by Jason Baisden
Sometimes when we pray the answer is yes. Sometimes it is no and other times we are told to be patient. Often the yes is not quite how we would have engineered it. When a “no” comes our way, we often react in various ways: confused, angry, disappointed, and frustrated or some combination of any/all of these. I know I did not understand my “no” and could not even begin to comprehend what joy, love and completeness lay on the other side of patience.
My longstanding prayer: “Dear Lord, I really want a family. I believe I would be a good father and would honor You in raising my children. Please grant me this wonderful blessing.”
My ex-wife and I tried, but to no avail. I was disappointed and depressed; wondering why God would not grant this wonderful thing; why He was so silent on my heart’s desire.
Later, after many attempts to save my marriage (and failure to do so), I began to see how He was blessing me and saving me from untold heartache, pain and future frustrations. I began to resign myself to the fact that I would not really find my one true love in life (on this earth) and that having a family was probably not in the cards. My heart’s desire never diminished, just my expectations that it would be realized.
But God is truly good and as I mentioned in the last article, His ways are higher than ours. He was preparing me for the answer to my prayer, but in such a fashion that I would have never imagined, scripted or designed for myself.
He was preparing the way for me to find my soul-mate and the absolute love of my life. How His plan unfolded still leaves me in a state of complete awe (and a good dose of reflecting on all the dots along the journey).
How I fell in love with Debbie Wilkins is complex, complicated, and at many times was a rather strange situation. It was intense, emotional, beset with ups and downs and was not lived out in a vacuum – meaning there were four little boys to consider; family members; friends; Aaron Wilkins; and extended friends and acquaintances. To say that there were a lot of emotions and considerations swirling around would be the understatement of the year. Oh, and did I mention it was intense? Grief, pain, hurt, heartache, confusion, loss and survival (for the Wilkins family) were many of the emotions that were present during this time – but so was Jesus; His healing love, His care and comfort.
Falling in love with Debbie started with a prayer for God to take away these feelings for her. I was shocked and a little concerned when these feelings began to emerge. I would walk my dogs around the neighborhood and consistently and adamantly pray that He take these thoughts and feelings from me. I told Him that I did not believe I would be able to squash them on my own. I prayed that He would instruct Debbie to say these words: “Jason, we should just be friends and that is it.”
I knew that my emotions for her were growing too strong and too fast for me to deal with in my own strength – and honestly, I did not want to let them or her go. But in those moments of clarity, I knew He could convince Debbie that her path was heading in another direction and then she, having four boys and other family to consider, would be better able to end things.
You see, I felt that my feelings were wrong. I had lost a good friend. She had lost the love of her life. Paul, Brad, Joshua and Andrew had lost their father. Aaron’s parents and sister had lost a son and brother. Debbie’s siblings, her mom and dad had also lost Aaron. I began to live in immense conflict. On the one hand I could not dismiss or purge these developing feelings for Debbie – no matter how hard I would pray or try in my own strength. On the other hand, this is Debbie- – my good friend Aaron’s wife. I knew them – as husband and wife. I lived life with them; church, small group, camping trips, meals at their house. I prayed for them during each pregnancy; during trying times in their lives. This just seems wrong. Days upon days and months upon months of conflicted feelings – no easy place to live for any duration of time. The feelings would not go away; in fact they grew stronger. Debbie did not utter the phrase that I had prayed for.
“God, please be with the Wilkins family. Please bring Your healing, comfort, grace and peace to each member of their family during this most trying time. I pray that, eventually, you will lead Debbie to a good Christian man who will love and cherish her the way that she deserves.”
This was my early prayer for her and her family. Little did I know that it would mark the beginning of my love for her and her four boys. As time began to pass I would pray that prayer and after I would pray it a thought would creep in. “What if I was that man?” Immediate guilt and confusion for even thinking these things would ensue and I would spend some time, effort and prayer in trying to rid myself of these “wrong” feelings and thoughts….up until the moment I would receive another Facebook message from Debbie – and the whole cycle would begin anew.
The more I prayed and the more time I spent with Debbie, the more convinced I would become of His path and plan.
“I am falling in love with Debbie Wilkins!” “How on earth can this be?” God responded: this is the answer to your prayer and your heart’s desire. This is what it looks like on the other side of patience.
…to be continued: 100 mph vs 5 mph – Part 3
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