Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Yet Another Love Story

 Guest writer, Jana Lee Pattons shares her incredible love story with us.

Yet Another Love Story 

Image result for two rings

For many years I have been very content to be single. God has helped me in many ways through the times of my life and I trust perhaps He has used it to help others as well. At least that has always been my hope and prayer. I've had my struggles the same as anybody else, but for the most part God has given complete victory in the area of accepting singleness for my life and even rejoicing in it. Back when I was about 25 or so I remember a time where it was as if I woke up one morning and realised that I had little to no desire for marriage and I was excited about being single and serving God in whatever way He wanted to use me as a single woman. It was a revelation at the time and extremely liberating! While I've not always succeeded, I have tried to do just that and not let my singleness discourage me or others. My Heavenly Husband has been more than faithful to me through those years.

Well, around the beginning of September of last year it was as if all that reversed. I woke up one morning and realised that where before I was happy to be single, I suddenly had this urgent desire to be married. Weird. It was unsettling to say the least. I thought I had backslidden overnight! I grappled with it for a few days and then went and talked to Pastor about it. I was bemoaning the fact that I was in the middle of writing a book on the single life and here I was suddenly longing to be married and what if I DID get married?!?? It would ruin the book!!! (or so I thought :) Pastor encouraged me that I would still have credibility to write about singleness even if I did get married. I am, after all, 33 years old and have lived quite a long time in singleness and have learned some things by God's grace that I could still write about.

Up to this point I had been almost adamantly against being married. It was fine for other people, but I just wasn't interested and not really open to anyone approaching me that way. I felt that getting married might be more of a sacrifice than staying single. After I "woke up" however, I made up my mind that if someone did approach me that I would be open to building a relationship and seeing where it might lead.

Now I have to rewind the story to the beginning of this year. In January there was an evening where Pastor and all the young people got together and we talked about the subject of courtship and relationships between guys and girls. Pastor had often wondered why so few of us were getting married and from appearances it looked like we had pretty good relationships with each other because we all got along. Little did he know that since most of us were children there was a deep seated fear of getting too close to the opposite sex because we had been warned many times of the dangers of "giving away your heart" to the wrong person, or being perceived as a "flirt" because you talked to the opposite sex, therefore most of us avoided all that. It was safer and nobody would gossip about us. Those who did have friendships with boys/girls were talked about, looked down on, and many of them ended up leaving church. There were many reasons for them leaving, mostly because their hearts were not right with God, but part of it too was that they felt they could never be "good enough" to have a proper relationship with someone that would lead to marriage. Some of this might sound a little extreme or crazy, but it's really how we thought and felt--I was definitely one of the main ones who operated under this fearful mentality. It was several years ago that I recognized it in myself and set about trying to have healthy relationships with my Christian brothers, but it was very difficult to do so in my own church because of the fear that if I talked to a young man around my age people would start speculating that we were interested in marrying each other, when really, maybe we were just friends. All of my male relationships thus far have been either outside of my church, or with guys way younger than me and therefore "safe" to talk to because I could treat them like little brothers.
All of this changed in January. Pastor was grieved to learn that this is how we thought and had felt all these years. He had no idea. He asked, "What about spark?" And we said that we had turned the spark "off" because we thought it was bad and would lead to sin. What we realised is that although the motives behind modern courtship (instead of modern dating) were right it got a little carried away and produced the opposite effect of what was intended. A lot of fearful young adults afraid to talk to each other for fear of messing up their lives.

Anyway, that is just a little background.

Once we had this conversation and Pastor began speaking about some of it from the pulpit, all of a sudden there was liberty for the young ladies and men in the church to be "friends". To really get to know each other without fear that people were whispering about us or judging us for talking to each other. I enjoyed the liberty to get to know my brothers in Christ better and on a more personal level and it was very strengthening to the young people in our church who are the next generation of potential mothers and fathers of future generations if the Lord tarries. During this time my brother began spending more and more time with L.K. and they fell in love and are getting married in January. Others began spending more time together and only God knows what the future may hold for some of them.

Now for my story. There is a young man, "A", who is the same age as me and has been in my church since we were nine years old. We have never been friends and barely spoke to each other in all those years for the reasons I mentioned above. He is somewhat shy and introverted like I am and we just never got to know each other because neither of us would talk to the other. When he was around 20 or 21 he left our church and went and did his own thing in the world. Several others had left around the same time, mostly young men and it was a rather disheartening time for some of us who stayed to watch our own generation and, specifically, potential future spouses leaving God and the church behind. Some of them have still never come back. For seven years he was in the world and as I was prayer partner to his mother I would often pray for God to draw him back as she requested almost every week when we would meet to pray together. He had been saved as a child and while in the world God kept him from many things and much that he could have been doing but didn't. I fully believe that God will not give up on one of His own children and that they cannot truly enjoy sin the way that a lost person can. There were a couple of times while he was out of church where God used my family in his life. He had been invited over to a Christmas gathering along with his parents during the time that my dad was very sick and almost died. He saw him in that extreme condition. A few years later he came over again for Christmas Eve and Papa was well and he heard the story of what God did for my parents and our family and how Mom did so much research and stuck with it until Papa was well again. It was a testimony to "A" and the Lord spoke to him and basically told him that he would never find a wife like that in the world. Another comment was made by me that again, spoke to his heart. The Lord was drawing him and working in his heart to the point where, like the Prodigal Son, he "came to himself" and on January 7th (his birthday) he called Pastor and wanted to come back to church that very Sunday, January 9th, 2011. I'll never forget the night his mother called me and told me he was coming back. She was so happy and excited and I admit that I was completely stunned. Some people when they return to church after being away many years do so in stages, kind of here and there slowly, and it's hard to see if they're really back or not. It was different with "A". When he came back he got up in front of the whole church and repented. He wanted people to know that he was truly back for the right reasons. He also avoided being around the young ladies too much because he didn't want people to think that was why he came back because he didn't. It was for God that he came back. That was almost five years ago. Meanwhile, he has been growing in the Lord and "catching up" on the years that he missed.

At the beginning of this year, "A" and I started having conversations with each other. There was one long conversation at a party at my brother's house back in February that sort got it all started. We were talking about some books I'd read and that same week he listened to them on audio and then we had more to talk about in the weeks after. It was very comfortable and easy and the pressure of thinking "am I going to marry you?" was gone. Nobody (including ourselves) assumed that we were "courting", we could just be friends and it was wonderful! I was never interested in "A" and growing up he was probably the last person I would have thought of in that way, but the more I got to know him the more I started to like him. On September 12th we went out for coffee together and had a really good time. We were able to be really open with each other about a lot of important things. The following week we went on another date, this time we went walking together for two and a half hours and again talked about anything and everything.

It was around this time that I began to experience horrible fear. I had already decided that I would be open to a relationship if God brought it, but I had been through a painful breakup with someone I thought I loved about six years ago and the fear of that kind of pain happening if I opened my heart again was overwhelming. I knew the fear was irrational and God brought to my mind II Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." I began praying for God to give me a sound mind and the power and love I needed in order to move forward by faith. I was able to be open with "A" about these fears and the way he responded to me instantly put those fears to rest. We began spending a lot more time together. The day before the October meeting he officially asked me if I would be his girlfriend and I said yes. We began entering a more serious "courtship" phase. During the October meetings and the following couple of weeks we saw each other every day except one. I had Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family on the Saturday and he spent Thanksgiving Monday with me and my family. So many things were falling into place and as we grew closer we both realised how much we have in common and looking back we could see the hand of God in our lives bringing us to this point. Another encouragement was how excited and encouraging our families and friends were and it gave us a lot of confidence to move forward in our relationship.
We had been writing letters back and forth during the October Meeting and after and it was a really wonderful way to be able to express some of the deep things of our hearts. We shared things from our past and our knowledge of each other and affection increased. A week after the October Meeting we spent a wonderful evening together and at the end of it "A" asked me to read a letter he had just finished writing. At the end of it he told me that he loves me and gave me his heart. I had known a little while before this time that I too love him and was able to tell him so that evening.
There are too many details to share it all, we both can look back over our lives and see the hand of God leading us up to this point. The ways in which He kept us or brought us to where we needed to be. He also kept me very blind to "A" all these years and only recently have I woken up and realised the kind of man he has become and that he is exactly the kind of man that I can trust with my heart and my life. 
Jana will be married at the end of this month.  She is a dear friend of mine and has been an encouragement to me.  I hope this sweet story also blessed you.

Related Posts:

A Love Story

A True Love Story 


  1. Loved getting to hear this story. So happy for you Jana! :)

  2. Dearest Jana, even though I have heard some of this story, it was truly neat to see it all together and put into time periods like this. It is truly special to see God's leading in your life and the peace that comes with all of it. Can't wait to see you soon!

  3. It is indeed a miraculous thing the Lord has done! Can hardly wait to see you too!

  4. This was very sweet to read,what a wonderful story. So happy for you Jana. :)


  5. Thanks Jana for sharing your story on MA! So encouraging and sweet!

    1. Thanks for encouraging me to do so, Toni. I'm glad it can be a blessing. Our desire is that the Lord use our relationship to be a testimony to others. It's not just about "us"'s for the glory of God :)