You know, before Randall and I started dating I wasn't into all that mushy romance stuff. I never thought that God created each woman for one man. Not one man, I definitely believe in a one to one ratio here… I just wasn't ever looking for my one "soul mate." I was pretty sure that any godly man who loved me could be "the One" when I was at the point of my life that I was ready for marriage.
When Randall and I started dating, it was a big deal. He was ready for a serious relationship and I had never been in one of those before. Randall and I had been dating for a relatively short time when he started telling me he loved me. I refused to use the word "love" lightly in any relationship. So, every time Randall would tell me he loved me, I'd just say, "thank you." This went on for months until one day I finally questioned his love for me. I believe we were making dinner at his parents house. They were out of town and he must have been house sitting. From across the room, he told me that he loved me and before my mind could catch up with my tongue I responded, "You say that, but how many other girls have you said that to?"
Then he responded with words I will never forget.
"Emily, I've said it to other girls, but it's never meant what it means right now when I say it to you. And if we ever get married, and I tell you 'I love you' on our wedding day, it will mean something so much more than it does now. And on our tenth anniversary, my love for you will be even stronger and when I say 'I love you' on our fortieth anniversary it will mean something so very different, so much more than it did on our tenth anniversary," he explained. And that may have been when my heart turned.
We came to a point while we were dating where Randall told me he was ready to move on in our relationship and if I wasn't ready to move forward then I'd need to let him go. I hung up the phone from that conversation and prayed. I asked God to move my heart towards Randall or make it clear that we should not move forward. I can't even remember the first time that I told Randall I loved him. I do remember just weeks after that phone conversation thinking that I didn't want to spend another day without Randall. It occurred to me then that God had answered my prayers absolutely.
When I look at our relationship now, there is no other man on this earth living or dead that was made for me. I'm still pretty sure that for each person, God gives them a multitude of choices when it comes to a "soul mate." But for me, I must be different. God made Randall for me. God gave him to his parents 13 years later than they planned. God moved his parents to St. Louis while he was in college. God gave Randall the desire to go to seminary in St. Louis so he could meet me. God gave my cousin the foresight to bug Randall relentlessly until he became a staff member of Windsor Crossing Community Church. God put little whispers in peoples ears that encouraged us to start dating and God changed my heart towards this wonderful man.
Also, thank God we look better with age…