I’ve never felt so safe, yet so afraid. He just kept telling me, “I’m not like that; you can trust me.” I wanted to… more than anything I wanted to put all caution aside and dive in; but when you’ve been through divorce, you’re never quite the same…..not for a long time anyway and possibly never. There are just a lot of gray areas, unknowns. It’s difficult to give your heart away again; but that’s the BEAUTY of love, taking the risk, opening that door, and eventually holding out your heart to someone you’re willing to entrust with it, and in return accepting the responsibility of loving them as they deserve and desire to be loved.
For those of you who don’t know Mike and me well, (or at all)….I must tell you that we are both very cautious decision makers. Everything about this proposal from Mike was completely out of his character but that’s how much he knew I was the one he wanted to love forever.
There were so many thoughts and feelings that night and not enough hours to talk everything through. Eventually we had to get some sleep, so he headed back to his room.
I didn’t say yes or no to his proposal, just kept bringing up the “what ifs”…… so many things to weigh out. I was in nursing school which I still had several months left to complete; then there was uprooting the boys, the moving. I was overwhelmed, but Mike was patient and completely understood why I couldn’t say yes at that moment.
I am not sure either of us got a wink of sleep, but it’s funny how during times of great excitement your body just doesn’t require much (it also helps to be 26 years old).
The boys and I met Mike fairly early for breakfast so we could plan out our day, and a fun day it was. Chuckie Cheese, was one item on the agenda. It was a beautiful warm Saturday in October; that made the park a perfect place to spend the afternoon. While the boys ran and played, Mike and I had a few more moments to talk; but this was not really the place to continue our marriage conversation. Even in these quiet moments, our hearts were speaking a thousand words to each other. I didn’t want our time to end, because everything felt so perfect when he was near me.
The boys were absolutely crazy about him and he them! As I watched them play in the park together I couldn’t help but wonder if Mike was really ready for such a major change in his life….I mean from bachelorhood to a family of 4, and it would be so instant. I decided to put all those thoughts and fears aside and just enjoy our last few hours together before we parted ways once again.
The boys slept all the way home, exhausted from all the fun and thrills, and I knew I had a lot of thinking to do. Could it be this easy? Should it be this easy? I was not ready to tear down the wall that had been protecting me. I had spent months building it up with all levels of defense and I couldn’t risk living without its security, not yet. I was not about to quit school. I had determined long before to never be dependent on anyone again, with the exception of God, but certainly not a man. I would not put myself in that position, I had promised myself that over and over during the previous year.
Mike returned to Tulsa and had a long talk with one of his brothers. Whatever was said just seemed to firm up his decision.
The week was filled with flowers and phone calls that lasted for hours. I think I made it to Tuesday evening before telling him, “I’m scared but everything in me is screaming: Yes marry him, trust him.” I decided I was willing to take the risk. I had the strangest peace in my heart that came over me between Saturday and Tuesday, peace that could have only come from one source, and that was God.
Just as I had instantly fallen out of love with my ex husband many months before, I had just as instantly fallen in love with Mike. I explained to him that I had to continue living in Mena until I finished my nursing school. He was very understanding and said if that’s what you need to feel secure then we will just be together on weekends till it ends. I assured him that’s the only way I could feel OK about it. I had to have that security; it was a major part of my wall of protection. He constantly reassured me that he would show me through time and love that I could eventually trust him and that we would take those steps together. He always seemed to know when I needed reassurance and he would say,”I’m not going anywhere.” He told me he had never been in love with anyone. I can’t even put words to the way he loved me with the words he spoke to me, the way he respected me, admired me. Mike had my heart in a way no one had ever had it before. It was as though I was falling in love for the first time. I knew everything would be OK; I can’t explain how I knew that…..I just did.
1 Corinthians 13
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.