Narrator: They met at the shindig. Here is a love story still on progress.
Michael Pearl: No Greater Joy Ministries at nogreaterjoy.org has what we call shindigs. They are gatherings for families and singles to get together for four days of meeting, preaching, teaching, visiting, sports and music. The shindigs are fertile grounds for getting to know someone with a possibility of marriage. Here is a story of one such couple meeting at the last shindig.
It was like I already knew her
Man: At 32 years old, I am ready to get married. I have my education, a good job, and a consistent yearning for a wife. But finding a possible spouse has proved futile. I don't live in a godly Central Park where girls jog by every few minutes. It is more like the remote mountains of Montana where only cows and cowboys range.
In our tiny local church, the only available lady is a 75 year old widow. She is cute but a little too old. Several families have contacted my family seeking for me to come and meet their daughter, but I just don't like being set up. I wanted to do my own hunting.
Over the years, I have walked in truth and honored God. It has not been easy, as I have the same male disposition as the rest of mankind. It is important to me that my future wife come to marriage having followed the Lord in purity. This has also limited my selection of a bride, but I have been willing to wait. Lately, I have felt my waiting days are over. At first, I felt that shindig was a weird idea, but after considering the possibility of hundreds of likeminded females all under the same roof, I changed my mind.
I didn't admit even to myself that I was going wife hunting. But I knew I didn't want to live alone the rest of my life. Even the word alone has a bad ring to it. The shindig was packed with at least 1,500 people and there were more beautiful girls there than I had ever seen in one place. I heard a guy say it was like dying and going to Muslim heaven, almost.
There were lots of unmarried men checking out the ladies, so I had serious competition. Since there were so many females and there was so little time, I decided to cut some corners and go for the goal. I am a practical guy. When I first got there, I went straight up to meet some of the leaders and missionaries in order to establish a working friendship.
I wanted a lead on the best girls there. I knew it would be easy to get swept up in the first cute girl that smiled and giggled at me, and I didn't want that to happen. Right off, I noticed one of the girls who was volunteering to help set up the stage. She seemed cheerful, more mature than some of the teeny boppers. When I had a chance to speak to her, she just seemed comfortable to be around, like I had known her a long time.
The second day I asked some of the leaders if they knew her and what they thought. Everyone had glowing reports. Over the next few days I had several opportunities to talk with her while in a group, but never alone, except for a minute here or there. She had jumped into the program, so she was really busy helping out. I don't think she ever knew I was checking her out.
The last day, I stopped one of the married couples and asked outright, what girl do you think is the best catch in the whole shindig? They both looked around the large room until their eyes settled on her. “Her,” they said without hesitation, and it was the girl who had caught my eye. I made sure I had her email address before I left for home.
I prayed about getting in touch with her and spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted in life. With a girl in mind, it really sharpened my senses as to what it would be like to have a woman—that woman—in my life. After a week or so, I emailed her and asked if she would be open to emailing back and forth. I told her I would be glad to contact her dad before I proceeded.
She wrote back and said she had talked to her dad and showed him my email and he said that he wasn't interested in courting me. It wasn't their style. He told her that she had proven herself to walk with the Lord in truth and he knew she would be wise. I was surprised, since I had always assumed that dad would put me through the grill. It was nice not being roasted.
We started writing and asking serious questions of each other. After a few weeks, I told her I wanted to talk on the phone. She hesitated a little, but I pushed. We have covered a lot of weighty life issues. It has been a good way of really getting to know someone well without being put to the test physically. What made it better was that we had already met, so I wasn't staring into an empty mirror and wondering.
I think being able to meet someone, even briefly, is really good, because if the chemistry is not there then it will save everyone a lot of trouble and time. But for me at least, the chemistry was brewing. Our relationship is growing as we walk through every issue that comes to our minds. It is amazing how much we think alike, with all the same goals for life, children, ministry, doctrine and conviction.
The time writing has given both of us a chance to pray and seek God's wisdom, and it has caused me to pine for a time when we can be together. We still have some getting to know each other to cover, but it is happening fast. It has only been a few months, but I can see how the wind is blowing and expect a warm spring. Just thinking about her makes me sweat—just sign me, almost.
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