Friday, February 20, 2015

True Love Stories: Romance With the Help of a Matchmaker

It's a sweet yet daring story of a young man visiting a church and changing the course of his life. No, it's not because he found God though that is important. It's because he noticed a young lady playing the organ. 

However, it's not her skills as a musician that captivates him at first sight--it's her unrivaled "beautiful eyes." He determines that night that he wants to know more about this mesmerizing girl but there are challenges such as the fact that she's only 16 at the time and he's an experienced 23-year-old man. 

So how does a young adult man go about approaching and courting a teenage girl without causing all sorts of trouble?

You'll have to read today's featured true love story to find out. :)

Romance With the Help of a Matchmaker
Sandra Robbins' true love story

I grew up in a small college town, and every fall my girlfriends and I would get very excited when time for school to start rolled around. It wasn’t because we were glad to be back in class, however. The beginning of school meant that new college boys would be arriving in town, boys who were much more mature and more interesting than the ones we’d grown up with and known all our lives.

Although my parents would have grounded me for the entire school year if they had thought I even set foot on the college campus, there were other places like the local movie theater or the drive-in restaurant where all the kids hung out that chance meetings might occur. And then there was church, the last place I expected to meet the love of my life.

I was a sixteen-year-old high school junior that fall when he transferred from two years at another college to the one in my hometown. He had grown up in a rural community about sixty miles away and had decided he didn’t want to live in the dorm. Instead he rented a room in the home of an elderly widow who was a good friend of my parents. I don’t remember the first time I saw him, but he has told me he remembers. He had come to our church, having been invited by the lady he rented a room from, and he saw me playing the organ. He said he thought he had never seen such beautiful eyes in his life, and he wanted to know me better.

Over the next few months he returned to church again and again, and I got to know him better. I could tell there was an attraction between the two of us, but he didn’t ask me out. I was about to give up hope that we would ever be more than friends at church when one day my mother received a surprising call. The lady who rented him the room was calling to ask if my parents would object if her young boarder asked me for a date. By the time she got through extolling his virtues and how he respected me and my parents, my surprised mother could do nothing but agree to his asking me out. Needless to say I was elated.

That first date turned into more, and before long I discovered the reason it had taken him so long to come to a decision about starting a relationship with me. I had known when I first met him that he was older than me by a few years since he was a junior in college, but I was shocked when he told me that he had also served in the army. So the young man I thought was about four years older than me was really seven years older. I was a naive sixteen-year-old-girl, and he was a twenty-three-year-old man who had a lot more life experiences than I had. He couldn’t help but fear my parents would think he might be the sort of man who would see a quick conquest in their daughter and leave me with a broken heart when he moved on to someone more sophisticated and worldly. But that wasn’t his motive, and he wanted them to see him for the Christian man he was—one who was already falling in love with their daughter and wanted only the best for her. That was why he paved the way to mine and my parents’ hearts by enlisting the help of a lady we all loved and respected to be his matchmaker.

Now years later I can only shake my head in wonder. What would I do if my sixteen-year-old daughter wanted to date a twenty-three-year-old man? I doubt that I would have been as understanding as my parents were. But then I think they saw in him what I did—a young man who loved the Lord, who respected and loved me, and who honored my parents’ concerns about me.

Through the years he’s been a loving and faithful husband, a dedicated father, and a respected member of the community. I wonder sometimes how different our lives would be if he hadn’t come to school in my hometown, hadn’t rented a room from our family friend, or if he had gone straight through college after graduating from high school. I often tease him that I was in fifth grade the year he was a senior in high school, and he just smiles. We both know that God had a plan for our lives, and we’re still living it each day until ‘death us do part.’

Author bio:
Sandra Robbins, former teacher and principal, is a best-selling and award-winning multi-published author of Christian fiction who lives with her husband in Tennessee. To date she has published ten romantic suspense novels, one cozy mystery, one novella, and eight historical romances. Angel of the Cove, her first book in the historical romance series Smoky Mountain Dreams, was named the 2013 winner in the Single Title Inspirational Category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. This award is given by the Birmingham Southern Magic Chapter of Romance Writers of America for excellence in writing romance. 

Also in 2013 her Love Inspired Suspense books Shattered Identity and Fatal Disclosure were both awarded HOLT Medallions in different categories of the Virginia Romance Writers of America contest to honor outstanding literary talent. 

In addition, her books Final Warning (Love Inspired Suspense) and The Columns of Cottonwood (Barbour) have been finalists in the ACFW Carol Awards, and her cozy mystery Pedigreed Bloodlines (Barbour) was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award given by the Kiss of Death Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Sandra's novella Christmas Comes to Bethlehem Maine released in November, 2014, and made the Evangelical Christian Publishing Associations BestSeller list.

Sandra's latest book Fugitive Trackdown in the Bounty Hunters Series released in February, 2015, and will be followed by Fugitive at Large in May, and the third book December.

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