Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Will You Be Mine–Forever~ A True Love Story by Erynn Newman

Posted by Jennifer Slattery on May 20, 2011

Marriage, when centered in Christ, is one of the most beautiful, God-ordained institutions. I’ve had countless friends over the years, but no one’s tapped into the deepest recesses of my heart like my husband. There’s no human I’d rather spend time with, no person I think of more and after fifteen years of doing life together, my love for him has grown. When I stood at the alter, ready to pledge my life to my husband, if someone had told me our love would grow with each passing year, I wouldn’t have believed them. How could it possibly grow when we were bound so completely to one another? But that is the mystery laid out in Genesis chapter two–the two shall become one. United in heart and soul. Inseperable.

In celebration of marriage, Erynn Newman agreed to share her story of finding true, forever love. After you read it, pause and contemplate the state of your own marriage. Think back to that moment when your spouse first proposed. Remember what you felt, and the dreams that fluttered through your head–of the white picket fence, the 2.5 kids, and golden retriever meeting you at the door every day. Are you still living the dream? If so, keep on, my friend! Hold tight to that treasure, nurturing it like a tender rose. If not, go back and begin again. Forget the angry words. Lay down your pride. Commit today to do whatever God commands to rekindle that once burning flame. Because honestly, true love is so worth it.

Will You Marry Me? by Erynn Newman 

               “Sometimes, I want to wrap you up and put you on a shelf somewhere so I can always look at you just like this. Because I think you might be the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

               Those words were from a boy I met in the tenth grade. Then he walked away. Our story was just beginning.

               From the moment I met Leo, I felt at home. Our friendship was effortless—the same way I’d eventually fall in love with him. Done before I knew it had begun.

               Five years later, home from college on spring break, he invited me to a family barbeque at the house of a relative I’d never met. He went early to help set up, and I was supposed to meet him there. When I arrived, he led me down a path to the lake. I expected to see a picnic area, hear voices, smell the grill, but when we reached the dock, I realized there was no barbeque.

               Leo was always concocting little romantic schemes, so I didn’t think too much of it. He said he wanted us to have a special date night since school had been so hectic lately, and we hadn’t had much time together.

               This was the lake that we’d fished as kids in high school—rather he’d fished while I read books in the boat. The same little boat waited for us at the end of the dock. Just like old times. We trolled through the water talking and reminiscing until I noticed we were landing. I looked up to see a little peninsula and lanterns hanging in the trees. My favorite singer was crooning softly from a CD player next to a candlelit table in the center of the grove.

               He helped me from the boat and pulled out my chair, and we tried to eat the delicious dinner he’d prepared, but neither of us felt very hungry. So, after a few nervous minutes, he asked me to dance with him. He played the first song we ever danced to, and we swayed under the stars.

               He told me about the exact moment he knew he was in love with me and the future he’d dreamed of, and then we stopped. He knelt in front of me waiting, and I realized I was supposed to say something. I could only whisper a faint affirmative as he slipped a beautiful ring on my finger.

               Then, he stood, and I was in his arms kissing the only man I would ever kiss again. He led me deeper into the woods down a candlelit path to a letter that he’d written to his future wife before our first date. As I finished reading the beautiful words, he whispered, “I always wanted it to be you.”

               But I let life and childish expectations come between us. We fought over things that now seem petty and stupid. And I gave him back the ring.

               It took us a full year to figure out how to be friends again, but even in the height of my foolishness, I knew I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Graduation came and went, and we hugged and parted as friends. I started grad school in a new state where I didn’t know a soul. And he moved to the other side of the world to work as a missionary in China.

               We kept up via emails and long phone conversations, but we also sent letters. You can’t talk about the present in a letter that will take more than a month to arrive. So, you write about things that time can’t touch—memories and emotions and regrets.

               For a year we tried life on our own, but our letters told the true story. There would never be anyone else for either of us.

               Two years after I broke both of our hearts, we decided to meet halfway. Sitting by a lake in a small town in Europe, we cried about all the mistakes we’d made, and I told him I didn’t want a future without him.

               This time he knelt to retrieve a box from his backpack. But the shape was all wrong—it was long and thin. He pulled out a Chinese scroll, and he read the words to me. “Will you stay with me forever?”

               And I said “yes.” As he slipped the ring back onto my finger, I was overcome with gratefulness for the man who loved me enough not to give up. He pursued me for eight years and ten thousand miles, and it never felt better to be caught.

*    *     *

Erynn Newman is a PK, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and worked as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. She is a member of ACFW and was recently named a semifinalist in the Genesis Contest for her current Work in Progress Out of Darkness. Her desire is to write stories that reflect biblical manhood and womanhood through contemporary fiction. She currently resides in Raleigh, NC with her amazing husband and two adorable and opinionated cats.

Visit her blog to find out more about her and her writing.

For those of you holding on to a decaying marriage, don’t give up! It’s never too late to begin again. That love that once drew the two of you together can be rekindled, with God’s help. I know, because I’ve been there. Thirteen (or so) years ago, my husband and I sat in a divorce lawyers office, ready to call it quits. But out of obedience to God, we stuck it out, doing the hard word, walking forward in humility, one repair at a time, until now we can both honestly say we love each other more now than the day we wed.

You might find these articles challenging:

Cotton-Candy Marriages

Love Letters

Tossing the Garbage Splattered Glasses

Do you have a true-love story to share? A sweet proposal or a radically transformed marriage that others can be challenged and encouraged by? Perhaps a heart-warming date with your forever love? If so, shoot me an email at jenniferaslattery(at)gmail.com and include “marriage story” in your subject heading.

This weekend’s assignment: Find an unexpected way to tell your spouse you love them this weekend.

Some ideas:

Mow the lawn for your husband

Make a special meal, tuck the kids in bed early (or send them to the neighbors) and light candles.

Go for a leisurely walk, holding hands

Look through your wedding album together

Dream about the future together

I’ll leave you with this song.

10 Responses to “Will You Be Mine–Forever~ A True Love Story by Erynn Newman”

  1. Erynn, what a truly beautiful love story. I pray you are writing – or will write – your own love story with your husband. It’s what I did, and it’s the book of my heart. Sometimes love takes time, and if we keep our focus and eyes on the Lord to lead us to His true love for us, it’s amazing and so worth the wait. Congrats on your success in the Genesis contest, and keep on writing. Jen, thanks for your lovely, lovely post. Enjoyed it, as always. Carry on, ladies!

  2. Erynn said

    Thanks JoAnn! I definitely plan to write it some day. It’s the first thing I ever started writing–even before I knew how it would turn out. And I’m excited to get back to it once I get a few completed works under my belt.
    And thank you Jen for allowing me to tell our story on your blog, and for the words of encouragement.

  3. Rachel said

    A truly wonderful story of love and providence! I greatly enjoyed reading it. I am also glad that I got to actually see part of this story unfold. Love you guys!

  4. Pepper said

    Absotively BEAUTIFUL – Erynn and Jennifer, you both have amazing true love stories to tell.
    It’s inspiring.
    Erynn- Amazing! That’s all I can think of to say. Amazing!

  5. Erynn said

    Thanks Rache, love you too. And Pepper, thank you. I think so, too. I picked a good one. Or he picked me. Either way, I’m blessed.

  6. Jen S. said

    JoAnn, how lovely that you recorded your true-life romance in your recent release! Erynn, thanks so much for inspiring us all. Such a beautiful story! Pepper, thanks. Rachel, I strongly believe God has a help-mate planned for each of us. What a beautiful thought–to know my husband is God’s gift to me, and vice versa. This realization also challenges me to view him as a gift, not a hinderance or annoyance, if that makes sense.

  7. What a beautiful story, Erynn! Thank you for sharing your real Love Story!

    • Erynn said

      Thanks, Vonda. It’s been good for me to share it. Just like that song says. In the midst of a stressful time in our life, looking back at these memories has reminded me how blessed I am.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story.

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