The weather in Stockton has finally begun to cool down so we decided to have our Tuesday tea on the back porch today. It was lovely and we all enjoyed the fresh air. In celebration of Rebekah’s birthday we had one of her favorites – blueberry scones – yummy! We continued on with our courtship classes this afternoon and as promised I shared the “rest of the story” about when my commitment to a season of singleness came to an end. (see Tea Time Tuesday from September 4)
This is the wonderful love story that God orchestrated just for me! It was in the fall of 1985 when God began to move in my heart and do a new thing in my life. Little did I know however that the man He would ultimately lead me to commit my heart & life to was a part of my life during the entire time I was in that season of singleness.
I had met Dan Lambdin as a freshman at the University of the Pacific. His sister, Jennae was one of my dorm mates and since my own family had moved 3000 miles away from California to Virginia, she invited me to join with her family for many occasions. Dan was not a Christian at that time and if someone had told me that one day he would be my husband I would have laughed. He was certainly nice enough but his morals and lifestyle were starkly different than my own and spiritually we were miles apart. He was simply…my good friend’s brother. He came to know the Lord Jesus the following Spring and over the next few years we developed a casual friendship.
After college I became the youth pastor at a local church and very quickly realized that as a single young woman, I needed HELP from a few good men! I asked several of my brothers in Christ, including Dan, to volunteer with the youth & disciple the teen boys. During that next year Dan & I became close friends as we ministered together. I grew to admire and respect his strong faith as well as his incredible ability to influence the teens in the youth group. We, along with the entire youth staff spent much time together praying, ministering & fellowshiping. During this time there were several men of God all around me and many friends who desired to play matchmaker, yet I was determined to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord & do His work until He showed me the man I would marry.
One weekend Dan’s mother called & asked me to come listen to her share at a Bible study at her church. Over the years we had become close so of course I agreed to come & listen along with a close friend. At the end of the meeting, Dan stood up & closed in prayer. I can not explain to you in the natural the feeling that came over me. It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes & I was seeing this man for the first time. I felt the Lord impressing on me that his would be the man I would someday marry.
I left the meeting a bit shaken and wondering if I really had heard the Lord correctly. I asked that God would confirm it through His written Word & in prayer. I also knew that if this was really God that He would speak to Dan heart &that I was not to say a word. For the next several months I prayed consistently for Gods will to be done. Unbeknownst to me at the time Dan was seriously seeking the Lord for direction in his life. He spent a week up at Springs of Living Water Christian Conference Center praying & seeking God. During that time he decided to quit his full time job and pursue full time ministry. During that week the Lord also began to impress upon his heart that he may pursue a relationship with me. He too took that to prayer.
Several months later in February of 1986 after we had driven together to the Springs of Living Water to pick up some of the youth group from counseling at winter camp, Dan decided to open the door to pursuing a relationship. As I was getting ready to go home that evening he took my hand looked intently into my eyes and said with a twinkle in his eyes – “Perhaps you need to pray about if the Lord really wants you to marry someone with blonde hair & blue eyes”. (Let me explain….over the years I had shared often with the youth group the list of godly characteristics I would look for in a husband…ok so really 99% of them were NOT physical attributes but I did often throw in – “and I’d love it if he had blonde hair & blue eyes”) I knew when Dan said that he was opening up the way for conversation to begin about where this friendship may be headed. With my heart pounding, I blushed profusely, told him I had already been praying & quickly left….a bit amazed a the events taking place before my very eyes.
We did spend the next month in prayer seeking Gods will & confirmation. Believing that the Lord often uses parents wisdom to lead & direct our lives, Dan called my father during that time to ask his blessing to marry me. My Dad said yes.
On March 18, 1986 at the end of our weekly youth service at church Dan stood up, took the microphone & said he had something to say. At that moment one of the girls walked out & handed him a bouquet of red roses as I began to turn white realizing what he was about to do. He told the youth group that he had a question to ask them – “I would like permission to marry your youth pastor”. The room erupted in cheers, screams, clapping & jumping over chairs as he turned to me, got on his knees, opened a box with a beautiful diamond ring and asked – “Beth, will you marry me?” I was a bit stunned but managed to say yes throughout all the chaos going on around me. After the evening came to an end and Dan left to drive some students home, I sat alone in he darkened sanctuary singing songs of praise & worship to the Lord and thanking Him for His awesome plan for my life and for answering my prayers.
We went on our first official date two days later and thus began a nine month courtship where our six years of friendship and our new found passion would grow & develop into a deep and committed love. We have now been married almost 21 years and Dan is truly the love of my life, my best friend and partner in everything! God is the perfect matchmaker!
I pray that each of my daughters and my son will seek the Lord and let Him be the ultimate matchmaker in their lives!