Four years ago, February 14 loomed just around the bend. I had been dating a new guy I really liked, even though I was uncharacteristically slow in admitting it to myself. My heart and my head were struggling to sync up. I didn’t want to let myself fall for this “pastor guy”, but I just couldn’t seem to help myself. He was smart, funny, handsome and loved Jesus. He was everything a woman would want, but I feared the life of a pastor’s wife and held my heart back very carefully.
I had another suitor on the backburner just to keep my options open, but ironically, he only seemed to magnify the integrity and intentionality of this cute pastor pursuing me. He was my usual “type”… wealthy, charming and a tad arrogant.
In my own brokenness I kept going back to the very same type of man, similar to my ex-husband that had abandoned us, who would only leave my heart unfulfilled and yearning for something more. I believe, in hindsight, God allowed Mr. backup to stay in the picture just long enough to highlight the character of “His” man, and to show silly little me, how easy this decision really was.
Valentine’s Day rolled around and my five-year-old daughter opened up the front door early in the morning to grab the newspaper for mommy and scared me half to death by jumping up and down and squealing. I ran up behind her to behold the stoop of our front door covered in a wonderland of red roses, scattered petals, a life size hand drawn Valentine, paper cut-out hearts with adorable affirmations, and chocolates…lots and lots yummy chocolates. It was 5:45am and still dark. Mr. Pastor had been one very busy Valentine man.
By 7:15 a.m. that very morning, he called and inquired if I had received his sweet offering and asked me to dinner. We had a lovely meal that night holding hands and giggling like teenagers in a beautiful restaurant. I floated away feeling like a million bucks.
All the tender emotions a woman yearns for in “the one” swirled around in my happy little heart. I felt honored, pursued, treasured and special. The smile never left my face. And just like in Jerry Maguire…I think he had me at “good morning.”
The other suitor never had a chance. In the proverbial “OC fashion” of playing it cool, he dropped me an e-mail around 4 p.m. saying “Happy Heart Day.”
It couldn’t be clearer to me. It was black and white. One man knew what he wanted and the other was playing the game.
And that was it for me. Game over. My heart was stolen.
Thankfully, I picked the man who still surprises me. He is the loving and Godly man who decided to climb out of bed in the wee hours of that dark Valentines morning to decorate a single mom’s door, and now more recently, climbs out of our warm marriage bed to get the baby a bottle.
Suitor No. 2 still pings me every now and then, though I refuse to pick up and I let it go to voicemail. He claims it’s just to stay in touch, but somehow I think it has more to do with regrets at the one who got away.
Maybe someday he will figure out what my husband inherently knew… winning the game of love starts with integrity. Love is intentional, it is creative and if it involves a woman, it should always include chocolate. Sometimes it also involves taking a chance and letting God make the perfect match.