Friday, June 30, 2017

The Man of Her Dreams. Literally.

As a young, widowed, single mom, Arlene James didn't think she would remarry. She was occupied with other things, mostly her baby boy and her anger at God. After the death of her soldier husband, she could not force herself to walk through the door of a church. She couldn't even pray, and she didn't want to talk about it, not even with her beloved grandmother.
Her baby turned into a toddler. Suddenly one evening in October as she put him to bed, she realized that they had it pretty good. Her son was happy and healthy. They had a fine home in Duncan, Oklahoma, and steady income, supportive friends and family. So why wasn't she happy? Eventually she knew that she would never be happy as long as she remained angry with God. At long last she hit her knees and felt an enormous weight lift.
A few nights later, she had a vivid dream. In the dream, a huge hickory tree in the backyard fell on the swing set that her son so enjoyed. Somehow she saw it fall from inside the house and ran to the backdoor in a panic, only to realize that she could hear her son speaking with someone. In the illogical way of dreams, she ran to the window and looked out, seeing her son walking away hand-in-hand with a tall, slender man with long, dark, curly hair, glasses and a beard. Horrified, she darted from window to window in the house, watching this stranger walk away with her son. Finally, they turned to wave and smile at her, and somehow she knew it was okay. Relief overwhelmed her, and that was that, until...
She walked into the kitchen one morning the next week and saw through the window that the tree had fallen on the swing set! Even though she knew her son still slept soundly, she felt the same panic as in her dream and immediately called her grandmother to tell her all about it. Again, that seemed to be that, until...
Not long afterward, she went to visit her friend, Clora. She was sitting at the kitchen table, listening to the kids play, when Clora's cousin walked in. The instant she saw him, Arlene gasped, knocked over her coffee, and burst into tears. He was, literally, the man in her dream. Everyone thought she was upset because she'd spilled her coffee. Panicked, she left as soon as she gracefully could.
The stranger, however, got her phone number from his cousin. At first she refused to talk to him, but he showed up with Clora weekend after weekend, despite living 200 miles away, and gradually Arlene began to speak with him. Jim had finished his bachelor's degree after 8 years in the Navy and was working on his master's while holding down a full-time job in Tulsa.
The night of her son's 3rd birthday, December 26, Jim showed up at her house. Like a bad door-to-door salesman, he stuck his foot in the door and said, "Now, you know we're supposed to be getting married." Again, she burst into tears. Chuckling, he put his arms around her. They talked for hours, and she agreed to marry him.
Everyone who knew them was appalled. They hadn't even dated! So they dated. On their first date, they took her son to see Cinderella at the movie theater. The boy was calling him Daddy by the end of the evening.

They married on April 16, Good Friday, at Arlene's home church in Comanche, Oklahoma. 42 years ago. Arlene will always believe that God gave her this dear man in a dream.

18 comments:

  1. I love your love story. Thanks so much for sharing. God has often shown me things—even entire novel storylines—in a dream.

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  2. What a wonderful story of God's faithfulness and provision! It has me in tears. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Arlene, I loved hearing about how you met your husband. I agree that God speaks to us in dreams. I so love that. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Arlene, what a sacred, special story. Thank you for sharing it with us. I've had a couple of sacred experiences like this in my own life. It truly is a witness to me that God loves each and every one of us and knows what is best for us and comforts us in the best way that will work for us. He knows us so well. I'm so happy that you listened and followed Him.

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  5. Thank you, ladies. I'm sure God knew that, left to myself, I wouldn't remarry. My son would have been deprived of a wonderful father. Jim was very ready to be someone's dad, and they are still very close. We had another son together, and I can honestly say that, so far as my husband is concerned, there is absolutely no difference in his boys.

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  6. What a delightful story, Arlene. Truly God wanted you to find Jim! Thanks for sharing. You've brightened my day! Hugs!

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  7. Arlene, yours is truly an amazing love story.

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  8. Arlene, thank you for sharing your beautiful love story! Prophetic dreams like yours are such humbling reminders of God's presence and abiding love for us.

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  9. Arlene, your story gave me tingles and tears. What a blessing!

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  10. What a sweet, sweet story. Like the others, I'm all weepy. God is so good!

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  11. I've never had dreams like that, but now I wish I had--what a great story!

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  12. I've heard this story before, and it never fails to fill me with awe... or to make me tear up. What a beautiful romance.

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  13. What an amazing story!! Love it!!

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  14. What an amazing story, Arlene. You had to marry that man!!!!

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  15. I'm so glad you shared that. Such an amazing story.

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  16. Bless you all for your comments. I didn't tell that story for years for fear of how it would be viewed. Only my grandmother knew all the details, and her support helped a lot. When we married, we let everyone know when and where we'd be doing it. (At my home church in Comanche, OK.) When we showed up, my grandmother and aunts had put together a lovely wedding for us, and we had about 60 guests. Best wedding ever. I didn't do a thing!

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