Pat and Don Van Parys Marriage Testimony

Late August 2009, my peaceful life began to disintegrate. My daughter and her family moved out of state. Two weeks later my 44 year old son, a sheriffs’ deputy, was deliberately killed while answering a call.  A little less than a year later, I was widowed after 26 years of marriage. Within just a few months, the real estate brokerage I worked for closed.

My life was nothing more than memories frozen in time. It was extremely difficult. I felt so totally alone.

During these months I leaned hard on my faith in Christ as I navigated through the raw grief. There were times when I could do nothing more than spend “carpet time” as  I lay crying or sleeping on the floor. Devotional time and prayer, which had always been an important part of my life, became my life line. I would start every day pouring my heart out to God, praying for healing of the brokenness in my soul and asking for wisdom, direction and safety.  

Then in the midst of morning devotions September 2011, I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say,“Within 6 months I am sending a man into your life; you will receive a proposal, you will travel and when you leave the house don’t look back”.  Astonished, I said, “Why Lord. I don’t want to get married. You and I are doing just fine.”

However, two days later, I noted the message on my calendar and marked the 6 month anniversary date which was March 10th.  Then a really strange thing happened. In the next couple of weeks, I had a visual image of the upper portion of a strange mans’ face on three occasions. I knew it was the face of the man that God was going to bring to me.

At Christmas time I traveled to Arizona to spend time with my daughter. I met a Christian at a business Bible study group my daughter attended. We spent a little time together exploring the area and stayed in touch when I came back home. It was a little more than 3 months from the March 10th deadline.  I figured this must be the person. He fit the picture and was a strong believer in Christ. After all, where was I going to meet anyone else and time was running out! I simply kept praying for Gods will and direction. Strangely, as I worshiped one morning in January, I knew the Holy Spirit was asking me to give him up. I was confused and told the Lord so, but willingly gave up the relationship. I was glad that was over! I could get on with my life. Whatever test this might have been, I hoped I passed!

The next Sunday I decided to go to early service at church. I rushed like crazy just to get out the door and on the road. I was late and wondering what in the world ever possessed me to do this! I relished my leisurely latte and quiet Sunday mornings. I never went to early service! I burst through the entrance doors at church, intending to head to “my seat” on the other side of the sanctuary. But, for some reason I entered the closest door, headed to the front of the church and sat down. A man came to my seat, welcomed me and introduced himself. Nothing unusual about it except that the timing was off. The service had moved past the time for greetings. I thought it odd. When service ended, there he was waiting to talk. And talk, we did!

He told me he noticed how I loved to worship and praise the Lord and that I didn’t have a wedding ring on. He asked me if I dated. I said no. He asked to take me to dinner. I laughed and said that sounded like a date to me! Finally, I told him to call Wednesday and I might meet him for coffee. He called again that evening and asked to take me out! Finally I agreed to coffee on Wednesday. That gave me time to find out a bit about him. His reputation was stellar, even with women he had dated! I felt safe. Weeks later, I saw a picture of Don with his hair all windblown and bleached by the sun and knew this was the man in my vision!

Don had prayed for a wife for 12 years and had given up two years prior to our meeting. But God had heard his prayers. I felt like He reached down and said, “tag, you’re it” to me!

 God has a miracle for each one of us! Trust Him for your miracle. Let your passion be for God.  Say “yes” to Him so completely that all other voices and values are silenced. From a God focus you will not only hear His voice but you’ll have the self-control to embrace His best for your life. Refuse to settle for anything less and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Proverbs 10:28, “The hope of the righteous is gladness”.

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