• Laura Alvarado-Newson

When my heart said "YES" and a little advice

I have been asked the question "when was the moment I knew Tom was the one?" I have to say it was gradual. I never prayed for a perfect man, because I know they don't exist and if a perfect man existed, he wouldn't be for me because I wreak of imperfection.

Tom and I have so much in common, from widowhood to care-giving, taste in music to tastes in food to similar parenting styles; however, there was one particular thing that just sealed the deal in my heart. A few days after chatting, which ended up being at least 20-25 hours of conversation (a long distance perk, our only connection is through communication), we decided to upgrade to phone calls. Tom knew my history, pre-loss and post-loss, my mistakes, my sorrows and heartaches; he still wanted to talk to me. None of this was the "seal the deal" moment though. At the end of our second phone conversation, it was getting late and we were tired, before we said our goodbyes, he asked if he could pray for me. My eyes filled with tears, I thought "really?" He said the most heart-felt prayer and my heart-aches and regrets began to melt away. This was the beginning of knowing. I became more and more sure as we started to video chat; there were times that my days were so rough I would unintentionally fall asleep while chatting. I would doze in and out of sleep to the sound of Tom praying for me and speaking words of affirmation and love into my life. So while I "slept" (I didn't want to open my eyes, because I wanted to listen to his words), he prayed for me, for my kids, for us, for our future. He insists on bringing everything before our Father in prayer.

This sealed the deal in my heart. He cares what God thinks and wants God in it all. As I become frantic and anxious over wedding plans, Tom stops me in my tracks and we pray about the plans. This is the sign of a good spiritual leader. Any man can tell a woman how beautiful she is, any man can provide for a woman, any man can grill or fix a car, but not any man can confidently pray in front of a woman and pray for a woman, and remind his woman to bring her anxieties before God and that everything will be OK. No, he isn't the perfect Christian, neither am I, but God knew my desire for a spiritual leader in our home.

Of course, there is a deep love between us. He sends me flowers, teddy bears and chocolate, he has a very sweet, romantic side to him, which I find refreshing and wonderful! Many wonder how this can be with 2200 miles between us. Well as I mentioned before, all we have is messenger, video chat and phone calls, which means a lot of conversations, discussions, debates, and yes, even disagreements. We have communicated more hours in a day then most married couples communicate in a week; trust me, I was in a very quiet marriage, I know. Tom and I can't be distracted by going out to places or physical affection as couples who live in the same zip code do. I remember being young and dating. Most of our time together would be holding hands and giggling, not much talking. So, there are benefits to a long distance relationship, but it's not for the weak of heart. It is hard being apart, it is hard seeing him go through tough stuff and not being able to comfort with a hug or help in a practical way to solve the problem. It is so worth it though, so worth the wait. He is a good man and I am blessed.

So, ladies, there is nothing wrong with praying for a good-looking guy, or a guy with a job, or a romantic guy; however, these traits can fade (well hopefully not the romance part) it is very important that the man you are going to marry put's God first, in his life and in your relationship and he uplifts you, not tearing you down; that he encourages your walk with God. And, guys, it is so important that you pray for a girl who will uplift you, support you in prayer, and encourage your walk with God; physical beauty and money are temporary, a man or a woman who walk with Jesus, PRICELESS!

A very important piece of advice to the LADIES. I tell you this from experience and almost making a big mistake. You are not called to a man's mother! There is a difference between loving a man and an unhealthy co-dependence. That is why it is so important for the man to put God first in his life; there will be struggles that you as, his wife, should not be responsible for solving. He should know to bring it before God. Us women get confused and make this mistake all too often, we allow emotions and guilt to get in the way and end up mothering the man. A real man would not allow you to mother him. Our mothering, nurturing heart is for our children. So be careful please....


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