When I became a believer in Jesus, my life changed for the better.
One thing that changed was the way I handled relationships with men. I started praying that if it was God's best, He would bring a Christian --- Christ follower --- into my life. I had a peace about waiting on God's timing, even it didn't seem like there were any godly men in sight on the little island of Saipan.
I was a teacher at a college prep and busy with after school tutoring, coaching, and more tutoring at my home as well. I longed to spend some time with someone for enjoyment and relaxation instead of working so much. My family was mostly busy and my students were really some of my closest friends.
Though I felt lonely, I longed to wait for a man I knew was right in God's eyes. I had many men interested in dating me, but I wasn't interested in them. Learning from my previous mistakes and relationships as an unbeliever, I could tell that many of them were interested in a physical relationship and not marriage.
Some of them were extremely wealthy, some of power, and some of them much older than I was, but I refused to get to know them. I knew that it would be difficult to just enjoy each other's company without eventually getting emotionally attached. And I was tired of dating. I told God that I would wait for the right man if I was supposed to marry.
Along came Tim writing an email halfway around the world at the Naval Academy, where we had met and the college which I had just left. I didn't think much of it.
Though this is not a post about how we met or how God brought us together, I mention these things to help paint a picture of what I was praying and waiting for. Tim and I started writing many emails to each other, mostly encouragement from what we had been studying in the Bible as well as what we learned from the sermons that week. He was a friend and brother in Christ as I was getting to know him. Eventually we started speaking on the phone too.
I remember one of our conversations online because it was one of the reasons I knew that Tim would be someone I could see myself marrying, should he ever be interested to pursue a deeper relationship with me. We were laughing and joking around online about something and then the conversation turned to children. I love children!
I am the oldest of six children and my mother one of nine and my father had close to that many siblings. So our family gatherings were always brimming with many family members especially young ones. In my eyes, our culture loved children.
I knew that I may one day have children of my own and it was important to me that whoever my husband was, that he would be a great father to our children. In my heart, I felt that if a young man spoke lovingly and sweetly about children and wanted them in his life, he would not only be a great daddy, but also an amazing father who could make children flourish and beam from being so loved.
So our conversation online that evening turned to the topic of children. It was so evident from what Tim was sharing with me that he would make a wonderful father! It made me wish we were courting. Our conversational tone changed and we started to see more of our similarities and goals in life.
I was excited to say, "Yes!" when Tim wanted to start courting and then when he proposed. We still continue to have a beautiful marriage after fourteen sweet years together. We've been parents for almost thirteen years now and Tim has shown himself to be an amazing daddy!
Sweetheart, when you treated me so tenderly and sweetly, I knew you would be so gentle and tender to our children and you are! You're a loving and compassionate father. I love how you're gentle and patient, but also calm and firm when needed.
I've always loved watching how you change our baby's diapers, give them baths, read to them, or spend time teaching them things that they treasure until this day! I love seeing the joy in our children's eyes when you come home, write them a special note, thank them for something they've done, or kiss them on the cheek because you love them. I especially love how you nurture them in the ways of the Lord, being a great example of a lover of righteousness. Like how Proverbs 31 mentions a virtuous woman being a rare gem, I believe virtuous men (as a husband and father) like you are hard to find as well. Thank you for loving righteousness and for loving us the way God wants you too! Because of that, I am truly a blessed wife and mother!
I am so thankful for the great Godly influence and example Tim's daddy has been for him! I am so thankful for so many fathers who are there for their children, who love them and mold them to be the best that they can be, and ultimately glorifying the Lord with their lives.
And if it weren't for my daddy, I wouldn't be here in so many ways. I called him early in Saipan two nights ago and thanked him for many things. I wrote a long tribute for him for the newspapers there years ago that I metioned again in parts. I was suicidal when I was very young even if I was doing well in school (with honors) and you couldn't really tell I was struggling at all.
My father spoke to me a lot and spent a lot of time with me. When I was trying to hurt myself and take my life away, I started to think about what I might miss out on. My parents came to mind especially my father. By God's grace, He saved me from that painful life of uncertainty, depression, and thoughts of suicide. It is a tremendous blessing for me to see and know my daddy loves me especially since Mom went to be with the Lord.
Praise God for faithful and loving fathers! They impact the world in more ways than we can fathom.