Wednesday, January 07, 2009



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.


So Wanda and I were falling in love. 

Yes, it is a new, blossoming love. It is not the full mature love that it will be as we commit our lives to each other and learn each other and help each other and grow together and fulfill God's plan and destiny for this new love. It will grow and it will grow solid with maturity and grace and kindness and joy and excitement and blessing and ministry and forbearance and long-suffering kindness. 

This love will grow and it will be wonderful.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity we were able to arrange to see each other. We had our children's blessings and we had accountability partner's blessings and we were ready and excited to see each other.

So, where does a preacher take a lady friend, a new love, on a first date? We had limited time and a distance to drive and we wanted to be discreet and under the public radar. 

So where should we go? What do we do?

Well, preachers go to church. That is where preachers go. I'll take her to church.

Actually we met at Calvary Assembly in Winter Park, Fl  in their parking lot at noon on a Friday and left Wanda's car and I took her to a nice restaurant for lunch in Winter Park.

You cannot imagine the awkwardness that I felt as I drove to the parking lot to meet Wanda. I had not dated anyone but Kristy for almost 40 years. I had already told this lady that I loved her even though we had not been together or seen each other yet. And, there were all of those affirmations that she was the one that were looming in my mind.

But we had not seen each other, and we had fallen in love.

What do I do if we are not attracted to each other? What if she doesn't really like me after being with me? I had not looked at Wanda real close. I told her over the phone that I liked black hair also besides red hair, and she told me that she didn't have red hair or black hair. I thought she had black hair. I knew her hair wasn't red, but I thought it was black. She said it wasn't black and then I wondered as we talked over the phone what she really looked like. I really hadn't paid close attention to details in the past about Wanda, but now the details were beginning to get really important.

Isaac and Rebecca had an arranged marriage by God. Eliezer, Abraham's servant, found Rebecca for Isaac through God's guidance without them ever having seen each other. As the events worked out, later Isaac did fall in love with Rebecca as she was the chosen one for him, but the Bible says that Rebecca was "very fair to look upon." She wasn't ugly. That would not have been as nice of a story if Rebecca had been ugly as a mud fence! 

Well, I was beginning to think about the "pretty" aspect of this relationship. Yes, we had fallen in love. We fell in love over the phone. No, I didn't think I would change my mind once I saw her regardless of how she looked. I wondered if she would change her mind once she saw me?

Also, I had kidded Wanda in one of our phone conversations and told her that my mother said that I couldn't kiss on the first date. She laughed. I laughed. We laughed. She said something like I wouldn't have to worry about that anyway.

And then I added. 

"Wanda, you may think that I am crazy, but I will probably not ever kiss another woman until she is my wife."

Silence, again for a few moments.

"I am OK with that," she said. 

And we haven't kissed. We have made a vow to each other and to God. We will kiss only after we are married. 

So some of the ground rules for dating had been set. We would have lunch. We would spend the afternoon in Winter Park and then head back to our separate homes before it got dark or too  late.

As  I drove into the parking lot I was nervous--very nervous. I had preached at that mega-church several times in the past with its rising escalator going up into the sanctuary and its orchestra pit behind the pulpit and its 6,000 or so seats, but I was much more nervous driving to see Wanda than when I had preached in that big church.

How will this go? Will I say the right things? Will we have fun? What color is her hair?

I arrived and she was already there and I went up to her door to greet her. We said something but I don't know what and then we drove into Winter Park to have lunch. I got lost for a moment or so and then I got my bearings  and found the restaurant.

We were seated and talked about how things were and how nice it was to see each other and not have to talk on the phone. The server brought some bread and we talked,

but I was looking. I was staring. 

I was looking deep into her eyes and noticing hair color. It is brunette.  And I was looking at her skin and, and, and, I was just looking and looking and looking. Of course, in a godly sort of way. Yes, men can look and not lust. I just wanted to see what this lady looked like.

Here is the short answer. 

Yes, I liked what I saw. 

I liked how she was poised. I liked that she wasn't timid, or shy, or loud, or too quiet, or intimidated or taken back by this fellow who was looking this lady over. I looked into those pretty brown eyes and I saw sweetness, and kindness, and maturity, and trust, and compassion. I could see wisdom and faithfulness and generosity and trustworthiness. And she is tiny. She is dainty and tiny. I saw more in a few moments than I had ever noticed about Wanda Dunsford

I could tell that she knew that I was looking at her. I told her that I was staring at her, and she said that she knew that I was. But she wasn't bothered by my staring. It didn't seem to upset her. She sat there as we talked and I stared.

And we were having a great time. The lunch went fast and the awkwardness melted. We laughed and we talked about Kristy and Jim and Julie, and two Jennifer's, and Mark, and Tara, and seven grandchildren and son-in-laws, and we talked about life and future and likes and dislikes and told some funny stories and remembered successes and disappointments, and good times and tough times. And I wiped some tears and she had compassion and empathy and I felt better. 

And we walked up and down the shopping area of Winter Park and in a small park there and got Starbucks and sat and talked and talked some more and looked in some stores and got some ice cream and laughed and forgot some deep troubles and had fun.

We were having fun. The relationship and friendship were growing. It was happening fast. Jennifer, my Jennifer, said it would happen fast and I didn't hear her. Jennifer was right.

Our commonalities were becoming evident. I could see how we were different and would complete each other and I could see a sweet, beautiful lady who I was falling in love with and who was falling in love with me.


At 8:39 AM, Blogger Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Milton and Wanda,
What a sweet, sweet story. Thanks for sharing so honestly with us. I can see God's hand in all of this. I will continue praying for you all and your families.
Blessings from,
Carrie in NJ

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Milton,
I'm all misty-eyed... Thank you for sharing a daily chapter of your new love story.

Know that there are two angels in heaven looking down and smiling on you and Wanda, thankful that their beloved partners have found new love with the one they loved so dearly... Jim & Kristy are forever a part of this love story - their love is in the two of you. Their memories will not fade but will blossom in this new love...

Milton, you are truly writing that Christian Romance with Kristy as your spiritual editor! She has given you love and given you permission to love again, and she is I am sure reading and inspiring every line.

Love & continued prayers for you and Wanda.
MaryAnn from Pittsburgh

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story is so amazing, and I am so happy for you both. When can we see a picture of the beautiful, brown-eyed brunette?
God bless,

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Milton and Wanda,
I feel as though I'm sitting in my favorite chair, by my reading lamp, engrossed in an awe-inspiring Christian Romance novel. Again, I'm right on the edge of my seat.....hanging on every word, and feeling the genuine caressing of the Lord as this story continues to unfold. How very beautiful to read how God has moved in both your lives. Like the song that God gave to me a couple of weeks ago.......

Gentle Spirit, like a breeze

Heavenly Father, how I believe

You are timely in your moves....

and, it goes on~ Each time I read more about your relationship, this song comes into my heart.

I am soooo happy for all of you, both families.

Gentle Blessings,

At 12:56 PM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

Yea for brunettes!

Loved this post, Milton. And I love the fact that you're so open and honest with your "audience."

All the best...

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...I think most of us would agree....we want to see a picture of Wanda.

Can I get an amen?

Curious in California

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see one of you together.

Lord bless you as you deepen your love and look to the future.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, a BIG AMEN,from all of us in Tennessee, too!

At 4:42 PM, Blogger kate said...

yes, a picture...please from Oklahoma!

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Gayle said...

Brunettes do have more fun. Lucky you.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

I used to live in WP. 32789, at the time. Met my husband there. And used to visit Calvary every chance I got, although we were members of another lovely church. This is way back when Roy Harthern was the pastor, then, Alex Clattenburg, in the Jesus Festival days. Thanks for thememory.

You *are* rooting for the Gators tomorrow, aren't you?

At 1:22 AM, Blogger THOMBU1 said...

I knew you wouldn't be disappointed with Gods' gracious gift. I admire your integrity and resolve as you walk this path together that has been paved for you.


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