Was it a vision?

Many years ago I started reading the famous book series, Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins. I was a new Christian and devouring the books and chomping at the bit for the next book to come out. With that said, I just needed to preface my story below with this tidbit.

I used to work with a man who was being physically and mentally abused by his wife. He had so many questions concerning Christianity and instead of feeling comfortable in allowing the Holy Spirit to step forward and speak, I floundered. I wasn’t able to help him too much. I still pray that God sent someone to show him God’s path. I’m going to call him Glen.

So one night, I went to sleep. My favorite pastor once told my Bible Study class to ask for night dreams or visions before going to sleep. I was doing this faithfully. This particular night, I fell into a deep sleep, which was awesome because I suffered from insomnia.

All of the sudden, I heard it. THE TRUMPET! I blinked and I was standing in a field and for some reason, Glen was by my side. And in this field were thousands of people silently looking up. As my gaze went up to where they were fixated, I gasped in excitement! There it was! I saw the face of Jesus and heard a booming voice say, “Now.” His face covered the sky and as I stood there, dumbfounded and so excited, I found that I was being pulled up and up and up, really fast! I looked down and could see the earth. How was I breathing? My thoughts didn’t stay there long. I knew Glen was out there somewhere, which was comforting for his sake. I never saw him again in this “experience.”

As I was traveling so very fast, I also instinctively knew that evil was coming and that I had to turn from it. In my upward flight, I was able to turn and put my face in my hands. I felt a deep evil and heard unearthly sounds and I was terrified, but I also knew I would be OK.

And then… there was this absolutely thrilling excitement. I was going to see Jesus! YES! He was waiting for me! And then, inexplicably, I started falling backwards. I was bewildered and trying to fight the gravity that was pulling me back and back and back. I actually felt my body slam into my bed as I “landed.” I laid there in absolute dismay. What? Was I rejected? Was I going to have to face the Tribulation? No! I was absolutely convinced I had been at Heaven’s door.

It was probably 2 or 3 in the morning and very quiet. Was it too quiet? Was I the only one left? Was I the one left behind? No! I actually started crying and looking out of my bedroom window. There were no sounds of chaos. There were no screams. So I had to lay there until the sun came out to assure myself that the Groom had not yet come for his Bride.

But that vision/dream has always stayed with me. I’ll never forget the heart-beating moment I thought I was going to be in His presence. Never.

And God brought all of this back to my mind recently, because of the viruses, plagues and earthquakes . His message? We need to be looking for our heavenly groom. We need to be listening and watching for signs of His coming. And He IS coming!

Isaiah 54:5 – For thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

Is He Patient? Is He kind?

My daughter recently married her second husband. After her divorce, she made a great decision and turned to support groups and counseling to get her through the really rough patches and start her new path in a much better light. The lesson below is one she learned is passing it on to others. When I heard it, I asked if I could “borrow” it for the godly women who like this page.

You’ve heard 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

This scripture wasn’t necessarily written for marriage, but it’s applicable, isn’t it? Especially, if you substitute a man’s name for love? Example with Ken:

4 Ken is patient, Ken is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. 5 He does not dishonor others and is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Ken does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This hit home for me. Hope it does for you!
God bless!

His Hedge of Protection

Psalm 91 3-6
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

The night of my “nose-to-the-carpet” experience (when I found Christ), I begged Him to protect me from my bad choices. As my life turned upside down, getting custody of my daughter, finding a church, finding another job; I noticed something peculiar… men weren’t looking at my with any interest! I wasn’t exactly a model, but I’d had my share of looks and knew when I looked my best. But they weren’t looking at me… at all!

This started working on my self-esteem; which as we all know was pure Satan. But what wasn’t Satan, was the pure fact that God had taken my plea seriously. He gently reminded me one night that I had begged him to protect me from my bad choices. I sat bolt-upright in bed. I think the conversation on my side of the discussion went something like this: “Seriously, God? Really? What I meant was that I wanted you to send me a good man while you were stopping the others!” But it would be another nine years before I was ready for one.

In the meantime? He protected me. Think about what a physical hedge of protection would be. It would be a hedge, maybe with thorns? Maybe thick impenetrable. And what is it protecting? You! Once I accepted that protection, once I stopped dressing to gain a man’s attention; once I stopped caring about which women were dating which men in my Bible Study; once I humbly accepted His gift for what it was: a gift from Heaven; He followed through on what I meant when I prayed that prayer.

So, Sisters, if you’re not feeling beautiful, I’m here to tell you that you are. YOU ARE! If you’re feeling that men aren’t looking at you and you have prayed for God to save you from yourself, then I urge you to accept His gift… He cares that much. He loves that much and more. Accept the gift and walk in His protection. There’s no better place to be!


This is written with the single mom in mind.  Single moms are always heavy on my heart.  You are so over-worked and over-looked, yet your press on.  Why?  Because you love your children with all of your heart.

One of the mistakes that I made and I see other single moms (and dads) making is having the desire to  “get back out there,” making yourselves available.  After all, you can’t catch that fish if you’re not in the water as bait, right?  Wrong.

The worst mistake I made as a single mom was wanting so badly to find a “better” role model as a father figure than my ex.  I was obsessed with it.  That obsession lead me around by the throat, strangling all logical thought from my decisions.  I talk about it in my book, and it gets into the gory details, but I know many of you know what I’m talking about.  As a lot of you know, I was divorced well over 18 years.  The first seven, I was lost in the world.  The second 7 years, I was finding the Lord.  The last 4, I was resting in Him.

There is nothing better than finding rest in His will.  I remember asking what the lesson was that I was supposed to learn from kidnapped kids, loneliness, heartache, becoming a workaholic.  The Number One lesson for me was that He was telling me:


·       THE father figure for your children.  I love them more than you ever will.  Point them to ME, not to another imperfect man (after all your picker seems to be a bit broken, wouldn’t you agree?)

·       THE husband you need.  That roof with the hole in it?  I’ll get it fixed.  Trust me.

·       Your security.  TRUST ME!  TALK TO ME!  COME BACK TO ME.”

Until you can come to a place of rest in Me, your children will continue to grow up without a good father figure.  They may or may not see a man treat you with respect.”

So, looking back at my mistakes and how hard-headed I was, I know now that had I surrendered myself and my children to Him, sooner, our lives could have turned out so differently.  I’m definitely not complaining but I could have shorn off a few years of agony.  So PLEASE learn from my mistakes!

Single moms, look up instead of out into the world for that father figure, for your comfort and solace.  Surround yourself with like-minded (and like-hearted) friends.  Keep each other accountable and out of the beds of the next heartbreak.  And remember, introducing your children to the ultimate father-figure is always the right thing.

God bless you!

The Battle

Yes, I said that I would be closing my Facebook page, but I can’t.  I wanted to put my thoughts into words, but since my book is written under a pen name, it’s important to maintain anonymity.  This was the best I could do.  So, sorry for the format.  Wish I could do something like Heather Land, but the subject of sex outside of marriage just isn’t a laughing matter, but there IS joy in the decision to obey God!  Amen?

God bless you all!

p.s.  I tell everyone to have a great weekend.  However, it took me all weekend to figure out how filter my face out.  🙂

Soul Mate

Interesting thought about the term, “soul mate.” Did you know that the term comes from Greek mythology? It’s not used one time in the Bible? As a matter of fact, there’s nothing in the Bible where God tells us anything about picking a mate except to make sure that you’re equally yoked! So is it possible that God’s intention for marriage is that you find someone who can help YOU fulfill God’s plan for your life and you to help HIM find God’s plan for his? Teamwork. Could it possibly be that simple? Do we put too much emphasis on “chemistry?” Do we put too my emphasis on things that don’t matter in God’s plan? Things that make you go “hmmm”

The “Magical” Third Date

Imagine you’re standing in front of a full-length mirror.  Your makeup is perfect.  Your perfume is just right.  And you’re about to see HIM again!  And it’s your third date!  YIPES!  You’re thinking, “I shaved my legs.  Check.  I’ve shaved under my arms.  Check.  I’ve manicured every place that needs to be manicured because tonight he just might see everything!  Check, check, check.”  Am I right?

But there is one important detail that’s lost in all the excitement of consummating your dating relationship and officially making yourself his “girlfriend.”  What does God have to say about this?

Yes, it’s 2018, but guess what?  Hebrews 13:8 says , “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Malachi 3:6 says, ““For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”

So, if God doesn’t change and sex outside of marriage is still a sin, then why the excitement of consummating a relationship WAY before God intended?  And ladies, who have been married, if you’ve read my book, you know this message is intended for you as much, if  not more than someone who has not been married.  Why, more?  Because deep inside, you know better.  You instinctively know what God is doing, even if it’s tough to acknowledge.  If you are not supposed to hide your light beneath a bushel, this is one area where you can definitely let it shine!

So, ladies…  Take that look in the full-length mirror.  See what God sees.  You’re a princess, heir to a throne.  Is this man a man that’s after God’s heart?  Is he a man that God has brought to you so that you can become a team in His name?

Look in the mirror again.  You’re beautiful.  You can say, “no.”  You can say, “I’m waiting ’til I get married.  Let’s talk.  Let’s get to know each other.”  Because if you don’t, the rest of the dating relationship, IF it goes any further, will be based around sex.  Your vacations will be about sex.  Your dates will always be about sex.  Is that really what you want?

Alone for New Year’s Eve?

My loneliest New Years actually turned into a great metaphor.    I ran a nice bubble bath around 11:30 p.m. and enjoyed a nice soak.  Then, at midnight, I pulled the plug and said goodbye to the worst year of my life.

IF ONLY I had known Christ at that time of my life.  I would have had hope as my past year symbolically drained away.

What about you?  If you’re going to be alone, what can you do to symbolize a fresh start; not just in your life, but in your walk with Christ this year?

Godly Women and Ten Commandments – Commandment #1

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Godly women, TRULY godly women, desire godly men.  Yes?   Godly men, TRULY godly men, desire godly women and this means starting right here.  “You shall have no other gods before Me.”  The above commandment was the first commandment given to Moses and then to us.

You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s a no-brainer.  I’m already doing that.”  Are you?   A god (small g), is anything, anyone, any thought, any addiction that you place above our Almighty Elohim, El Shaddai, Yahweh, Jehovah.

Below is a very small list of ways single women, even those who desire a godly man, can put gods before our Creator.  I tell you this because I’ve been guilty of many of these:

  1. Our kids. For single moms, it’s so very easy to put the wants and needs of our kids above all else.   We believe that our kids are our #1 priority.  I’m here to lovingly tell you that this is wrong.  Many times, we mother out of guilt or even fear of losing custody of our precious babies.  Where does that put God?  Where does that put our faith in Him?  We are to love God more than our kids and just as importantly, we need to understand that God loves our kids more than we can even image…  More than we do.  I really struggled with this one.

  2. An infatuation. We fantasize about someone that we are totally infatuated with…  to the point that we put him, or the idea of him, over God.

  3. Addictions. Yes, most of the time, these are sicknesses, chemical imbalances, pain killers that became addictive, etc.  What better way for Satan to have a field day with our lives than to get inside of our heads, control our pain to an extent that God isn’t even a blip on our radar?

  4. A boyfriend. Many times, boyfriends are placed even over the needs of the kids.  Our kids are gifts from God.  Let’s never forget that, but boyfriends?  Even if he is the godly man sent by God and he’s doing everything correctly and honoring you and the Lord; his place is after God and after your kids.  Period.

  5. Our jobs. Many of us going through a divorce, hold on to our jobs as if our lives depended on them.  We give everything to our employer and whatever’s left over goes to the kids.  Where does that leave God?  But when God comes first?  It’s amazing how everything works out; maybe not the way you would have chosen, but it works out beautifully.

  6. Pets We rush home to let the dog out, but do we rush to spend time with our Savior or do we put Him on a back burner?  I am constantly amazed at the depths that some pet owners go to in order to ensure the comfort and amusement for their pets…  but God?

  7. Electronics. If we know that we’ve spent no time with God and yet we push that thought away as we catch up with friends on Facebook…  has Facebook or our phone/tablet, etc. become a god?

There are many other types of gods in our lives.  My job?  To open your eyes; to make you take a look around; TO KEEP YOU FROM MAKING MY MISTAKES!  It’s why I wrote my book and I know there are quite a few of you who have read it because I’m talking with you.  You’re letting me know that my suffering has spared you some heartache.  Thank you, Lord!  That’s all I need to know!

What are You Doing, God?

I received the following article from an old friend of mine.  It was published back in the year 2000.  The questions she asks are much like the questions that many of you have asked ME!  Mary’s given me permission to share this publication.  The original article was titled, “What Are You Doing, God?” by Omar C. Garcia and Mary Aucoin.   Omar was the Pastor of Education at Bear Creek Baptist Church and Mary was a journalist and attended that church at the time the original article was published.

The questions that Mary asks are timeless.  As long as there are single people, these questions will be asked.  I hope it speaks to each and every one of the godly women who have liked my page for so many years!

The parts that are italicized are of my own re-formatting of the original text and represent Mr. Garcia’s words (to help you see who’s “speaking.” )

On a side-note, Mary went on to write a couple of books under her married name.  Yes, she married the man that God has been holding for her.  Her books, “Help for the Laid Off,” and “Hope for the Laid Off,” can be found on Amazon under the name Mary Aucoin Kaarto.

As always, if you have questions, send me a PM or comment/tweet and I’ll do my best to answer!  Read on…


Mary is a delightful individual. She is personable and friendly. A single parent, she works for a publisher in Houston.  She regularly attends the church where I serve as minister of education, and she actively participates in our singles ministry.  Not long ago I received a note from Mary via email, a note that she has given me permission to share with you. Certain details in her correspondence have been changed but the story is real. While no two people face challenges that are absolutely identical, the questions one person asks in his or her own situation can be very similar to questions others ask in theirs. Have you asked questions similar to Mary’s at one time or another?

* * * * * * *
Hi Omar—
I hope this letter finds you well. I don’t mean to unload my problems on you, but I need to share this with someone. I’m sort of embarrassed to tell you this stuff because it is kind of personal, but I’ve always felt comfortable talking to you. Please respond when you can—even if you need several days or even a few weeks to reply. Your insight will really help me.  Eighteen months ago I answered an ad for a pen pal through the writer’s section of America Online. You know how I love to talk to people and how I love to write! My pen pal’s name is Steve, and he lives in Omaha. In the time I’ve known him, he has become, quite frankly, the best “earthly” friend I’ve ever had. Steve is 42 years old, has been widowed for 4 years, and has a 15-year-old son. My daughter Emilie, you might remember, is 16. Steve works at an accounting firm in Omaha. Over the past 18 months of writing to each other almost daily and talking on the phone regularly, we’ve exchanged pictures not only of each other but also of our kids. We have, well, basically shared our lives with each other. Steve understands me, and I understand him. I’ve helped both Steve and his son deal with grief over Steve’s wife’s death.  I’ve even helped the two of them mend their relationship at times. Steve has helped me deal with family stuff, work stuff, and Emilie stuff.   We’ve exchanged recipes, read books together and discussed them, had disagreements, made up.  Steve is one of the most decent, kind, honorable, and respectable human beings I know.

Last May I went to meet him in person, and truthfully, Omar, those were the happiest four days of my life. He told me those days were his happiest in years, certainly his happiest since his wife passed away. As I expected, he was and is a complete gentleman. We went to a couple of movies together, to his workplace, his home, the mall, out to eat, and out for numerous long drives and several leisurely walks in his neighborhood.  What should’ve been obvious to both of us before we even met in person was that we had each done the “falling-in-love” thing with each other. When we shared those four days together, my deep feelings for him suddenly became very, very real! We talked about he future, about one of us relocating to be with the other, and so forth.  You may be wondering, “What’s the problem?”  Steve isn’t a Christian. He doesn’t object to my faith but has indicated that he feels strongly that church and God and religion just aren’t for him right now. I knew he didn’t go to church soon after we first started writing, but Omar, you have to understand that at the time we started writing to each other, never in my wildest dreams did I think we would become so close, that our writing would last 18 months, or that we would fall in love with each other! During all this time the spiritual differences were never an issue.  Now they are.
We talked at length while I was in Omaha.  He’s very gracious and kind about it all, and
he even acknowledged a remote possibility that he will, sometime in the future, be open
to thinking about spiritual things—but not now. When he told me he’s just not ready to
consider Christianity, I knew in my heart that there was no way that I could consider  marrying him. No way. Nada. Finito. You cannot imagine how difficult it was for me to write to him then and tell him that I couldn’t marry him because of our spiritual differences. And it was absolutely agonizing for me to write to him that because I’m in love with him I cannot possibly continue talking with him on a regular basis—daily—as before. It’s just too painful. Steve was and is unhappy with my decision but accepts it and respects it, and I’m grateful for that.  Since I told Steve about my decision in late May, we’ve only exchanged emails once or twice a month—usually just once a month. When I called him for tax help a couple of Sundays ago, it was the first time we’d heard each other’s voices since my visit.  I wasn’t surprised we wound up talking on the phone for nearly four hours!

My questions are these:

  1. The Bible clearly states, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?”  (2 Cor. 6:14). Omar, what if I am Steve’s only witness to the one true God? If I stop writing to him completely, what will become of him spiritually? This is a big concern of mine. Yes, I love him; yes, I would marry him—would’ve already been married to him—if he were a believer.  My biggest concern is that he be saved. If you only knew him, Omar, you would realize what a wonderful person he is.
  2. Sometimes I think that God has allowed Satan to tempt me in the worst possible way by giving me the most extraordinary man to love and be loved by—as a test to see if I have the strength to give him up for God. I have given him up willingly but not without a struggle. I will do anything God asks of me, or at least I have been trying to.  Do you think that this is why Steve came into my life?
  3. It is beyond painful to not talk to him all the time, and I cannot even fathom the thought of never seeing him again. Omar, there just aren’t many good and eligible men out there! Having been divorced for six years now, I have learned to live alone. Yes, I have grown spiritually a great deal during the past six years, and I am grateful for this growth. I needed it and still need it. I am very much enjoying becoming more involved in our church family as well, but I am hugely lonely for a male-female relationship. Not sexual. You know what I mean, right?  Companionship!  I have plenty of female friends, but I need a man in my life! It has become increasingly painful to attend worship services when I see all of those fortunate married people, having someone to share their lives with, talk to, worship and pray with. My heart’s deepest desire is to find a good Christian man to fall in love with and marry.  So while I’m learning patience, what else is God trying to teach me? Why is this beautiful, wonderful, loving, and intelligent man given to me, so to speak, when I cannot truly have him?
  4. What should I ultimately do about my friendship with Steve? If you tell me to never, ever write him, call him, see him again, I promise you that I will try with all of my heart—but it won’t be easy.  Again, with a resounding yes I have learned to accept my singleness, but I sure don’t like it. I go to movies alone, eat out alone, shop alone—do everything alone! It gets real, real, real old. Real old.  I am trying to meet some quality people. I attend Judy’s Sunday School class faithfully.   There are mostly women there, and that’s fine, but I am lonesome for a nice boyfriend, and the one I want, I cannot have. So . . .  what am I supposed to do here?  Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m not grateful for the many, many blessings God has given me. He’s blessed me greatly. You know how horrible it was for me to have been laid off for two years. It was such a wonderful answer to prayer when I was offered my current job!  That blessing isn’t making this easy, though! I guess maybe because I’m human I keep thinking, “Where is my reward for giving up Steve?!” Ha, ha! I laugh, but only because I cannot cry anymore about it. My heart is exhausted from crying about this, Omar, and I need peace—and some answers.
  5. Please tell me why you think Steve came into my life, and why I have to walk Please tell me why I can’t learning whatever it is that God is trying to teach me, other than patience.
  6. What can I do that I’m not doing right now to understand God’s will for my life?  I apologize for taking so much of your time with what must seem like a silly problem to you. But thanks for your help. Please take your time in answering this. Reread it if you have to. Please pray for God’s will to be revealed to you, because I’m obviously not getting it over here. Please also pray for Steve’s salvation. I would so much appreciate it if you would pray also that God would send the right Christian man into my life.  Thank you again, Omar.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Mary Aucoin

* * * * * * *
Have you experienced these or similar feelings? Have you asked questions similar to those Mary asked? How would you have responded to Mary if she had asked you those questions?  Here is what I wrote to her.

* * * * * * *

Hi Mary . . .
Thank you writing and sharing with me about all that has happened in your relationship with Steve. My heart aches for you and what you are feeling at this time. I would like to speak with you in person when we can work out a time, but for now I will try to briefly answer some of the questions you asked.

Sincerely, Omar

Question 1: The Bible clearly states, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14). What if I am Steve’s only witness to the one true God? If I stop writing to him completely, what will become of him spiritually? My biggest concern is that he be saved.
Answer: Mary, 2 Corinthians 6:14 is a very appropriate verse for your situation. I’m glad the Lord directed you to this verse. It reminds us that we must not try to justify a marriage relationship or a serious dating relationship on the basis of evangelism. A believer and an unbeliever operate on two different planes; each lives according to a different perspective.  It is easier for an unbeliever to drag a believer down than for a believer to pull an unbeliever up. This is evidenced in part by the fact that Steve is unwilling to consider adopting your system of beliefs or biblical worldview. As for what will become of him spiritually, remember that God is more concerned about Steve’s spiritual welfare than either you or I ever could be. Pray that God will send other people into his life to bear witness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question 2: Do you think God allowed Satan to bring Steve into my life to test me, to see if I would be willing to give him up?
Answer: I do not know if that is the reason your path crossed with Steve’s. I do know that God gives His absolute best, in His own time, to those who leave the choice with Him. A man who doesn’t believe that Jesus is God’s Son and the Savior of the world, however, is clearly not God’s best for you, however wonderful he might be in other ways.

Question 3: My heart’s deepest desire is to find a good Christian man to fall in love with and marry. While I’m learning patience, what else is God trying to teach me? Why is this beautiful, wonderful, loving, and intelligent man given to me, so to speak, when I cannot truly have him?
Answer: God is aware of the deepest desires of your heart. I agree that patience is certainly part of what God teaches us through life’s experiences. As for other lessons the Lord is trying to teach you through this particular situation, you might have to wait until heaven for all those answers.  I am reminded of a poem that Corrie ten Boom kept in her home during the difficult years of World War II. I think it is especially meaningful during life’s difficult times. It is entitled, “The Weaver,” and its basic message is that a Christian’s life is like a tapestry God is weaving together. We don’t choose the colors of the threads that go into our tapestries—God does. When sorrow or disappointment or hurt or frustration comes into our lives, we often forget that God is looking at the fronts of the tapestries while we are seeing only their backs. When our lives are over, however, God will reveal the beautiful, finished works of art. At that time we will see how the darker threads are necessary, how in the finished products they will blend in with threads of vivid colors to make he designs beautiful. Can the patterns and pictures woven into the tapestries be as beautiful without dark colors? No. Dark as well as bright colors are needed. God is working on each of our lives to present it as a masterpiece that testifies to His grace, power, and love. One day we will see the final product and understand how God used pain as well as joy in life to bring glory to Himself.

Question 4: What should I ultimately do about my friendship with Steve?
Answer: I think you can be a friend with the understanding that you disagree about the answer to life’s most important question. Jesus asked that question in Mark 8:29. He asked, “Who do you say I am?” Be Steve’s friend, yes; but realize that as long as Steve doesn’t agree that Jesus is God’s Son and the Savior of the world—and until Steve accepts Christ as his own Savior—your marrying him is clearly not part of God’s plan for your life. Your mentioning God’s instruction in 2 Corinthians 6:14 indicates to me that you already understand this.

Question 5: Please tell me why you think Steve came into my life, and why I have to walk away from him. I mean, how cruel is this?! Should I walk away from him? Completely? Please tell me why I can’t or don’t seem to be learning whatever it is that God is trying to teach me, other than patience.
Answer: You are learning more than you think. Unfortunately, we often have to go through some of life’s toughest struggles to learn some of life’s most valuable and helpful lessons. Those who struggle with the truth ultimately have a better understanding of it than those who merely read it. You probably will be discovering for a long time to come just how many things God has been teaching you through your difficult experience.

Question 6. What can I do that I’m not doing right now to understand God’s will for my life?
Answer: I want to suggest that you continue doing something I’m sure you already are doing. Mary, stay in God’s Word, the Bible. God’s Word is God’s will for our lives, including 2 Corinthians 6:14—and so much more! Spend much time reading in the Psalms. They speak for us as much as they speak to us. And remember, you will find two positive principles behind every negative command (like 2 Cor. 6:14) in the Bible.

First, the principle of protection stands behind each negative command. God says no in order to protect us from what He knows will harm us. Second, the principle of provision
stands alongside protection. God says no because He wants to provide for us, to give
us something better.’

You also wrote, I apologize for taking so much of your time with what must seem like a silly problem to you.
Response: Mary, please do not apologize. Your problem is not silly in any way, shape, or form. I give much weight and consideration to what you are experiencing.  Finally, you said, I would so much appreciate it if you would pray also that God would send the right Christian man into my life.  Response: Count on it, Mary. And please keep me posted. I know my answers are brief and frank. Let’s try to carve out some time to talk further by phone or at my office.
* * * * * * *
Not long after responding to Mary, I received this note from her. As you read it, notice that although Mary was still struggling, she also was reaching out to God in faith and drawing strength from her church family. If you’ve been struggling, talk to a Christian friend or pastor, read the Bible regularly and accept its teachings as true, and reach out to God in faith and obedience, as Mary did.
* * * * * * *
Thank you so very much for answering my message. While you believe your answers
to be brief, they were enough to get me through the day. I’ve printed your message out to hold on to and to read over and over again during times of temptation.  I have decided to leave Steve alone for as long as I possibly can, and I am going to try to forget about him. The picture of the two of us taken at the park near his home in Omaha is now in a box at the top of my closet.

I thought I was through grieving, but I see that the waves of grief come in cycles. Nothing
in particular brings them on, it seems. However, I know I have to work through my grief.

The poem you told me about was especially wonderful. Most helpful, though, was your telling me that every time God tells us no, He does so to protect us and to give us something better1.  It is really hard to imagine anyone better suited for me than this guy, so if what you say is true (and I will believe that it is)—Wow! I can’t wait to meet this new person.  Where is he? Ha, ha!  I am also wondering if there is such a person.  I mean, I know that if I tell God I’m willing to be single for the rest of my life, I have to accept that God may choose to never bring a man into my life for me to marry.  Omar, the thought of being single until I am dead is a horrible thought, one I don’t want to consider at all. But I know that God is infinitely wiser than I am!

Thank you so much for your compassion, understanding, and willingness to listen to me. I am still struggling with all of this and would like to talk to you about it all. So, if you are willing to hear me unload—sometimes through my tears—in your office or on the phone, all I can say is I hope that in return God will give you everything in life you could ever want. I’ll call you at some point during the next few days.

I keep thinking back to that horrible time when I was laid off for two years, how God pulled me through that and blessed me beyond my wildest dreams by giving me not only a job but a job I absolutely love, one I’d dreamed about for a long time. I’m just so grateful to God for making that life-long dream a reality.  So I do take comfort in that experience, because it showed me that God really works in wonderful ways. I am so thankful to be a part of this church family as well, and it means so much to me that I am—by taking part in serving others through the church—beginning to feel a part of it for the first time since I joined several years ago.  Anyway, I’ll call you soon. God bless you, Omar. I know He will.

‘Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Right from Wrong (Dallas:
Word, 1994), 106.