One weekend about a year after I became a widow, a friend and I were watching the first four movies in the “Love Comes Softly” series. Based on the bestselling books by Janette Oake, Clark and Marty meet on a wagon train going out west. Marty’s husband has just been killed in an accident. She knows (although no one else does in the beginning) that she is pregnant, and the untamed West is no place for her. She will have to go home, although she’s not sure where she will go. Clark’s wife died several years ago, and he is trying to raise his strong-willed daughter on his own while working the farm. He asks her if she would consider marrying him. She will raise his daughter, and he will protect her and give her a home. Grieving and angry, unsure about farm life and raising children, there are many conflicts, but Clark is patient. After one particularly tender line (and yes, I did know this was a movie, and as such, not realistic) I turned to my friend and said, “Where do you get one of those?”
That was the first time I considered marrying again. Every time after that , we referred to the search for the man God had for me as “Clark.”
Remember when you were pregnant, and it seemed that everyone had a protruding belly?
As the time passed, and my loneliness deepened, and it seemed to me that everyone was holding hands. I had to look away.
I kept a journal during those years, and when the pain became intolerable, I would write a few lines.
“Loneliness crouches on my shoulder daily. When I see a couple of any age showing affection, it will lean forward and poke me with its bony finger, and laugh. I turn away and get busy, and it sits back. “But you have a full life, your kids, your friends...” It’s true. I have wonderful, caring friends and the best family in the world. I have fulfilling work and a second career as a writer. None of that addresses the grinding ache in my soul for the love of a good man.”
“I’m no good at this widow thing. I’m OK at putting a good face on it, but inside I am ripping
Two years ago, I decided to buy an artificial Christmas tree. I was standing in Canadian Tire,
waiting for the young man to bring me my purchase, when a couple my age came into my line of
vision. They were “kibitzing”—he had grabbed a feather duster and was trying to dust her back,
and she was laughing and shooing him away. Suddenly, tears were running down my face, and I
had to leave the store. That level of married love having fun together was more than I could
handle. I knew I had to take my search to the next level.
For the next year, I entered the world of online dating. I made many stupid, naïve mistakes, got
hurt, and met 17 scammers. Most of them I could spot immediately, but a few deceived me. After
a year of this, I almost gave up, but didn’t know what else to do, either.
"Lord, marriage is your idea. I know it won’t solve all my problems, and there will be challenges, as there always are when two people of different personalities get close. I’m not really looking for prince charming, just a godly man who will treat me like You want him to. I want to serve him and honour him and submit to him as he submits to me. I want to serve You together! My heart’s desire is to spend the rest of my life joined with someone who loves You and loves me, serving You together, praying together and serving others together. God, I know that’s what you want, too. I pray that you will bring that man into my life. I’m tired of the deception, the rejection and the downright rudeness that I have been experiencing. I don’t believe that this is your plan for me. You promised me “a future and a hope” and I’m asking for that now. I love you, Lord, and I thank you that you love me. You’ve seen every hurt, you’ve gathered every tear. Now, Lord, please fulfil your will, and bring the right man into my life."
Then, as just the right time, God sent my “Clark.” Except his name is Hunter.
Monday, April 30th, before God, and among family and friends, we will hold hands and make vows to each
other, and become husband and wife.
Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”
God, You are so good!