Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Re-Date (Part 4 of 4)

This is a long story. Grab a cup of tea. Here's Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3


Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
I really did not intend to give him an ultimatum. I was just trying to protect my heart. God used our Christmas conversation as a catalyst for some real reflection for my man. Our conversation prompted him to rethink our saga. He decided that he did need to “fish or cut bait.” Finally! So, as he mulled over the pros and cons of our relationship he realized the single greatest issue was timing. He was a Surgical Intern when we started dating. Despite how glamorous Grey’s Anatomy makes it look—the truth is: Interns are slaves. He decided we had not been able to give our relationship a fair shot. He couldn’t get over me without revisiting our relationship now that we were in a different life phase. (You know, where he only worked 80-90 hours a week.)

When he called that February night, I was so happy to hear his voice...but after a minute or two of pleasantries, I reminded him that although it was great to talk with him, I had really meant what I said.
"I know."
"Then, why are you calling me?"
"Do you remember exactly what you said?"
"I asked you not to call me again, unless you were calling to ask me out on a date."
"What would you say if I said I was calling to ask you out on a date?"
"I'd be very skeptical."

I was still in shock when I agreed to accept his invitation. I was leaving for 7 days in Singapore & Hong Kong for business 5 days later. So, we set a date the night before I left for my trip.

I was blown away by this turn of events. It had been 22 months since we had been on a date. My sweet friends were very protective. I was worried that I would have my guard up so high we wouldn't stand a chance. But God was absolutely in the midst of the situation. Our date was a real time of "rediscovering" each other. I had a confidence I had not had before. Meanwhile, he was rested and intent on following this relationship to its completion. We both knew there was a lot on the line.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

I think my trip overseas was God's timing, as well. We had 7 days after the date to each step back and reflect on what we were potentially embarking on. The 6th day of my trip was Valentine's Day. I was alone in the hotel business center in Hong Kong when I received a Valentine e-card from him. My emotionally reserved and cautious man was making a grand gesture.

Four months later we travelled to Maine to visit his sister and her family. As we looked over the rocks at Arcadia National Park at the crashing waves, my future husband told me he loved me for the first time. After all we had been through, those 3 little words had never been uttered. He had told me very early on in our relationship that he would never say those words until he was certain it was the woman he was going to marry. (I told you he is a man of integrity!) He might as well have proposed to me that afternoon. Four weeks later, he did. Five months after that we were married.

I don't like to share our story unless I can tell the whole long thing...because I think people can misunderstand and think we are not stable or that we got old, scared and settled. The truth is, I have absolutely no doubt this is exactly what God had planned for us all along. I never understood people "embracing their pain" until I went through all this and realized how much more keenly you appreciate your blessings when you have been broken, bruised and refined on the road to receiving them. The same could be said of my journey to motherhood.

The Sovereignty of God. The sanctification that happens along the way. Beauty from ashes. Glory to God. I feel like I write about this all the time, but it seems to be a common theme in my life.

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:6

We thought our courtship was exciting...then came triplets. We cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for us next.

"I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe God; if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy: Join me in spreading the news; together let's get the word out. God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. Psalm 34:1-8 (The Message)

28 comments:

Erickson 5 said...

WOW! Thank you for sharing this incredible story with me. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I came home this evening and went straight to the computer. If those kids weren't in bed yet, I was going to be having a fit in Indiana!

Have a great Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family.

perri

erin said...

Oh, Jen, thank you!!! Thank you for writing your sweet story. You are such a good storyteller - or I guess God is truly the storyteller of this beautiful tale. No other could have written a tale so perfect!! You had me from the first minute!! I read straight through all 4 parts.

I love Ryland's integrity throughout your courtship. Erik was the same way - emotionally guarded until he felt God gave him the go ahead for us. And, then he was 100% committed. Residency played a big part in all that, too. I just think you and Ryland sound so wonderful and your precious children, too. What a sweet family you have!!

I was talking with a friend of mine from your home town. She does not know you personally, but she works at the hospital. She went on and on about how Ryland's patients love him. Just wanted to tell you that!!

Thanks again for telling your story!

Paulette said...

Beautiful love story Jenmom, absolutely precious, as are you.
Happy Thanksgiving I know yours will be very Blessed indeed. Love on those babies.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely story! I'm glad I was behind on my blog reading because I got to read all 4 parts back to back.

You are truly blessed to have a wonderful husband and family. God works in mysterious ways!

There's so much to be thankful for this thanksgiving.

Thanks for sharing.......

The Grubbs said...

That is a real love story!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

Alison said...

What a wonderful truth your relationship is. I had my cup of tea but could not drink it as I read. Thank you for sharing!

Paula said...

What a wonderful story! One to be treasured for years and years to come. God's timing is so perfect!
Thank you for sharing your love story. I hope you, your wonderful and precious children have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Ivey Elizabeth Sirmans said...

Beautiful. The knight on the white horse!!! I am glad I will be around to see what is in store next.

Anonymous said...

Amazing story! We were friends through your entire love story, but I never knew all the details. I do remember when y'all broke up and all I could think about was that y'all would end up together in the future. Glad God had that plan!!!

Have a terrific Turkey Day.

Can't wait to see all the Scotts for the Christmas parade on December 2nd.
Love,
Marianna

Kim said...

Okay---I read your first post about how you guys met and thought to myself,it will be a while before she is able to get enough time to write anymore(triplets,busy mom,etc)....so,I didn't check back! Today,I came to check it and you had written a book. I love your story! So sweet! I am like you,believing in God's sovereignty and His timing....I've tried way too many times to work out what I want when I want it...and God has graciously corrected me from His Word. I have learned that God's plans are perfect,mine are not....His timing brings great bessings...my timing causes me turmoil and those around me turmoil. You obviously learned it earlier than I did....well,actually,I am still learning. What a blessed beginning you two have had...even though it was difficult...look what God had in store! I will pray for you and what has for you guys next!

Kim from Lifesong(my sign in is not working)

JenMom said...

Thanks for all of the sweet comments. I have been meaning to write this all down for the children for quite some time. Once I got going I couldn't stop. It also helped that Ryland has been on call all weekend, so I've had lots of time alone while the children were sleeping.

The Stamps said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and I enjoy reading about your kids - they are precious how you dress them alike. But I really enjoyed reading about how you met your husband. My story is very similar (long distance, we broke up for a while and I was miserable, we had the fish or cut bait talk when I turned 29 after 3 1/2 years of dating, and finally we married).....and I wouldn't change a thing. My husband is more wonderful every day! God really does know the plans he has for us and what a future He does want to give us. We are trying for kids now ...so I'm excited about what is to come. Although you don't know me - I do enjoy reading your blog! Your family is a very blessed one! Thank you for your Christian encouragement.

The Hiatt Family said...

Jen, It was wonderful to get a peek back into your relationship with Ryland. As one of your many friends who set you up on blind dates, let me first say "I am so sorry!" and secondly say how happy I am that your final blind date was such a wonderful blessing!

Barbie said...

What a beautiful story. Our God is so good only He could write one for you like that! May He cont. to bless your family!!!

Anonymous said...

I am SO waiting for the wedding story and photos! Please don't disappoint us - we all feel like we know you so well!

Anonymous said...

Erin emailed me last night and mentioned these posts in it; WOW! I love your story; what a testimony to God about His timing!! Thanks for posting this:)

keri said...

so glad it was a happy ending. your kids will love reading this some day!

Michelle said...

Thank you for posting this blessed joining of your lives.

Your "ultimatum" worked (whether intended or not).

The both of you have such strong FAITH, something we don't often read about. I enjoy your posts so very much.

Lela said...

It sounds like God groomed you both for your roles in marriage before you married. It may have been difficult at the time, but it sounds like it was actually a blessing, for later. I am so glad that you shared this story with us. Patience and waiting for God's plan is hard, but your story proves its value, many times over!

Anonymous said...

Jen- I LOVED reading this. I haven't been online all weekend so I was glad to see that I could read parts 1-4 in one sitting! How amazing is it that when you look back over those years you can actually see what God has done. You remind me all the time to take a step back and look at the "big picture". And I agree about a wedding photo!! Sam and I visited Bar Harbor right after we were married- you're right, Arcadia National Park is beautiful!!

price said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
price said...

This is a wonderful love story and your great narration kept everyone wanting more. When you do have time away from being a busy mom you should think seriously about writing romantic love novels. You are a great writer and I really enjoy reading your blogs. It seems God has given you a wonderful talent as well as a beautiful family. You have been truly blessed!

Kim said...

"I never understood people "embracing their pain" until I went through all this and realized how much more keenly you appreciate your blessings when you have been broken, bruised and refined on the road to receiving them."

I can't tell you how much these words mean to me...my husband and I went through similar trials during our courtship, and there are times when I look back and wonder how I could ever let all that hurt go. What a perfect way to sum it up. I'll keep these words, if you don't mind, and I won't forget them.

Thank you.

One Beloved Sister said...

I happened upon your blog via one of the other blogs I read. I just wanted to tell you how encouraged I am by your love story. I must admit that it feels like I've been praying and waiting forever for a Godly man, but your story encouraged me in two ways:

1) God always makes the wait part of your "story." He never wastes anything we experience.
2) There ARE still Godly single men out there. I was beginning to despair! :)

I have thanked the Lord for you tonight, and I pray His richest blessings on your precious family. Thanks for sharing your story.

Hayley said...

I just came across your blog earlier and I began to read the story of you and your husband. Thank you so much for sharing! Little did you know when you posted it, that it would reach out to some stranger girl, that is in the middle of a break up and feels like God has been speaking the same to her(which is me).

I feel like God allowed me to read this for confirmation.. Isn't He amazing?? He has been bringing me little things to my attention lately, just to give me hope and your blog is one of those little "things!" :-)

Vickie said...

Just read your beautiful story of love and courtship...it gives me, a 28 year old single lady hope. I have been praying how I should handle a similar situation in my life and I think this story is bringing about some answers. Thank you!

Tina said...

I realize that I am commenting in 2013 and you posted this in 2006!! But I had to comment. Thank you for sharing your story. I think I found it a time in my life when I needed to know there is hope out there. Even those of us who are Christians and follow Jesus, sometimes we need reminders that God has a plan, and it doesn't always match up to ours. Thank you so much!!