Our plan was to not have a plan. We both simply wanted to sit, relax, chat and look at the waves for four glorious days. So, a week or so ago, Pat and I went away for a much needed rest at the beach. We rented a beautiful condo right on the ocean. What a view!
It was a great trip – we walked along the sand, watched the waves for hours, had long conversations, and took a little trip down memory lane. The condo was in Bethany Beach – but memory lane was a little ways up the coastal highway in a sweet seaside town called Rehoboth.
When I was a little girl, my grandparents lived on a farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore not too far from there – a visit to their place in the summer always meant a day trip to the beach. My parents would rent a cottage for two weeks every summer while I was growing up and Pat & I continued the summer tradition when our boys came along. I have so many wonderful memories of Rehoboth Beach – they span from the earliest memories of my childhood up until when my boys were teenagers.
So…it was fun to walk all over the little town and the boardwalk – remembering this and remembering that. We spent the day conjuring up old family vacation stories and recalling the early years of marriage and family. As we walked along Baltimore Avenue, I stopped Pat in front of a cute little restaurant and asked him “Do you know what happened here?”
He told me he didn’t know.
One summer, after Pat and I had been dating for a few months, I invited him to join me on my annual family vacation at the beach. We were both looking forward to spending time with each other and also with my parents & grandmother.
I could feel myself falling in love with him. It kind of scared me. Before Pat and I started going out, my history with boyfriends was pretty dismal — most were very unkind and untrustworthy — it was strange to date someone who was so completely different. It’s sad to admit that ‘kind’ and ‘caring’ seemed strange to me but, to be honest, it did.
We arrived at the beach cottage and settled in with the family. All was well for the first day or so – and then something really weird happened. It came right out of the blue and was completely unprovoked.
I wanted him to go home.
I really wanted him to go home.
Yep – the poor boy had practically just unpacked his bags and now I wanted him to leave.
I don’t know what had come over me, but I was in a complete panic. I’ll spare you the details – but it was like some strange mood took me over and I did not want him there anymore. I wasn’t even remotely nice about it.
I told him our relationship was all wrong. We were not a good match. He needed a quiet, more reserved girlfriend and I needed…well, I didn’t know what I needed – but I was sure I didn’t need him!
The next day a very dejected and confused Pat left the beach and went home. My family stood there with their jaws on the floor. They were mortified and could not believe my behavior. It was completely unlike me to do such a thing and I had no good explanation.
I went to my room and flopped on my bed. My grandmother knocked on the door and invited me to lunch. We ended up going to this cute little restaurant on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth – just the two of us.
It was in that little place, over lunch, that I had one of the most important conversations of my life.
Before our food even arrived, my grandma lovingly but oh-so-directly called me out on my behavior toward Pat. She explained to me what she thought was going on and urged me to not fear falling in love with him. She felt I sent him away because of ‘cold feet’ and, in hindsight, she was right.
Over our salads, I was reminded — in detail — of the previous boys I had brought home and how unkind they were to me. She told me that in Pat she saw a kind, faithful, trustworthy, Christian young man who could love me the way I needed to be loved. She strongly encouraged me to pray, think and consider what and who I may be sending away.
And then, over dessert and coffee, my sweet widowed grandmother winked her eye and said to me,
“Laura Anne, if you don’t marry him, I will!”
Oh, we laughed over that one for years!
Her honest words – direct and true – snapped me out of my fears and pushed me toward my destiny.
Just a little over a year after that lunch and conversation, Pat and I were married – and, just as grandma predicted, he has been kind, faithful, trustworthy and has loved me the way I needed to be loved for 32 years.
My wise grandmother knew the truth about Pat before I did. I am sure that every time I introduced her to one of the previous, unsuitable boyfriends she got on her knees and prayed for my future husband – and when he showed up, she knew it!
It just took me a little while to know it, too.
Did you know that Scripture recounts many instances of wise, truth-telling women?
2 Samuel 20:16-22 tells a brief story about someone known only as “one wise woman.” Her city faced a life or death situation. It was a matter of survival. One commentator writes;
“This one wise woman gathered information, held off an army with diplomacy, called a meeting and persuaded her fellow citizens of the best action to take to save the city. The townspeople had the discernment to recognize wise counsel when they heard it.”
They followed her advice. One wise woman used her wisdom to save the destiny of many and it was so significant that the Lord made sure it was written in His book!
So… here are the questions:
Is there a wise woman who has shown you the way, pointed you toward God’s will, and even given you a push when you needed it?
And…who are you praying for? Your child? Your grandchild? Your daughter-in-law? A friend?
Will you be ‘one wise woman’ and speak loving truth to her?
Never, ever, underestimate the power and influence of one wise woman AND of a praying, truth-telling grandmother.