Lord, will You take this dry, barren place in my heart, this place that aches with loneliness and flinches with pain, and make it a place of beauty and fruitfulness?
These words were penned one quiet Saturday afternoon in the fall of 2009. I had drawn away to a well-loved beach on Lake Michigan to talk with the Lord. My heart was broken; a man that I cared deeply for had rejected me in a deeply personal and painful way. Anger, hurt, confusion, and an aching sadness filled my heart.
That day, God brought a peace and quietness to my heart in the truth that He did indeed love me. My identity was not in one man's rejection of me, but in One Man's acceptance of me. As much as my heart ached, I could rest in that truth.
My days were certainly full. I loved my job serving with Revive Our Hearts as a graphic designer and project coordinator, and had a terrific circle of friends and mentors. As time went on, my heart healed, but the longing for a family of my own never left.
In another part of Michigan that same fall, a young wife and mom received a terrifying diagnosis from her doctor. She called her husband through tears, “Dennis, it’s cancer. I don’t want to die.” Family and friends surrounded her in her seven-week battle against the deadly disease. In the end, the healing hoped and prayed for was realized in heaven. A young father and his four children were left, brokenhearted, yet trusting in the Lord.
Dennis told his children, “We have a choice here: we can get angry and bitter about what God has allowed in our lives, or we can choose gratitude and grace.” They chose grace, and started rebuilding their family and home without mom. Through it all, Dennis knew that God loved him and was holding him in the palm of His hand.
His nine-year-old girl said one night at bedtime, “Dad, I really need a mom.” Her dad agreed, “There are just some things a dad can’t do, are there? We need to pray that God will start preparing someone’s heart to accept us, and for our hearts to be prepared to accept her.” So the family started praying for the woman that would become their new wife and mom.
Shortly after, almost on a dare from his coworkers one day at work, Dennis signed up for an online Christian dating service.
About the same time, I felt prompted to sign up for this Christian online dating service. Instead of feeling lonely, maybe God wanted me to step out in faith a little bit. Dennis and I crossed paths in the summer of 2010. When Dennis saw my profile, he knew there was something different about me. He started writing to me, and I wrote back.
Neither of us expected the genuine friendship that grew out of those first few rather awkward emails. But it did. I was impressed with his positive, faith-filled outlook on life, his leadership in his family, and his walk with God. I thought he had a terrific smile and a fantastic attitude about life. I think he thought I was pretty special, too!
This led to a whirlwind romance. We began seeing each other every weekend, and soon received our parents’ blessings. I met the children, and we hit it off right away. In just a few months, Dennis was sure I was the one for him. I, on the other hand, wasn’t convinced that soon.
Can you relate to Laura’s heartbroken prayer when she asked the Lord to turn the dry, barren place in her heart into a place of beauty and fruitfulness? Come back tomorrow to hear how God answered Laura’s prayer.