Our Story...

Many a lassie as ev'ryone knows'll
Try to be married before twenty-five;
So she'll agree to most any proposal,
All he must be is a man and alive.
I hold a dream, and there's no compromisin'.
I know there's one certain laddie for me!
Someday he'll come strollin' o'er the horizon;
But should he not, then an old maid I'll be.
"Foolish" ye may say.
"Foolish" I will stay....

Waitin' for my dearie, and happy am I
To hold my heart 'til he comes strollin' by!
When he comes--my dearie!--one look, and I'll know
That he's the dearie I've been wantin' so!
Though I live forty lives 'til the day he arrives,
I'll not ever, ever grieve;
For my hopes'll be high that he'll come strollin' by.
For you see, I believe...
That there's a laddie weary and wanderin' free
Whose waitin' for his dearie--me!

from Lerner & Loewe's "Brigadoon"

"Well, it's rather obvious to ME that the Lord doesn't intend for me to be a wife and mother. But I'm okay with that, KC, really!"

I don't know who I was trying to convince more, KC or myself. I was 28 years old, living in the small town I grew up in. I was working at a local hospital, living in the house I grew up in, attending and serving in the church I'd gone to since it was FOUNDED. What could the LORD do? Drop Mr. Perfect into my life out of nowhere? EXACTLY!!!!

Over and over, my precious friend and co-worker KC would tell me,"Oh, Jennifer, my dear sister, I just KNOW the LORD has a VERY special someone for you!" Now, I had been hearing that for years...well over a decade in fact!!! I had gone through all of the stages...from starry-eyed dreamer to sarcastic humorist. I had finally reached a point in my life where I was CONTENT...truly. Then....

"Jennifer, there's a letter for you on the landing...it's from your friend Katie!"

"Thank you, Daddy!" Oh GOOD! Letters from Katie always conjured up thoughts of the Anne of Green Gables' life I so loved dreaming about! She and I had been friends for YEARS...had slumber parties and Christmas in July parties and tea parties and Italian parties...such the kindred spirit that any time spent together ended up seeming like a PARTY *_* I dashed downstairs and sat down on the couch, eagerly opening the envelope....and along with her letter was a little, folded up note from a spiral-bound notebook and a couple of photos...one of Katie's wedding party!

"Dearest of Jennifers...." She was writing from Minnesota, where her husband was from. They had given them an "after-the-wedding" shower since many of the Minnesotans couldn't make it to the Christmas South Carolina wedding. "I finally got Tim's twin brother Dan to write you a note...." Oh, this must be the brother she mentioned last fall. She tried to get me to write him first, but I knew better...I may be old-fashioned, but the man should be the instigator in any relationship...even a friendly pen-palship to a Christian Sailor *_* So, he finally wrote! "The photos are so you can see what he looks like." Hmmmm...so.... Well, he doesn't look like the "poor, orphaned-waif "of a sailor she made him out to be.

Daniel & Tim Seest...Christmas '94

"Dear Jennifer, I don't know much about you except that you are a Home Economics major from Bob Jones University,"

Well, I actually had graduated from Pensacola Christian College, so he didn't know half of what he thought he knew *_* His letter was polite, describing what he did in the Navy. He was aboard a fast-attack nuclear sub...like the ones I saw on PBS where the training is so rigorous lots of guys get claustrophobia before they ever get on a real sub! "I'm a nuclear mechanic...." Sounds like someone who could use a good friend *_* So, he asked me if I would write him when I got a chance. A nice pen-pal to encourage in the faith. I'd likely never meet him this side of Heaven.

So, I wrote. I also told KC about him. She smiled that knowing smile of hers, but I didn't really pay attention. "He'll just be a ministry for me, poor, lonely Navy guy with no Christian friends and 100 hours of work a week." But when he wrote back...it took 2 stamps to pay for the postage of the over-stuffed letter *_* He had enclosed some of the boat insignia stickers, a few more photos, and a 6 page letter! Okay, so maybe this will be a FUN ministry! I still wouldn't let myself think too much of it; a 28 year old woman has YEARS of experience in the flash-in-the-pan romances field.

So, I wrote back. And he wrote back another epistle! And we wrote back and forth through June and into July. Then one night, I got a phone call from Katie! "Dan was here this weekend, and he was asking about you...he brought your letters and wanted to know if they were really 'you'...he also asked me for your phone number!" What in the world??? It wasn't at all that I wasn't "interested", it was just getting more and more difficult not to feel joy butterflies in my stomach!!! No denying it...they were there, but my mind was keeping a VERY tight rein on my heart.

*ring* *ring*
"That's Daniel!"

Daddy got up from his chair to answer the phone, just KNOWING that it was Daniel. Sweet Poppa! I could hear him pick up the phone in his office....

"Well, hey, Daniel! Yes, she's right here!" Poppa handed the phone to me with a big grin....

Expecting to hear my sister's voice, I answered, "Hello?"

It was HIM!!!!!!

We chatted and gabbed like old chums, but it was getting late. We agreed to have a phone meeting the next evening. And we did! Another gab-fest...a definite kindred spirit! The next day, I received a card from him, so thoughtful!!! "Is it possible to be such close friends when we've never met?" I was letting my sister Joann read it that evening when the phone rang again. When I heard Daniel's voice on the other end and said, "Oh! Hi, Daniel!" my sister's eyes nearly popped out of her head!

"You're coming down to Florida on leave???"

He had mentioned that he had leave coming up, but he was going to spend it with his Mom and 3 of his brothers who would be together in Lynchburg, VA bringing the youngest brother down to college. But instead, he told me he was going to come to Florida and meet ME! He didn't ask, he TOLD me! What in the world happened to the shy Navy guy Katie told me about???

Click HERE for the continuing story!!!

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