Monday, February 14, 2011

The Love Bandit - My Favorite Valentine's Day Story

6 years ago, I walked into the office of the church where I was working. It was Valentine's Day, and I was STILL single.

Now, I was never one of those single girls to "sit around and feel sorry for myself."

What was the point?

What would THAT accomplish?

In college, I would get together with a couple of other girls, and we would plan elaborate schemes for our entire dorm floor -- balloons in the hallway, bags of chocolates by each door, and personalized heart-felt notes tucked inside, so that when our dorm mates woke up in the morning, before they walked into a lobby filled with candies & flowers WITHOUT their names on any of the gifts, they would know they were loved.

Those were beautiful memories that I cherish always.....

A few years later, at the age of 25, I found myself single AGAIN on Valentine's Day having experienced a heart-breaking break up 6 months before from an almost-3-year relationship.

There again, I had a decision to make.

Will I wallow?

If anyone had a reason to wallow on THIS Valentine's Day, it was me right? I mean, I thought I was going to marry the guy. I wasn't in it for 3 years for NOTHING!

But again, what would that really accomplish?

Sorry. Angst. Feeling-sorry-for-myself.


I called up my girlfriends and cooked up some plans. We decided to book a table at a fancy restaurant, dress up real classy & elegant, and celebrate love in friendship. We did that for a couple of years, and I think we often had MORE fun than lots of couples seated around us!

So 6 years ago, I walked into my office with my girlfriend plans in place, but with a longing that had grown that year. In fact, that morning, I had wrestled with God, "Have you forgotten about ME? Some of my 21-year-old girlfriends are finding the love of their lives, and here I am, serving you, being obedient, and NO PROSPECTS IN SIGHT!!"

And then just the quietest of whispers.

That still small voice.

He's coming soon....

No qualifications. No details. No timeline.

So of course, I say, "What does THAT mean? 1000 years are like a day to you! THAT could mean anything!"

I tried to squash hope, but I could feel it growing in my spirit in spite of my heart & mind's attempt to suffocate it.




So I walked into that office with hope that day.

Hope in what I could not/did not/would not see with my natural eyes.

Hope had FAITH eyes.

My pastor's wife/aunt walked into the office that day and handed me a stuffed raccoon, with a Zorro type mask in the shade of red over his face, called The Love Bandit, and she said to me half-joking, half-serious, "The Love Bandit is coming to get you soon."And much to MY surprise these are the words that popped out of my mouth.

"Yeah, by this time next year, I will be engaged or married!"

What? Did I just say that out loud? Oh, no! I am not one of those CRAZY RADICAL FAITH people! Why did I say that OUT LOUD??

Knowing ME, she looked surprised, but then HER faith kicked into FULL GEAR and she said, "Okay, then. I am going to stand in faith with you."

2 months later, the man who was to be the love of my life flew from Africa to fill the children's pastor position at our church.

A little over a month after that, he asked me to marry him.

And 6 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days from the MEMORABLE Valentine's Day, I said, "I DO!" to that beautiful man.

When God says to trust HIM, to believe in HIM, to have faith in HIM, why would I doubt? I wish I could say that because of this radical work that God did in my life that I NEVER doubted Him again, but that would not be true.

All I can say is "His grace is sufficient for me, and His power is (and continues to be) made perfect in my weakness."

Today, I want to say THANK YOU to my GREAT BIG AMAZING HEAVENLY DAD for bringing me the MOST AMAZING MAN.

It is MY pleasure to KEEP saying "I DO" to him each day for the rest of our lives.

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because
reality is finally better than your dreams
~ Dr Seuss

In His Grip,


Stephanie said... Best Blogger Tips

Your story brought tears to my eyes. Faith is a powerful thing.

P.S. How cool was it of your aunt to bring you that love bandit raccoon?

Jen said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great love story! Thanks for sharing it. I love that Dr. Seuss quote!

Lindsey V said... Best Blogger Tips

Aww...thanks, Steph! I know! I think I will keep that raccoon for a LONG TIME! It's an "anchor"/reminder of God's faithfulness in keeping His promises.

I know! I found it on a quote page on Twitter, and I thought, "This is perfect!"

laughwithusblog said... Best Blogger Tips

What a beautiful love story!

noreen said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Lindsey, what a beautiful story of faith and trust in God! I found your blog on NOBH and wanted to say hello.

The Adventurer said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great story of finding your soul mate:) Thanks for linking up to the NOBH.

Lindsey V said... Best Blogger Tips

@laughwithusblog Aw! Thank you! God was SO good...even when I was impatient!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Noreen! He was SO faithful, even when I faltered in my own faith in His promises.

@The Adventurer Thank you! It is precious when God writes your love story!

Tracy said... Best Blogger Tips

This was a beautiful story and I always enjoy reading how God works in mysterious and incredible ways in other's lives! Keep the faith and thanks for sharing your awesome love story with us at NOBH!

Lindsey V said... Best Blogger Tips

God is so faithful!! I am in awe of His mercy & grace.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

oh!! so fun looking back and seeing what God did and what an awesome story =) love it!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Katy!  When God writes your love story...well...there is just nothing like it...he is the MASTER AUTHOR!  Excited WITH you for how His story for you will unfold!

Aunt Bonnie said... Best Blogger Tips

So sweet!  God's time is always perfect.

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