And Then There Was Brendan


Another excerpt….

Two weeks before my subscription ran out, a guy’s profile captured my attention. The first thing I noticed was his smile. The next was his honesty about his relationship with the Lord and his struggles in that area. And, by the time I finished reading what he had written I had become thoroughly enraptured with his sense of humor, finding it fun, engaging and intriguing as well as a little silly which endeared me to him since for me life requires a bit of silliness. Finally, he had three fairly young children and had been widowed. At this point I’d like to put up on your mental movie screen the caption “TWO YEARS EARLIER” and take you back into the past to another part of the puzzle God was piecing together…

I remember lying on my bed talking to the Lord as is my usual morning routine before rising. As I asked him again what his plans were for my future in regards to love and marriage, I felt an urging in my heart that he had for me, somewhere out there in the world far away, a man whose wife had passed away leaving him with raising his children alone. My heart quickened, tears welling up in my eyes as I considered the plight of this individual whom I did not know. Additionally, I was moved because for years I had attempted, unsuccessfully, to silence the longings in my heart for additional children. My prayers had been for God to remove this selfish, crazy longing. After all, I reasoned, I had already raised four wonderful kids to adulthood and was grandmother to two delightful children. At my age, wasn’t it ludicrous to imagine raising another set of children? And yet, when I sensed this potential promise from the Lord, it reached deep into my heart and pulled up those poorly squelched desires.

“Really, Lord?” I whispered toward the ceiling.

It’s not like God’s voice boomed thunderously through my bedroom, rather I simply sensed a deep certainty within myself. So, I gave it back to him, praying for this man and his children wherever they may be. I didn’t have any idea who they were or even if I had ‘heard’ the Lord correctly. Maybe it was just my own silly, foolish thoughts and dreams teasing me. But I knew that time would tell if it was in fact a reality God had in store for me. So after that, every time I thought about it, I would pray for this hurting family, whoever they were. I prayed for comfort, encouragement, wisdom, and help with parenting. A few times I cried at the thought of what he might be experiencing with the loss of a spouse and trying to hold his family together as a single dad. I prayed for the children as well not even comprehending how they would be coping with losing their mother. I had no idea what God’s plans included, but I kept praying, “Please do your will Lord, and make me able to wait patiently while you do.”

Fast forward to current time again. As I read this man’s personal information, I pondered that previous “promise” from the Lord. I found the answers he had written to the prompted profile questions hilariously funny. For example in response to perfect job description he had listed “International spy, of course, Moneypenny.” I was captivated, and felt greatly disappointed that he had not yet finished his profile questions. Feeling rather foolish and a bit wistful, after perusing his profile uncountable times, I logged out.

Online Dating Profiles…


I confess that when I started internet dating, I did so with fear and trembling.

“What are you thinking?” “What are you doing??” I queried myself as if talking to a person gone mad.

However, filling out the questions for the matching process and profile challenged me to consider who I genuinely am, and to be honest with myself and others. After the few days it took to complete all my answers, I understood myself better. My likes, dislikes and characteristic strengths and weaknesses as well as the particular traits I desired in a mate took shape and presented themselves on a profile page. Then came time for the profile picture.

I’ve heard stories of people who actually post a picture of another person on their profile page because they feel unattractive. I decided against that plan of action, but I can understand in part why some people may feel so compelled by a lack of confidence in their appearance. But let’s look at the reality of this scenario. Eventually you will be found out. Simple as that. And if we are truly seeking the person who matches us perfectly, then we want to be completely honest in every way, don’t we? Otherwise, our false facade misrepresents our true self — in fact, we are hidden. How then can the match seeking our soul find us?

By all means, let’s enhance the qualities God has created in us! Ever watch What Not to Wear? While obviously pointing out fashion faux-pas, the hosts of this show actually bring out the true beauty of the participants by challenging their underlying insecurities. Fashion becomes an accessory to accentuate the natural beauty they possess. I’m all for that!

Understandably, it is a little unnerving to post a picture for all to see. Like looking in the mirror, it’s easy to scrutinize every flaw while overlooking any potential positives. I finally donned my best hair, make-up, clothing and smile and had a friend snap a few pictures in my front yard.

What they see is what they get.

I chose to trust that the person who I would want to be with would be someone who saw more than just my exterior appearance. Hopefully they would also catch the twinkle in my eye. Not every work of beauty appeals to everyone. I only needed to appeal to Mr. Right.

Interestingly enough, some months later my parents requested a portrait quality photograph of me for a family picture wall in their house. My front yard photo shoot didn’t exactly meet their requirements so my dad took me to a photographer friend (my dad is friends with everyone it seems). Posing for portrait photos makes me cringe which I’m sure showed in the strained smile and lack of eye twinkle.

At last the photographer looked out from behind his camera.

"Thank goodness!"

“Okay, that’s the last one!”

In relief I threw my head back with a laugh. “Thank goodness!!”

Click.

He captured something relatively beautiful including the twinkle. Dad was delighted. I was pleased enough that when my dad said, “Post that online and you’ll get a guy,” I readily acquiesced.

And so the smile that captivated my future (at that point) husband online was the one captured in that moment. Way to go Dad!