Thursday, July 25, 2013

Free Will, God's Sovereignty and What it has to do with My Marriage (Part 3)

Someone said, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

From November 1st to early January, I was away from Josh. We emailed back and forth for all those months. During that time, Josh realized he loved me. That email was one of the happiest days of my life!

In August, Josh and two of our friends and I went to Alaska. I was to meet his parents. We spent two weeks canoeing, hiking, seeing the sites. At one point, Josh was riding alone with his Dad. Josh told his Dad that he would like his parents approval of me as a wife.

He got that approval the day he left. <--------- b="">This is very important, because if his parents had not given their approval...I would not be married to Josh Larson, nor would I have a Ruth, Shalom, Anna or Ezra.

We were engaged at the end of August.


I could go on and on and tell you how much God has done from the day we got engaged to this very day...but I won't. Okay, I will, if you ask nicely.

The point of this whole 3 part blog - which I have never done before - is a response to the aforementioned blog. My, Josh and I aren't soulmates. If Josh's parents had not given their approval, I would not be married to him today...a VERY scary thought for me.

Josh is my rock. I draw strength from his very presence. He is the reason we have such great kids...his insight into their character is awesome, and helps me know what to do with them, what characteristics to hone, and what attitudes are unsavory and need changed. He is my comfort, and my encouragement. His love is truly the wind beneath my wings.

A year ago on August 10th, I almost lost Josh. He was in a car accident...and, but for the Grace of God, he would be dead. I was given a taste of what life could have been like. Josh changed after that accident, and suddenly I - Rebekah Larson - had to be the strong one - not my strong suit.

While I would not say that God had only me and Josh set aside for each other, in hopes that some how we would find each other (the odds were completely against us, you know, Alaska and Ohio are 3,957 miles apart, you know), I will say...God knew we would get married, and He has huge plans for us (none Jer. 29:11 - of course. =P )! God took care of us, completely, in ways we could never have thought or imagined. (Ephesians 3:20)

Winter 2010/2011 - Josh was going thru a hard time. During that time, he often found himself humming this song, and thinking of me...

Free Will, God's Sovereignty and What it has to do with My Marriage (Part 2)

While in Bible School, I had been encouraged to write out a list of thing I was looking for in a husband. I made a Needs List and a Wants List.  I was ever on guard for the guy who might fill that list. Never found him while at Bible School.

In May of 2003, I had been working at Friend Ships for almost a year. I had just returned from my sister's wedding in Pennsylvania. There was a new crew member named Josh. I don't remember having any thoughts on his looks...but I DO have one memory from that month. I had been visiting my roommate in the Galley (kitchen), and saw a list of foods under the title "Josh Larson food allergies." Josh was allergic to  red meat (including moose and bear), pork, potatoes, tomatoes, all citrus and gluten. I distinctly remember saying, "Boy, I pity the woman who marries this guy!"

In late August, my friend and I were looking for someone with whom to play cards. I had the idea to ask Josh, who spent most of his time in his room. He joined us that nights, and for the net several nights. September found us playing cards...just Josh and I. We spent our evenings talking and finding out that we had a whole lot in common. Quite often, I would wait on the Quarter Deck playing Solitaire waiting to see if Josh would come up to play cards.

October found the crews of the Spirit of Grace and the Spirit working long hours in preparation for the Spirit of Grace to sail on its first voyage to Israel. We worked from 7a to 7p every day. After the supper dishes were washed, the evenings found Josh and I playing cards and hanging out. More talking, friendship blossoming nicely. While I looked for all the signs that Josh was my soulmate, I never found one. I only ever saw a friend for whom I cared deeply.

The week leading up to the Grace's departure found Rebekah crying often, for I was leaving with the ship, and Josh was staying in Lake Charles. I refused to lead the way into this, a relationship I deeply wanted. I wanted to be the second part of a couple with Josh, but so often in my life, I had taken the first step...a step not mine to take. So when Josh asked me why I was crying, my only response was "It's a girl thing."

Josh knew my favorite food was a Ruby Tuesdays Ribeye. Josh told me he wanted to take me out for steak before I left. I was excited, and left my shopping for the voyage for that evening...October 31st. I was excited all day long! As soon as the clock struck 7pm, I jumped into the shower. I dressed in a black shirt and some awesome pants. I put my hair half up, and went to knock on Josh's door.  I knocked...but there was no answer. The shower that Josh usually used was unoccupied, and I was confused. I went up to the quarter deck where I found Josh...eating supper...

Confusion is a funny word. Confusion and frustration mingled on my face, as my emotions always do. The answer was simple, and Josh was quick to give it. The job he was doing wasn't done, and he needed to finish it, or we would not have food on the way to Israel. He would be done by 9:30p. He mentioned still wanting to take me out for supper and my shopping trip...which I REALLY needed to go on, or I would not have soap or shampoo! =P

True to his word, Josh was off the Grace at 9:30p and we were off at 10p. I had changed out of my fanciness into a nasty yellow long sleeved t-shirt, and my hair was up in a pony-tail. We ate, and went to Walmart. After my shopping was done, and we were checking out, Josh had a goofy smirk on his face. I asked him what he was smiling at, and he smirked and said, "It's a boy thing, you wouldn't understand."

I knew he was mocking me, and so tried to explain to him that I really liked him. After five whole minutes of stuttering, I finally spit out, "It is like a rose. If you force it open, it won't be beautiful." To which Josh replied, "Some roses open faster than others..." and before I could guess what he meant, he went on to tell me that he thought we would make a good match...and that when I came back, he would like to announce a special relationship (a Friend Ships way of keeping everyone informed, rather than gossiping).

Neither Josh nor I ever would have said that God made us for each other. At the same time, I have no doubt that God was leading and guiding us in every way.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Free Will, God's Sovereignty and What it Has to do with My Marriage (Part 1)

My response to (neither proving nor disproving) the blog post "everyone" keeps sharing called "My Husband is not my Soulmate."

Back in the day...I read I Kissed Dating Good-Bye...and I did...I decided I wouldn't kiss till my wedding day. An easy thing to do when you have no prospects on the horizon, let me tell you.

Then one day (April 2000), it happened. I met a guy that fit my bill for marriage-able material. Can you believe it? God let me find a guy who was taller than me, loved God and had double-jointed thumbs. What can I say? I was shallow when I was in high school! I was actually out of high school when I met J...and it seemed to me that this relationship was what I had been looking for all my life. I wanted to kiss him, but remembered my vow...until the day two of my most trusted family members told me I was ridiculous for NOT kissing him. So I went back on my vow. And suddenly, a budding friendship turned into a kiss-a-thon. What had been a "beautiful and much prayed for thing" turned into a horrible mess. We broke up. I got the line "I can love you better as a friend than as a boyfriend or husband," and J walked out of my life completely one warm summer day, two months after the relationship began.

Heartbroken, thy name is Rebekah.