Thursday, January 01, 2009

HOW DID WE FALL IN LOVE?

ANOTHER POST BY MILTON:


For new readers to this site, I am writing since Kristy's battle with a GBM brain tumor and her passing on July 21. Kristy made me a romantic so I write to share christian love stories.


***


How do you fall in love with someone over the phone?


That is how it happened. We fell in love on the phone.


I had known Wanda Dunsford for almost thirty years. I led her and her husband to the Lord and baptized them in water. As their pastor, I mentored them and disci-pled and trained them. They became great church leaders while I served as their pastor. My children played with their children.


When we needed a new church secretary, I finally talked Wanda into leaving a great job as a legal secretary and she took a pay cute to work for the church. She worked for me for almost 7 years and then now another 20 years for three other pastors.


All through the years even after I left the church where I had led them to the Lord we had kept in touch. I saw them at church meetings and would be a guest minister at the Bartow Assembly from time to time as those years.


Wanda and Jim had a great marriage and so did Kristy and me. We were friends and enjoying many church life while I was their pastor. They were good, godly people with a high passion to honor God with their lives. My work relationship with Wanda was professional and godly with no attraction. There was no reason as I was totally in love with Kristy and Wanda and Jim were totally in love too.


Before Kristy passed, she told my sister and my daughter Julie that Wanda was the one God had for me. Kristy didn’t tell me, but 10 days after her funeral I was awakened in the night by a surprising, yet comforting voice that came from the corner of the bedroom that said that Wanda was the one God had for me. I was told that she would bless me and my children, and that I would bless her and her children. Then, almost two months later while visiting my other daughter Jennifer, she blurts out that she knew who God had for me and told me that Wanda was the one God had for me.


So, how did we connect? What brought us together? How did we fall in love? Did God speak anything like I have just described to her or any of her family? Why would she ever believe such a story? Should I ever tell her about these events? Should I believe these events were real or had any real value to me? What should I do about any of this?


There are even more questions than those in the previous paragraph. Should I try to make all the prophetic words turn into reality? Does God even work in such a fashion? Was this just a emotional fixation that all of us had?


Well, I can tell you right off that I wouldn’t try to fulfill Kristy’s wish just to do what she might have wanted. The obvious is that Wanda had and has a will and say in all this. She couldn’t and wouldn’t fall into a prophetic, emotional dream by anyone and neither would I. She is a woman in her own right with a great life and she wasn’t looking for all this to happen.


The relationship we had as two couples was godly and good. Wanda was and is a professional and our relationship was in a professional and godly way when she worked for me. She and Kristy were good friends and Jim and I were good friends. That was how it was and continued all of these years. I had and have the highest respect for her family and their christian walk and witness.


So what happened? How did all this come about? How did we fall in love? How did this happen so quickly?


I am trying my best to tell this story in the clearest and most honest and transparent manner that I can. I don’t have to write this, but I feel in another way compelled to write our love story. I do not think that I can conclude my writing on this blog until I share this story. I believe that there are those whom God will use this story to encourage and bless and build their faith so I am trying to write to honor His call on my life.


***


After leaving Jennifer in Puerto Rico when she told me that Wanda was the one God had for me, then something happened in me. I do not believe that I would have ever contacted Wanda without something happening in me to “push” me into some action or consideration of pursuing her, but when Jennifer spoke to me about Wanda there was an unexpected confirmation in my spirit about God had told me earlier about Wanda. I could not or would not have contacted Wanda without Jennifer blurting out what she did.


Jennifer’s words triggered something in me. I couldn’t get Wanda off my mind. Yes, I had known her for almost thirty years, but it had been years since I had any conversation of any consequence with her. I obviously spoke with her when Kristy and I went to see her at Jim’s death. I helped preach Jim’s funeral and I talked with her then.


Wanda did come to Kristy’s funeral and she spoke to me briefly to me She gave me a verse of Scripture that had been a comfort to her after Jim’s death. She told me that God kept speaking to her to be still and know that I am God. She said she was so sorry and that she had been praying for the girls and me and had prayed for Kristy. She told me she daily had read Kristy’s blog and followed her story.


Other than a couple of speaking engagements where Kristy spoke to ladies groups in Central Florida and I had driven her to them and Wanda attended with other ladies from her church, what I have just written is fairly close to the sum total of our contacts and conversation.


But when I left Jennifer’s house, things changed. I couldn’t get Wanda out of my mind. I wasn’t thinking so much at all about the voice that spoke to me in the night or what Jennifer had said to me. My thoughts just kept turning to Wanda. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I began to wonder if something was wrong with her? I felt I needed to talk to her, but what could I say to her? Would she even talk to me? I was single. She was single. Talking to her would be awkward at best since we were both single now. It was too soon to talk to her anyhow. Would would people think? What would be talk about? Would she even talk to me?


Finally I called my sis Norma, and told her what was going on in my mind. I told Norma that there was this woman who kept coming to my mind and that for days I couldn’t keep her off my mind. I told Norma that I didn’t know why this was happening or and that I didn’t know what to do about it. I certainly didn’t tell her about the voice that came to me in the night or even what Jennifer had told me in my recent visit with her.


Norma told me about a family member of Ron’s who lost his spouse and that after a brief period of time that he began to see someone. Seeing Wanda wasn’t what was on my mind at that point. I just didn’t know what to do about her being constantly in my mind.


Finally Norma asked me who this lady was and I told her that it was Wanda Dunsford? Who is Wanda Dunsford, Norma asked?


She is a lady that I led to the Lord years ago in Bartow when we pastored there. I led Wanda and her husband Jim to the Lord and later she worked for me as the church secretary.


“Oh,” Norma responded. “She is the lady that Kristy said.....” and then Norma stopped and said, “I want go there right now.”


Norma kind of changed her train of talk and said that there was nothing wrong with me contacting Wanda and talking to her. Maybe she can help you, she said. Maybe after you talk with her that you’ll know why you should call her. Norma assured me that there wasn’t anything wrong or out of the way about me calling Wanda.


Well, that made me feel better so I called and called and called and couldn’t reach her. I found out later that she was on a ladies retreat. For some crazy reason, I didn’t leave a message for her to get and return my call. So there were a number of calls that showed up on her phone from me.


Finally, later on the next day often my phone conversation with Norma and my numerous calls to Wanda, she actually called me back. I think she was concerned about me in that I had called several times without leaving a message.


I don’t know why I didn’t leave a message. I just didn’t. I was nervous? Scared? Unsure? I don’t know why I didn’t leave a message, but I just didn’t.


When Wanda called back she asked, “Are you OK?”


I told her that she had been on my mind for several days and I couldn’t get her off my mind and that I wondered if everything was OK with her?


She said, “I’m OK, but how are you doing?”


“I’m hurting. This has been a very tough time. God is helping me , but this is very hard.”


“I know,” she said. “Losing Jim was terrible. I know what you’re facing. God will help you and you will make it, but it isn’t easy.


She asked about the girls. Wanda had known them since they were little, and she had kept them in her home. Her children had played with mine. They loved each other though it had been years since they had any contact.

***


I will write more each day and tell how we came to a point of loving each other just by phone conversations. Obviously, love grows in many ways, but this is how it started for us.


Comments are being filtered and will be posted several times each day. I hope that you will continue to comment expressing your thoughts.


I am not offended or taken back by questions of how this happened so quickly or even questions of the validity of some of the affirmations of God's will in this matter. I feel that it is right and Biblically proper to weigh and even judge what had been spoken by others and even what I feel God spoke to me just ten days after Kristy's funeral. I have questioned each of these events and have asked those who are my accountability partners.


Wanda and I are not engaged and will go through pre-engagement counseling as well as I am getting grief counseling. I am very thankful that God has sent Wanda to me at this time. She has shown huge maturity as I write this story. She is one very unusual, special lady. That is what all of my family thinks. That is what I think. That is what God thinks.

14 Comments:

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Barbara J. Robinson said...

My husband and I fell in love over the phone and the Internet, so I know it happens. I also know God brought us together. I had prayed, and He answered my prayers. That's all I'll go into, but because of my own personal experiences, Iknow it can happen.
Blessings,
Barb

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton,
I had tears reading this. I can only say what Kristy herself said at the top of this blog. Song of Solomon 3:4 When you find the one you love, hold them and never let go.
I also loved Anita's Comment on the last post. I think it says it all.
God bless you this new & fresh year of our Lord.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Gen 2:18 NIV

What more needs to be said than that? It is obvious that God has work for you to do Milton, and that you can't accomplish His work without a suitable helper. God bless you and Wanda as you seek His will for your lives.

Carol Umberger

 
At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Elaine Millender said...

Milton, thanks so much for sharing this beautiful love story that is in the process of unfolding. It is clear that God is indeed putting the two of you together. He wants it enough for you that He has confirmed it in the mouth of two or more witnesses:) Just the fact the your girls are happy about this tells me that God is in this. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I believe that 2009 will be a year of the divine for you. I pray for you often and look forward to reading more of how this new love has come about and is unfolding.
Blessings.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bro Milton, THANK YOU that you are not offended or taken aback by questions. I thought about your situation this morning, and wondered if some questions, mine included, spring from a place of personal experience; for instance, "Why didn't this happen for me, Lord?" Some of us, especially after divorce, struggle deeply with these issues, and there seem to be no right answers. We're lonely, but we don't know if we can remarry. We meet a sincere Christian, but s/he won't consider marriage to a divorced person. Since we are brothers and sisters in Christ, there may be a bit of sibling rivalry involved. "Gee, Lord, look what you did for Milton, what about ME?" That you didn't view the questions as personal attacks says so much about you. I hope you continue this blog. Maybe you can help those of us who face these struggles and unanswered questions.
GOD BLESS YOU!

 
At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see God's hand in this love story between you and Wanda.Praise God.

To the skeptics, please read

Romans 14 v 13

Just me

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Eileen Key said...

Well, I'll be. How exciting! Praying in San Antonio.

 
At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen several posts by "just me." Is this Wanda? I always love what this poster has to say.

 
At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Milton Dykes said...

"Just me" is not Wanda.

Milton

 
At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Margo Carmichael said...

So glad to hear this. Praying for
God's highest will.

Hugs and blessings and New Year's wishes!

 
At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Margo Carmichael said...

PS--I've been reading Kristy's _The Heart of the Matter_ in the anthology, _Florida Weddings_. The story shows Kristy's cute sense of humor. All her books crack me up. Anyway, I had to stop by and see how you're doing. Sounds like you're doing just fine, with romance in the air and the Lord in *the heart of the matter.* God bless!

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

I'm happy for you both. Love is a wonderful thing.

P.S. I'm very glad you've enabled "comment moderation." It was about time. ;)

 
At 12:43 AM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

PPS--I hope you are rooting for the Gators!

 
At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am definitely NOT Wanda.

Just a blog reader who stumbled onto this blog some time ago and am following this amazing love story.

Just me

 

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