footprints and snowflakes
photo courtesy of Martha Gallo, a participant on the "Godwinkers" Facebook page.
When I first met the man who is now my husband, I was impressed by many things: his compassion and thoughtfulness towards me, but also his thought processes in general. He has a very poetic way of looking at things.
I had settled my mind on probably being single for the rest of my life. After having been in a very sad marriage for 25 years and then, two failed relationships as well as seeing what was "out there" in the dating world, I was scared of either falling into the same old sad trap again...or...being single.
I chose single.
It was on a very bitter cold day in January in Minnesota (think minus 20 degrees!) that I was perusing the Craigslist site. In truth, I had never heard of Craigslist and curiosity led me there. I was shocked at what I found on the dating portion of it: men who were out to 'have a 'good time' and not caring whose life they ruined while doing it. Finally, I'd had enough! I was going to send a nasty reply to one ad that literally said he would take on all comers, married or not! He had lost all of his savings due to a former girlfriend who'd stolen it when she moved out. He was angry. He was bitter. And he wanted the world to know about it.
Then "something" told me to not hit 'send' on that one...to maybe see it a different way. I thought I was going nuts, but listened to that small voice of reason. Instead, in the e-mail, I asked him jokingly why he wanted a married woman when he could have me, as I was divorced and available. Available? Didn't I tell myself that I was done with this, that I wasn't going to settle anymore for anyone? I hit 'send,' expecting nothing more.
He wrote back.
Then I replied back.
He wrote back again.
His first reply was an apology. He wasn't really looking for a married woman, as he knew that would cause a lot of heartache for all involved. He merely was seeking ...what?
People who post ads on dating sites are seeking something, be it an answer to a primitive force, a friend, sex or a lifetime partner. He'd been a bachelor for twenty plus years. He'd been dumped on a lot. And as I got to know him, I wondered just why his life was the way it was. In one of his replies, sent the day after our first face to face meeting, he wrote this:
"I started reading the internet and happened upon a bunch of psychology and mind articles dealing with emotions and thought processes and the like. Very interesting stuff, for the most part. So I spent a while reading through a bunch of them. The mind is a very interesting thing and can be confusing to me. At least mine is!! Why do I bore you with this useless information, you may be wondering? Well, because you got my mind running in 9 different directions at once! Something only a woman is capable of, I believe!
As I watched the snow fall yesterday, one thought that crossed through my head that sort of stuck out, was that of the 876 Gajillion (to the power of 800 gajillion times 9) flakes that were falling, it is said that no 2 are alike. Then I thought, surely in all that there has to be at least one matching pair? Is it possible that you and I could be that one matching pair? Which lead to another long series of thoughts!"
That was almost nine years ago. There are times when I ponder on the whole scenario of how we were brought together. Of that small "Voice" that whispered to me to see it another way and of how I listened, even when my mere human mind could not comprehend why! That small Voice, who I know was God's voice, was leading me down a path that, to this day, has brought me so much happiness. It takes faith to believe that, when all is falling apart, that God is working behind the scenes to make it all right. It also takes Faith to believe that when a prayer uttered isn't answered in the way that you asked, that it is because God sees the future and knows just what is a better solution for you.
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you Hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11.
We can only see in hindsight. Hindsight is always 20/20. But we also need to have the foresight to know that when we don't always get what we want, that we will receive something. We need to understand that God is in control and when we turn a situation over to Him, that we let go of the wheel and let God do the driving. Many people have a hard time grasping this. "Why does God allow pain?" they ask. "Why didn't He see that I needed my mom/friend/ husband more?" "Why can't I find a job?" "Why...why...why?"
I have been the recipient of so much pain in my life. If you have been following my blogs, you know about the child abuse, the spousal abuse, the health issues, and much more. In all of it, I can look back and see the why and how of it all. If not for adversity, I would not be who I am today.
Think about it: I could have had all of my wishes handed to me, just like that <snaps fingers>. But then, who would I be? Probably a simple weakling. For those who have had everything granted to them, are they any happier? Can they withstand the storms of life when they finally do hit...and believe me, they DO hit hard, like a hurricane force.
Be open to possibilities. Just as there CAN be two identical snowflakes...so there are always answers to life's problems. You just need to Believe...have Hope...Faith...and in retrospect, just as the poem reassures us, God was carrying us all throughout our trials of life.