreamed THAT place where I cried over previous heartaches, and prayed diligently for a future spouse would be where I would get engaged.
The Additional Importance of the Calendar—Redeemed Dates
You see, initially, when the date was postponed to that date—August 2nd, back in May before I met Seth, I cringed. Why, because that was the date my divorce had been final 15 years earlier, at the young age of 27.
How incredibly painful, I thought, to go to a wedding alone, again—on the anniversary of my divorce—the day my dream for being a young wife and mother died. But I loved my friend so much that there was no way I was not going to be a part of her special day.So I told her of course I would be there.
Now however, not only was it special for her, but now that date is completely redeemed for me as well—and one of a special celebration.
And, we didn’t plan it this way—it just happened this way because my family was already going to be in Tennessee on September 7, so we got married on that date.
That date, as I had said earlier is the same wedding date that my friend had gotten married the year before. When that date had come and gone the year before, I had been sad because my single prayer partner and another one of my best friends was now married. I knew things wouldn’t be the same after that.
I never dreamed that a year later I would also be getting married on her one year anniversary!
I praise God and thank him for bringing happiness to our stories so close together—and how sweet He is for even redeeming the dates!
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