Cherishing The Companionship


Holly and Doug Worth the Wait, Cherishing the Companionship

Worth the Wait, Cherishing The Companionship

Doug had given up his job to take care of the 2 elderly uncles that had raised him and his brother. While trying to bring in a bit of income while he was living with them (in SC where he had always lived and planned to stay forever), he got the idea of internet marketing and bought some websites and gradually taught himself how to run them. At 51 Doug had never been married or engaged though he had been in a couple of relationships. He was lonely and not involved socially anywhere, so once he got online he found and joined some online          dating sites.  
By 43 yrs. of age I had pretty much given up on the idea of marriage being part of God’s plan for me, and I was peaceful with that reality. But my beloved Dad surprised me at one point when he said he had been hearing James Dobson talk about a Christian Dating Site and he thought I should try it. My Dad was not into computers or dating at all, so while I was not interested in dating sites, his thought planted a seed that took root a year or so later after taking a computer job for a friend. Out of curiosity more than anything, I signed up for a couple of the Christian dating sites. 
Later I branched out to a couple of other sites such as Dating Sites for Farmers and one for Big, Beautiful People. I did not find any of the sites to be particularly bad or good, as you find all kinds of people on there just like you do in real life. But I was not a game playing kind of woman and I rapidly grew weary of the process of getting to know men and finding they were not serious about Christ. 
Doug was offered a free 3 day trial to a dating site he had never been on and since he didn’t have anything to lose he tried it. It just “happened” to be one of the sites I was on. I had looked at Doug’s profile, but saw nothing at all about God and so went on. I later learned that Doug was not a Christian, and in fact had never been to church except for funerals. He 
believed in science not God.
Before his free trial was over Doug contacted me through the website and while he was not a Christian he was very unique and likable in a lot of ways. I was very impressed with what he was doing to care for his Uncles. I found that kind of self sacrifice to be rare in men and women alike. We were not really attracted to each other, but did have a lot in common, so when he asked if I would be his friend via email, I said ONLY if he were willing to talk about God. He said yes I could talk about Him as much as I wanted although he did not know anything about religion. Of course I could not pass by that kind of open opportunity to witness, even though I would never consider him a romantic prospect as a non-believer.
So we became friends. We emailed each other and talked on the phone for almost a year. During that time I got off ALL the dating sites and went back to being reasonably content with singleness and trusting my Lord. I was sharing about God with Doug that whole time and building a good solid friendship with this kind and funny man. Then one of Doug’s elderly uncles died and he was devastated. Jim was the closest he had ever come to having a Dad. He and his brother were raised a bit wild in the South Carolina mountains without much in the way of parenting. I don’t think he had ever imagined a world without the Uncles. 
At that point he was pretty shaken up and re-thinking everything. He told me he could not have made it through Jim’s death had it not been for my friendship and support and asked what he could do to repay me. I told him he could read the Bible I had sent him a while back. So he began reading the little New Testament I had given him. As he read he got more interested and asked me to discuss it with him. So we read the Bible together every friday from then on, and I also sent him some scientific videos from a Christian perspective. I was very concerned about him during this time as I knew it was very likely a spiritual crossroads for him. Doug was so discouraged during those months that in my prayers I started to feel led to take my Nephew and 2 friends down to camp at a park near where he lived in order to try to reach him for Christ. 
This was our first time of meeting each other and we connected even better in person, though he was very shy at first…..”like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs” were his exact words, LOL. He spent most of that weekend at the campground during the day and showed us around the area and joined us in fireside devotionals. He also came to fellowship with us at the campsite Sunday morning where we had Bible study and sharing. He actually shed tears when we left and after that visit I felt drawn to him as a man for the first time.
A few weeks after that visit, Doug asked me on the phone if I would ever be able to consider anything more than friendship with him. I told him I was drawn to him in some ways, but there could be nothing without God. And of course that had to be something that came about genuinely between him and the Lord and not because of me. Also Doug did not want to move away from SC for any reason and I did not want to leave my aging Mom in Virginia either. So we said nothing more about that subject as it seemed impossible on all fronts. 
Then 6 months later the other uncle (Nick) died and Doug was like a toy boat adrift on the sea. My whole family and church were praying for his soul by this time and again I and some friends went down to SC to the funeral. That week was incredibly memorable as the one when the crack in Doug’s heart opened to the possible reality of knowing God….and both of us began to wonder what the future held.
One month after that an elderly neighbor witnessed to Doug and they knelt in his old house and he accepted Christ as his Lord! Shortly after that he came to Virginia for the first time to visit me and the other friends he had made here. During that visit he learned more of God’s Word and while here he was baptized! His faith grew rapidly after that! My whole family loved him and he and I grew much closer during this visit. We visited back and forth 3 more times and in October of 2008 he asked me to marry him. I said yes…..I had known for many months that he was the one that I could live with for the rest of my life. And more importantly he was the answer to my life-long prayer that God would only send a man that I could serve HIM better with, than without!
We had some challenges working out where we would live (where God wanted us that is). I considered moving to SC as he prayed about VA. Then when the time was right we Both were able to see God leading us to live in Virginia. We were married in an outdoor medieval style Renaissance Wedding on May 2, 2009! We invited all of our wedding guests to dress the part and it was fabulously fun with everyone dressed in beautiful medieval period clothing! We also had music, games and decorations from the 16th Century! The word Renaissance means new beginnings and that is most definitely what marriage was for us! Doug was 54 and I was 46, neither one with children, neither with previous marriages, engagements etc. In fact, by the grace of God I was still a virgin……….it was the supreme adventure and our late life gift from God! 
We fuss and laugh and are learning together. We have a long way to grow, but we both feel, after 7 years of marriage that it is not quite as hard as either one of us had anticipated………amazing but true. We have difficulties of course, after so long of being independent people. Selfishness is ever present. But God knew what He was doing and we are the perfect sinners for each other. He is milder natured than I am thankfully and he is catching up on a life time of not having anyone to share himself with. I am cherishing the companionship and help in all areas of life. We are good for each other even as God is refining us through the journey of marriage! Neither of us has doubted for a second that God put us together. It is and was an amazing, miraculous work of God!!!