“For I proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” ~Deuteronomy 32:3-4
Imagine taking a trip to China to adopt a child for the first time. The culture is unlike your own. The language is foreign; even if you hear English being spoken, with a strong Asian accent, it still feels pretty foreign to your American ear. As a parent, you know what it’s like to have children already, but this is a child who’s never known a mother or father. This is very different, and it’s all new to you. If someone were to ask, your only honest reply might be, “I have no idea what I’m doing; I just know this is what the Lord wants me to do.”
If you can picture yourself being in this place, then you’re pretty close to knowing how I felt as I started getting to know Peter. It’s not that he spoke in a foreign language; in fact, as we communicated in writing, I felt like we connected pretty easily. I don’t know how he felt, but I at least, enjoying our conversations by email. Writing to a single guy, however, even if only in friendship, was something I hadn’t done in a very long time—about 25 years!
It didn’t help that Peter wasn’t really interested in getting to know me as more than a friend; it all still felt somewhat awkward for me. He had previously been in a long-distance relationship that led to engagement and then later ended. After that relationship, Peter pretty much decided he didn’t want to be in another long-distance relationship.
We laugh about this now—months into getting to know each other Peter shared he was convinced I wanted more than friendship at first, when I was actually fine with that. I missed talking to Chris and listening to him talk more than anything, I think, so just having a godly guy as a friend was a gift from the Lord. “I believe you now,” he says.
Besides that, we laugh because sometimes the Lord plans things in a very different way than we plan them. Peter told me early on he didn’t want to be in another long-disance relationship, and that is exactly what the Lord had in mind for him!
God’s Brush Strokes All Over the Canvas
Not only is God writing our story as the Master Storyteller, He is the Master Artist painting the canvas with His unique brush strokes of color and definition and shape. No one knew what the picture was going to look like except Him, but for His children He makes all things beautiful—combining both the dark colors and bright, areas in shadow or not as clear, with the elements that are stunning in their realism and life-likeness. This is our creative God!
One of the ways God was clearly at work is how we ever came to meet each other online in the first place. I mentioned that Peter had no interest in being in another long-distance relationship. Well, when he first looked at my profile in June of 2011, he saw I lived in Virginia and as he told me, thought, “Nope, not interested.” He later said he never would have writen to me if I hadn’t written to him first. I would never have written to him first if God hadn’t given me a peace about it!
After the first couple of emails back and forth, we decided to keep writing. About a week or so into our emailing each other, however, a week of silence followed and I heard nothing from Peter. Again, I found myself talking to the Lord and asking Him for His wisdom and leading. “Should I email Peter or not? If I do write, what should I say? He might be out of town, or he might have decided he just isn’t interested in me, even as a friend.”
I felt again, that God wanted me to write. I don’t really recall what I wrote, only that the motivation of my heart was to exhibit faith and trust in the Lord through my words. I wasn’t anxious for anything; for all I knew, Peter could have been on a business trip that week, as he does travel for work. However, if the reason he hadn’t written in a week was that he had decided he wasn’t interested in me, I at least wanted to say “Thank you,” for the enjoyable conversations I had with him.
I also wanted him to know it was okay if he wasn’t interested in me. I know God gives His chldren what is good for them, and I knew if he wasn’t inclined to continue the relationship any further, God was had something or someone else in mind; all His ways are perfect. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
Well, again, God was at work in both our hearts—in mine to build a deep trust in Him, and in Peter’s, to be drawn even more to me because of my email to him. He told me he intentionally stopped writing that week (I think because I was long-distance and he knew our relationship couldn’t go anywhere), and when he saw that I had emailed him, he thought, “Oh, no, she’s going to be angry with me for stopping writing, cold turkey, without a word of explanation.”
To the contrary, he was surprised my email was very gracious and kind. That was the very thing God used to draw His heart to mine. No, that was NOT my intention in writing him! I sincerely wanted him to be released to find someone else if he felt led to! Yet God showed us again that He was very much at work. Without His guiding us, we could have really botched things up! More beautiful brush strokes of the Father’s hand.
More to come…honest!
It’s been a very busy past two+ weeks, with my twin daughters’ 17th birthday on April 29, my daughter Megan’s wedding shower here May 6, and her upcoming wedding in less than two weeks, but I will share Part Five soon…I promise. I want to share the whole story, and it’s my prayer that you might see God’s kindness and care for His children in Peter’s and my story.
If you feel inclined to pray for us, I’d be grateful for your prayers that Peter would quickly settle in New Jersey where he has just moved for a new job, which is a lateral transfer to Ft. Dix, where he will be continuing to do what he has been doing for 20 years as a finance specialist for the US Army, at Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin. He’s doing this to be near me, so we can get married this year. Frankly, I’m blown away by his love for me, and God’s love for both of us!
“My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together!” ~Psalm 32:2-3