|In the beginning.....|
It's hard to say exactly when this story began as the plans and purposes of YHVH are a part of our lives from the beginning of time. DannyLee and I both spent the earliest years of our lives in Illinois although we were many miles and not a few years apart. This was only a tenuous link and has no bearing or impact on the outcome of this story.
Our first knowledge of each other came while I was living alone in Thailand and he was living in the shadows of a dead relationship in Arizona. He'd long been praying to be joined with a GODly woman united to fulfill YHVH's plans and purposes. Once he'd even said in frustration as he prayed that it was likely that GOD would have to bring him the right wife from the other side of the world. The irony of these words still make us laugh to this day. Little did he know how true this prayer would turn out to be!
Living alone in Thailand, I had received prophecies of a future husband on many different continents and various countries over a period of eight years. The pain and frustration of carrying and keeping alive the hope created in me by those eager to share these "good words" over that length of time was wearing me down. Every time I tried to lay these "words" aside and resign myself to being alone for the rest of my days another person would come along with another "good word".
I had a real good understanding of why those trained in the gift of prophecy are warned to avoid giving "words" on such life-altering events such as births, deaths and weddings. I have a lot of sympathy for our Father Abraham and his wife Sarah as I considered how long they had to wait for their "promised" son, Isaac. Eight years is nothing compared to how long they had to wait.
One day, I was listening to IFBN radio, a messianic station broadcast out of Kiriyat Yam, Israel. A program was playing out of a ministry in East Texas and the focus was on the musical work of a man with a voice that would melt butter in winter. DannyLee was sharing some of his favorite songs. I wanted to share his music with my mother and my friend Holly so I looked up the ministry on the internet. I was excited to find that they had a teaching program on Hebraic roots. I'd been studying Hebraic roots for a couple of years and was eager to learn more. DannyLee and his voice got pushed to the side of the table.
As I worked my way through the radio programs, I got to know a little more about DannyLee through the community forum, but we shared nothing more than passing comments. The vast distances between us stood as a mountain that neither of us felt inclined to tackle. Little did we imagine that we would ever even have a chance to meet and talk face to face - little did we know!
Almost exactly a year after that radio program, I found myself on a plane heading for Texas. I'd been asked to come and assist the ministry with some personal and professional needs. This move in many ways had come as a surprise to me, but FATHER was clearly in control and I looked forward to a new life. Over in Arizona, DannyLee was about to receive a phone call that would work to bring him to Texas also. The stage was set for us to meet for the first time at Passover.
Now there are many stories told of "love at first sight" and the "knowing" that some people have when they meet their "intended" the first time. This isn't one of those kinds of stories at all. He came for the Passover dinner, we met, we all ate and celebrated the Passover and he went home. It could have all ended there and we would have been none the wiser that there was going to be more - a lot more!
DannyLee's ongoing relationship with this ministry family and my work there insured future meetings for ministry and social reasons. Our communications remained limited to casual comments shared through the community forum and neither of us felt inclined to pursue going beyond that. One might say that after our first meeting, we were both inclined to cross each other off the list of "potentials". The rest of the Spring and Summer passed as we went on with our separate lives.
As we prepared to celebrate the Fall Feasts, the season was kicked off with a birthday party. I love organizing and doing parties of any kind and DannyLee's birthday celebration was a joyous event. We lived out in the middle of farm fields dotted with cotton, corn and lots of cows. It was my habit to spend my quiet times sitting in the middle of the cow pasture communing with FATHER. It was out here that FATHER really started dealing with me concerning DannyLee. It seemed that I'd reached the wrong conclusion and that I needed to reconsider. I was in no hurry to do so and finally, in frustration, I decided to "throw out a fleece".
Now throwing out "fleeces" was not something that I was really comfortable with doing. I'd been taught a confusing mixture of "opinions" on the wisdom of taking such an action, but desperate times require desperate measures and I didn't know what else to do. My "fleece" was simple. I told FATHER that if DannyLee was the man that HE wanted me to be joined with, then DannyLee would have to write me a song. These words remained a secret known only to me, FATHER and the few cows that always watched and listened to me closely out in the pasture. Sometimes, I think I heard a little chuckle from somewhere behind me that day.
DannyLee was equally troubled with thoughts and feelings that he was missing something here and his prayer time was also full of questions. Little by little, we started to send friendly e-mails and notes when we saw each other on-line. One day, I ended one of my notes with a blessing that caught his "musician's eye" and the seed was planted in him for a new song. While I knew he was doing song re-writes, I had no idea that this one was in the offing. Soon it would be time for Sukkot and plans and preparations filled my days. I was too busy to think about that fleece that was still laying out there waiting for "dew".
Our celebrations always included music by DannyLee as the main entertainment. He's always happy to sing and singing for and with his friends remains a special source of joy to him. Sukkot would bring a new audience as we had others joining us for the first time and he rushed to be ready with some of his newest songs. My focus was on the food as I love to cook and to decorate. It was a busy time for all of us.
None of us suspected that there was going to be "romance in the air" and actually, to tell the truth, there wasn't. (I know! I know! All you "romantics" out there are wondering what was wrong with us! Don't worry, we're not in charge of this matter.) DannyLee surprised all of us with his new song which he credited directly to me. I found myself the uncomfortable recipient of a very "wet fleece" and faced with a decision that "rocked me to my socks".
The time had come for us to do some "serious talking" about what FATHER's will was for us in this matter and did we have what it takes to do HIS will. Anyone listening to our discussions would have been more inclined at this point to think we were talking about starting a business together more so than entering into a lifelong love relationship. Emotions and chemicals were clearly not a factor in this process at all.
Individually, we struggled with concerns that we would be able to honor one another in a Torah-centric covenant relationship. We both have a deep love for HIM and HIS Word and wanted to be able to reflect that in our love for each other. Neither of us felt confident of our abilities in light of our previous failings and we sure didn't want to enter into a relationship only to fail again. Our fears at this point presented another mountain to be overcome.
I'm not sure how to say what exactly caused us to say "Yes". For me, it was more of an act of obedience to FATHER's will and DannyLee confesses that it was the same for him. This was meant to be an "arranged marriage", arranged by our FATHER Himself. By saying "Yes" to HIM, we said "yes" to each other and that's where the "magic" began. After we "tied the knot", we started to feel all of those feelings that come when a man and a woman meet and "fall" in love. We came together almost as two "strangers" and yet, in so many ways we find that we fit together as romantically as any "Romeo and Juliet" story.
Our story doesn't really end here. This is only another kind of "beginning" because the lives of YHVH's chosen people are eternal and will go through many stages. We're in a new stage or a new chapter and as the Scriptures say, each day we are renewed. It is our prayer that we will continue to grow and be changed as we chose to do, not our wills, but HIS...............