Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another long distance love through Cache' Connections

Today we are announcing the love story of Laura (NW Indiana) and Del, who is from the Quad Cities (IL, IA border) area. Here is their long-awaited story in their own words:

Laura: A couple years ago, Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana hosted a Cache Connections event that I heard about on the radio. I remember wanting to attend but I think I had a scheduling conflict and was unable to attend. What I do remember is looking up your website and reading what you are all about. I thought it was such a great opportunity to connect christian singles together that might not have the chance to meet one another. I loved everything you had on your site. So I just filed it away in my head at that time in my life.
You see, at that point in my life I knew I needed some healing to occur because my husband had left me, our divorce was final, and God had some healing work to do with me. I was shocked at what was going on in my life and angry, not at God, but at what the enemy had stolen from me. I found myself thinking and saying to God, "You know, my first husband died. My second husband left me. But you will NEVER leave me!" During this time I learned to lean on God in ways I hadn't ever before. I asked him to heal areas in my heart only He knew I needed healing in. I knew deep inside me God was preparing me for being a wife again and I wanted to be ready. Completely ready. As whole as I could be given everything I had been through.
One day, while driving in the car with my 8 and 10 year old daughters we heard your New Year's Eve event being advertised on the radio station. My girls commented on how it was for Christian singles. "Hey Mom! You are a single Christian, right??!! Do you want to go to that?? Who knows, you might find a husband there!" With my hands on the steering wheel I get this puzzled look on my face and think to myself, "Did what just happen, really happen? Are you kidding me??!!" They were more than ready for me to get into the dating world! They would ask me if I ever wanted to get married again and they would even tell me they wanted another Dad, one that would stick around this time. Lovely. No pressure right? Oh my gosh! Needless to say my prayers for them headed into a different direction at that point as well.
Every now and again I would look back at your website and think to myself, "You know this looks like a cool thing to check out one day."
So back in June I noticed Cache was having this incredible deal for the year. I told a close single girlfriend about it and told her we should sign up together. She said sure so I went ahead and signed up but I didn't activate my account because of all the traveling I had planned that summer.
I read through all the questions and was so relieved to know that when the timing was right I knew I would be in the right place and in good hands. The depth and breath of the questions were exactly what I needed and then some! I felt such a sense of relief just merely knowing that the questioning process would reveal so much information about someone. Having all of that information accessible about someone before even having to talk to them was almost like a weaning out process just by looking it over first. And I loved that! I knew I would be looking immediately at what they checked in those boxes about smoking, drinking, premarital sex, and lying. These are areas I knew we had to be on the same page on.
A couple weeks later I received a word from the Lord during a massage I was getting. My massage therapist and I were talking and praying and during that time the Lord informed me that any man during this traveling season would just only be a distraction for me. He said he would bring me my husband AFTER I got back from Paris.
I was pretty shocked at that revelation! But I trusted what God had said and I went about my summer travel plans to California, London, and Paris, and had the best time ever! Once I got back from Paris I was busy doing other things-life. I knew I still hadn't finished that final portion on my Cache profile or even uploaded a picture yet. But it was just sitting there, waiting for the perfect timing.
And then that day happened...unexpectedly no less! I was showing my painter all the amazing and thorough questions they ask every person on this site, page by page, and she was amazed at how much information is collected beforehand. We were having the most fun going through all my questions. So much fun that I didn't realize that when I got to the last page that I had accidentally activated my account that day!!
That next morning I get this email with all the "matches" and I'm like, "Whaaaaaat?......." and I'm shaking my head like, "What did I do yesterday?" So I look back and sure enough at the end there are two buttons and I clicked the wrong one. Days later I get this personal notification from a man named,Del. He happened to mention he was originally from California. Well, that caught my eye because I lived in California for 16 years. We started communicating back and forth about California, cities we loved, places we had been, and we loved our "California Connection".
Over the next several emails he would mention his morning devotions, his growth group at church, how active he was, all these things that made me go...."Nice!!" About a week later he asked if we could talk on the phone and so we did. It was fabulous!! The chemistry of our personalities was right on. We both were laughing and chatting constantly the entire night. I think we talked for three hours that night! He wanted to know as much as he could about me. It was super fun!
Every night since that first talk, we have faithfully set aside time to talk with one another. Sometimes its only an hour but sometimes we get easily lost in our conversations and 2 or 3 hours have quickly passed. In the mornings he will text me a bible verse from his morning devotion and then throughout the day he will text me just to say hello or ask me how my day is going. I love that he has such great communicating skills all over the board!
His ability to say it like it is was came out often. In fact, there were times he would catch me off guard with how easily he would wear his heart on his sleeve. He would just tell me what he was thinking or feeling at moments during our hours of conversations and I could feel our friendship deepening. During this time, I warned him I have a "flip side" to me and that I could get a little weirded out every now and again as I'm trying to navigate this part of things. We laughed about it and I told him to just be patient with me and that if he was it would be well worth it in the end.
After two weeks of communicating he said he would like us to meet in person. We agreed to meet half way seeing as there are three hours between the two of us. I remember thinking "Three hours is not ideal, but it is what it is."
We met at this really unusual restaurant bar with a cool vibe to it. It was so "us" it couldn't have been any more perfect. When we met I remember thinking, "Finally!! I finally get to meet the person on the other end of the phone for the last couple weeks!!" We hugged and spent the next four hours talking and laughing and sharing more and more but this time it was in person. We closed the place down that night but Del wasn't done spending time with me so he suggested we go get something hot to drink. We spent another hour and half talking and laughing before we parted ways on our first date. It was an amazing first date, filled with a lot of laughter, many compliments, great conversation, and fabulous chemistry.
We continued talking each night learning more and more about each other. A couple weeks after our first date he asked me to come to Moline, where he lives, so I can meet his 16 year old son, Jonah. At Christmas, he came out to meet my daughters and my family. Everything has gone surprisingly so smooth! He even mentioned us going to the bible book store to pick up a couples daily devotional so we could do it together on the phone. Its been a great addition to our evening conversations.
We brought in the new year together and after all the hoopla was over and we were cleaning up I said to him, "So, what's on your agenda for 2012 babe?" and without hesitating he replied, "I'm getting married in 2012." I looked over at my dear friend and said to her, "Did he just say what I thought he said?" and she replied, "He sure did!" and I said to him, "Well, aren't you speaking to your future wife?!" And his reply was, "Yes, I am!"
Its funny because he had already told me he was praying, asking, and had the faith to believe for BIG things concerning us. He has been very open about being marriage minded from the beginning in this process. I actually liked that about him even though there were times when I was having a hard time processing and expressing how I was thinking and feeling. But he steadily holds his course until I have figured it out in my head and heart at that time. That is so reassuring to me! I love it!
Del often says how thankful he is for the bubble that God placed around me the last couple of years in keeping me single. And then I laugh and tell him about the countless times I would get all frustrated in that area of my life. That season of singleness wasn't easy at times, but I know it had its purpose. I was healing in that season, growing in my relationship with my heavenly father knowing HE WOULD NEVER LEAVE ME, serving strong at church, and continuing to raise two young daughters on my own. I remember telling Del, "If I only knew then what I know now, I would have been so much more patient in my waiting for you!"
This weekend I'm taking my girls to meet his son and his second Mom where he lives. We are really excited about what God is doing in all of our lives through this "divine connection".
Thank you so much for your wonderful service! I know that our lives are forever changed because of it!! I can't wait to keep you updated! [;)]

Del: First of all thanks to all at Cache Connections. What your company stands for and believes in is so important. I initially was not so sure how much different your website would be but it turned out to be what I was hoping for. I jumped on board very hopeful, prayerfully hopeful. A little time had passed as I eagerly checked my email for possible connections. One day I saw Laura's photo and said to myself, great smile, very photogenic and very attractive. Well after thoroughly reading her profile I was even more interested. Sent her a message and from there we emailed each other then starting talking on the phone. We connected instantly because of our having lived in California at one time. Our conversations were so good. We literally talked for hours each night for about one week. There was so much in common. One thing really stood out, her l for the Lord. Laura and I shared so many blessings that the Lord had done in our lives. We decided to meet and well all I can say is amazing. God answered prayer. Laura is beautiful inside and out. Words that come to mind describing us are laughter, open, loving and joyful. Be patient, God does answer prayer - expect it. I look forward to what God has in store for us.

Don't forget the awesome special Cache' Connections has for February: One Year for just $49.95! Save $100 - use promo code: FEB4995.

~ Linda
Cache' Connections

Monday, February 6, 2012

Seeing with God’s Eyes

Today's blog post is taken from the weekly blog at fast.pray, a group of mostly singles who fast and pray at lunchtime on Mondays for singles desiring marriage:

Growing up, I had absolutely no vision for singleness--not singleness as a season or life stage, let alone calling. Floating around in the far recesses of my mind was the real-if-unarticulated suspicion, "Well, what's the point of living if you aren't married?"

Obviously, I was wrong. Life has slowly taught me this. But part of what has helped has been my getting a bigger picture. Getting the big picture fills my heart with joy—like standing atop Humpback Rocks in the Blue Ridge Mountains (in VA) and gazing on the wide valley and the blue gray layers of surrounding foothills. Something in me exhales, smiles and gains heart for the journey.

So, recently, when I picked up an article, “Created for More” by my friend, Josh Glaser, I was struck by his big picture language for what I’ve begun to see and trust only after writing my book on singleness. He wrote things like this:

* “Scripture begins with a wedding (Adam and Eve) and ends with a wedding (Christ and the church).” It’s the fact of the promised eternal and unashamed union between God and his people that gives meaning and a model to earthly unions. Think, for example, how a husband’s desire for his wife might teach us something about God’s eternal desire for us. Or how a marriage's commitment to mutual self-giving might reflect the love self-giving love within the Trinity. Or what about the delight a couple can have in making a baby—could it be that God wants us to know about his pleasure in creating us? And the joy to be had in co-creating with Him?
* Likewise, singleness lived well in God's presence—for a season, stage or lifetime—carries a bigger message with it. Whether “wanting to marry, committed to life-long celibacy for the sake of serving Christ, or somewhere in the process of working out [our] sexual brokenness,” we get to testify through lives filled with God’s love, friendships, community, extended family when possible, and meaningful work, that sex and marriage are “not the ultimate gift, but only a foreshadowing of it.” And single women who long for marital love play this important prophetic role of waiting. Our celibate waiting “mirrors the waiting that belongs to all [people] as we wait for the culmination of the age,” the marriage between Christ and the church, the union between the new heavens and the new earth.

This bigger picture helps me so much. Since my book came out six years ago, two of my nephews have died in shocking (unrelated) accidents, the reverberations running deep in my family's soul. Sandwiched between these deaths, I broke off my almost-engagement and slammed into anxiety. In short, the last four+ years have rocked my landscape, and I've had to focus anew, pray from a deeper place within me, and ask God to help me see as he sees.

Slowly, as my sight has been aligning with this bigger picture, I find myself exhaling and smiling more, my heart bigger for the journey. My hope in the big, eternal picture deepens and, because of that hope, so does my willingness to still ask for a journey mate.

This week, as you pray, ask God to help you see yourself, your life, and the big picture as He sees it. I suspect that if you do, you might find yourself breathing a little easier, smiling a bit more, and perhaps finding your heart and hope more full than ever.

Blessings in the Journey, Connally

Have a great week!