I surrender all

Y’all, this is something I have shared with very few people.  About 2 1/2 years after Adam passed, several people started to encourage me to put myself out there again.  I was young and still had a lot to offer.  I wasn’t sure of what exactly I had to offer.  But I decided to give  it a go.  Where exactly I was going to meet someone was a mystery to me!  I was never into the bar scene.  Everyone I went to church with was happily married.  I had 3 small children and was a widow.  I had a mom-bod and lots of baggage! Not exactly a hot commodity!  So yes, I developed 2 online profiles on dating sites.  I chatted with a few men.  Not my type.  I was open and honest in my profile.  First date, I didn’t tell anyone about, but one good friend, just in case…since we both watched Criminal Minds!  We met at a hockey game, fun night.  Nice guy.  Good christian.  Not right for me.  I went out with another guy, who seemed nice.  After our 3rd date he shared with me that he was a smoker…which I had put on my profile as a NO!  I had watched Adam die with cancer eating away at his lungs in the end and he never smoked.  No way I was going to be around that mess!  To add insult to injury, he kept trying to come hang out with the kids and I.  Not about to let that happen.  They met him one time.  I didn’t want to subject my kids to people I was still getting to know.  In the midst of all of this I began doing some of my own detective work and research. He was dating someone else, and telling me he was going to move to Cobb county so he could start over and be here for my kids and I.  RED FLAGS WERE FLYING!!!! I mean, seriously, we had gone on 3 dates.  He was a liar, and dishonest with me from the beginning.  I shut that down pretty much immediately.   Third and final date.  Met for dinner at a nice restaurant.  Discovered he had been divorced 3 times.  And that was it for me!  I was DONE!!!

God and I had a very long conversation after this.  I told him what I thought about the whole dating scene.  I told him no thanks!  And if he had someone for me, here was my very specific list of requirements!  And it was long!!!! I also shared my frustration with the fact that I felt I was where I needed to be at our church, but there was no one there available for me.  He simply told me to “Taste and see” Psalm 34:8.  So I continued to go and continued to pray.  I completely surrendered to God’s will for my life.   But, I will be honest.  I told God I was good.  I could do this on my own.  I didn’t need someone to help me.  I was willing and able to raise my children as a single parent. He had given me that peace.  Unbeknownst to me, God was preparing the exact man I had prayed for.  He just wasn’t ready yet.  That man, was going through an unexpected divorce, suddenly a single parent with 2 small children of his own.  One Sunday morning, when I was home with sick babies, that same man went to my same church where he heard the song “I surrender all”, and so he did.  He surrendered to God’s will for his life.  Adam also had shared with his father Gary that he wanted me to remarry and have someone to share my life with.  Someone that would become a part of their family and would accept them into his.  A man who would be a father to his children.  Gary didn’t share this with me until Matt and I began dating.  This was just further proof that this was a blessing from God.  Adam wanted me to move on.  To love again and to open my heart to someone who would love me perfectly.

As you might can guess.  That man was Matt. A man I had known for almost 20 years.  Someone I had enjoyed years of performing beside.  A man I had always admired for his talent, his work ethic, his dedication to his family, his joy for life.  That man became my husband.  My rock.  My everything. God heard our cries.  He made something beautiful out of something that was so ugly.  He provided for us exactly what we needed in His time. He was faithful to us.

“Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phillipians 4:6-7 NIV




By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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