As friendship blossomed

blogengagementIt all began in an impoverished third world country over three years ago.

She was on a short-term mission trip there, ministering to the needy.   Her earlier trip to Africa ignited a growing desire within her to help those who had so much less than she did.

So when an opportunity arose at her church to travel on this trip, she was determined to go.  Once there, she boarded a school bus with her companions en route to an area of need.   In her own words, she sat beside a young man already on the bus because he “was cute.”

That meeting between the young man and young lady turned into a friendship and they kept in touch even though they lived in different states.  The next year, they both journeyed again to this foreign land for another short-term mission and their friendship continued to blossom.

Somewhere along the line, long after their first meeting, friendship developed into a dating relationship.  Eventually, their admiration for one another evolved into a deeper, richer emotion…love.  Someone once said, “Love is a friendship caught on fire.”  That statement could aptly illustrate this couple’s relationship.

The young lady waited a long time for her true love to come along.  She’s learned a lot about herself in the meantime, and she’s experienced her share of heart break in the past.   Because of that, I imagine she probably protected herself a bit in the beginning of this relationship, not wanting to rush into anything blindly.

But this young man didn’t give up; he persevered.  He just kept being her friend, encouraging her, making her laugh, treating her with kindness and respect, and hoping and praying that someday she would feel for him what he felt for her.

A passage from the Bible found in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, is often quoted when people write about love.    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.   It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.   Love never fails.”

I believe you could insert both of these young people’s names in place of the word love in this passage and it would be an accurate description of their relationship.  How do I know this?  The young lady is my oldest daughter and the young man is her newly betrothed.

I’ve watched from afar as he patiently waited for their friendship to blossom into a romantic relationship.  My husband and I have witnessed firsthand how this man cares for my daughter, how he honors her and wants to be certain she is safe and protected.  Her father and I believe this young fellow, who shares a deep faith with our daughter, will cherish her as his wife.  That is one of the reasons we gave our blessing to him when he asked us for her hand in marriage.

Yes, there is another engagement in our family!  On New Year’s Eve, oldest daughter’s best beau proposed to her in a clever, sweet way and she said yes!  We are blessed beyond measure because all three of the children who grew up here in the empty nest are soon to be married!

On the first day of this brand new year of life, I wrote about the word I’m pursuing in my book of Opportunity –  joy!  Talk about joy!  It overflows from my heart, my smile, my words!

It will be an incredibly busy year with not just one wedding, as we planned, but three!  I’m sure my stress level will increase, but you know what?  So will my joy level!  Actually, it will triple as we gain another family member in our circle of love.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” ~ Helen Keller

And one of those beautiful things felt with the heart is joy.

Copyright ©2012


8 responses

  1. My goodness: 3 weddings! I can’t imagine. I love this post, describing how your daughter and future son-in-law fell in love.
    My hubby and I were friends for many years before we married. On the front of our wedding program, I had this quote: “Came but for friendship, took away love”.
    Best wishes to all your family this year. We’ll be enjoying your posts about all the wedding excitement!


    • Dianna, I LOVE that quote you printed on your wedding program! So apt and so lovely. Thank you for your sweet best wishes. It sure will be an exciting (and stressful, I’m sure!) year for us, but I will take time to look for the joy each day! (with God’s help!)


  2. Thank you for sharing your joy here. Congratulations to all three children and you, the parents, in welcoming more into the fold. I love that Mama’s Empty Nest is not so empty. All we have to do is read and see how full it is. I gave daughter #2 and sil a cross stitch of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 at a wedding shower. It now hangs in their house. What a joy to read each line and find your hopes so eloquently captured by Paul. May those verses always be realized. Please know you have friends out here who will not tire of your stories, your descriptions of the season of life you all are in.


    • You always know just the right thing to say to touch someone else’s heart! Your lovely comment warmed me on this very cold January day. I’m so grateful for friends like you! Years ago, I learned that if I really wanted to follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition to be loving, I should insert my name for the word love in this passage and see if I truly lived being loving. I think it’s a good exercise for us all.


    • Reeling, I’ve been missing you!! Almost emailed you yesterday to make sure you were okay. So I was happy to see your comment today. Thank you, thank you! You know it, you’re going to be “readin’ all about it.” 😉


  3. And that is the way it should be. All true love is sprung out of friendship. That is how you know it is real. Congrats Mom on all your daughter’s engagements. You are going to have a busy year.


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