Will You Be Mine–Forever~ A True Love Story by Erynn Newman
Posted by Jen Slattery-Pheobus 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
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:
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.
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.
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