God the Matchmaker or How I Met My Husband Final Chapter

A recent photo taken with my Honey.
A recent photo taken with my Honey.

God the Matchmaker or How I Met My Husband Ending

These are musings about my faith~~

Please note: This is my corner where I talk about my faith and things related. If you're not a person of faith, time to click to another web page. I'm pretty much a straight talker. These are some of my faith-stories I'm writing down as seen through the eyes of someone who loves Jesus Christ.

I fail Him every day, but I still endeavor to see everything with His eyes and His heart.

2Sa 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

I began dating Mark and going to his Rugby games much to the sheer delight of my friends. They always attended games with me - even the away ones if they were close enough to drive to, and soon my friends began to meet and date Rugby guys as well.

I really, really liked Mark a lot. But for me, I was burned once and definitely didn't want to be burned twice so I took it very, very slowly. I was a Sophomore and Mark was not only a Firstie (Senior) cadet but he was also the Rugby Club President. So I - in a sense, became the "First Lady."

In time, I began to have strong feelings for Mark, and eventually, everyone knew we were a couple. He sent me roses - delivered to the dorm much to the fanfare of my friends. He brought me home to meet his parents and I was his special date for his graduation an honor usually only bestowed on the steady girlfriend or fiancée.

Mark left for his assignment which was to be Fort Benning, Georgia, but prior to that he went to Ranger school and Airborne training. When we said good-bye at the end of that summer - I truly thought it would be the last time I would see him. And by then, I knew my heart had reopened to love again. I thought it absolutely impossible, but I loved Mark with a renewed love that was better than the angst ridden love I had had for JC. It took almost a whole year for my heart to thaw out, but thaw out it did. We made no commitments to each other so even though I loved him and he loved me, I was a realist. There was a good chance this adorable, bright, hunk of a guy wasn't going to wait around for me. So good-bye was difficult but Mark kept telling me it was just good-bye until we saw each other again. My trust factor was low to say the least so I hoped, but definitely didn't pin all my hope on Mark staying in touch and continuing to be my boyfriend.

The thing of it was, I still had two years left of a four year degree to get and I was not going to stop that process even for the guy I loved. I had worked too hard and I would never have let my Mom and Gramma down by just up and leaving even if Mark had asked me to leave school and marry him. No way. A number of my Ladycliff classmates had dropped out of college to marry graduating cadets, but not me.

What was actually terrific about the two year separation was the fact I missed him so. While I finished up school and finally got my degree, by the time my graduation approached, I knew absolutely that I loved this guy. Even more surprising, I wanted a future with him. Marriage had never been a goal in my life. I thought it sure didn't work for my parents, why go through it? I wanted a career and then years down the road decide whether or not marriage was in my future. But my love for Mark changed that.

So February of 1979, Mark asked me to marry him in a grocery store parking lot! Not exactly the romantic touch to the story perhaps some might be expecting - but I didn't care. He asked, I said yes and the date was set for September 1, 1979.

I was a hit back at the dorm. Everyone wanted to see my engagement ring, everyone had a million questions and I think I floated through the next three months prior to my graduation.

All of this is true to the best of my recollection, including what happened next). The dialogue may be a bit skewed, but that’s not on purpose. It’s how I remember it.

One beautiful Spring day, about two weeks prior to Mark and my family arriving for my college graduation ceremony, I was picnicking with a cadet I had recently met through a mutual cadet friend. My memory isn't clear as to why I was picnicking with him one on one - but I believe it was his way of saying good-bye as we had become friends and he wanted to "hang out" one more time before we both graduated and went our separate ways.

He was asking me about my fiancée - I told him he was class of 1977 etc. and I told him that I met Mark while on a date with another cadet. Then I added, "It was a good thing that guy really broke my heart otherwise I never would have ended up going out with Mark."

Chuck stopped mid-chew of his sandwich.

He asked, "What was the guy's name you were dating when you met your fiancée?"

Puzzled I said "JC."

[I said the guys actual name in reality.]

Suddenly Chuck stood up, his eyes wide saucers, pointing a finger at me and said, "OH MY GOSH, YOU'RE CAROL!"

Uh Chuck, you knew I was Carol when we met, you knew I was Carol when we went out for this picnic...what in the world??

I didn't know what to say to that so Chuck went on in an excited, rush of words.

 "Carol - don't you remember me? I was with JC that day when you said good-bye to him in the parking lot just before he went on Christmas vacation! It was snowing like crazy, don’t you remember?"

My jaw dropped open. I still couldn't say anything. Number 1 because this guy didn't look anything like the tiny cadet JC had introduced me to at the time, Chuck must have been 6'4" tall! Number 2 - what were the odds?

Chuck seemed to have read my mind when he said, "I didn't grow until my Cow year! I was that little guy, a Plebe then (freshman) don't you remember?!"

Looking at the guy standing in front of me, pointing his finger at me and telling me all of this only brought back the memory of me saying good-bye to JC - I didn't want to add he could have been Cary Grant, I only had eyes for JC at the time and wasn't really paying any attention to him. Instead I said, "I remember JC was with this guy from his hometown, but I'm sorry, that's really all I remember about you."

Chuck sat down hard right beside me and said, "Doesn't matter - but BOY do I have some things to tell YOU!"

If it had been two years prior, if it had been even maybe a year and 1/2 prior, that sentence probably would have made my heart leap. But then? I honestly didn't care what JC was or wasn't doing. I was just about to say not to worry, he didn't have to go into it - when Chuck started to talk in an animated, excited voice.

"Carol - JC really, really had fallen in love with you! I've known JC and his family and even his wife's family (JC and Cindy married the day of his graduation) - all my life. We grew up in the same town in Florida (he named the town). JC and Cindy were high school sweethearts and remained that way that is, until he met you."

I still began to protest - I honestly didn't want to hear it, but he ignored me and went on.

"He dated a bunch of other girls..."

Did he ever, I found that out at a later date, I was by far not the only girl he dated while he was at West Point supposedly the "steady guy" of Cindy.

He kept on, "But we all thought JC and Cindy were just going to get married right after JC graduated. Then he met you. Remember Homecoming?"



I told him that whole mess was hard to forget...

Chuck continued, "Well, you guys had just started dating but he had come to me to tell me that he had met 'this girl' and now everything with Cindy seemed uncertain. Carol - he really fell hard for you almost from the start - but he had already asked Cindy to Homecoming and figured that would just have to be the weekend he'd tell her that he'd met someone and would break things off."

He did have my interest at this point.

"Well," Chuck went on, "Things just didn't work out as planned and JC never told her. But JC said Cindy knew something was wrong and kept asking him all weekend what was going on and was desperate to hold on to him. JC was so jealous of you out with Chris during Homecoming weekend. It drove him nuts - that was when he knew it was you and not Cindy any longer. He couldn't stand the idea of you going out with another guy."



Once again my jaw dropped open. But I still managed to say, "Chuck - what are you talking about? Not two months later, he went home and asked Cindy to MARRY HIM! Obviously he didn't pick me over her!"

"Oh, but he did. He still had a lot of feelings for Cindy - they'd been together almost five years, so it was really, really hard for him, but he knew that weekend that you were it. Carol, he told me he had fallen in love with you."

I was really confused now because Chuck was saying these things about JC loving me and being so jealous seeing me with someone else and nothing he was saying was really making any sense because I wasn't the one who got that minature.

Until what came next:

 "But then JC went home for Christmas and Cindy tells him she's pregnant."

Now it was my turn for big saucer eyes...

"She told him if they didn't get engaged that Christmas break, she'd go to his father and mother and then next she'd go in person to his Tactical Officer [These are officers in charge of a company full of cadets who merits out punishments, gives counseling etc.]. JC knew that there would be a chance if she went through with her threat, he could be thrown out of West Point."



Apparently JC and Cindy had a very interesting Homecoming weekend because Chuck said that was when Cindy claimed she conceived.

Suddenly - it all fit into place. Everything made sense. I finally understood the mixed messages, the inner struggle I would occasionally see in JC's eyes, the real love I thought I also saw in his eyes after Christmas break. Relief just coursed through my veins because I realized my judgment - my gut -- wasn't all out of whack - in fact - it was pretty right on target. I just didn't know the whys behind what my gut was telling me. Now I knew the whys...

I began to laugh softly and I told Chuck, "Wow - how funny it feels that this doesn't matter to me anymore. How great it feels actually - to know, that this really doesn't matter one bit."

Then a thought suddenly struck me that made me angry and I said, "Chuck - he still got engaged to her, no matter what the reasons were, and he still had the gall to come back to West Point and date me as if he was a free man. What in the world was he thinking?"

And Chuck replied, "He hoped that somehow he could have you, and that the mess with Cindy would all go away by graduation and he wouldn't have to really make a decision until then."



To which I snapped, "Oh great! How noble of him!! String me along until graduation and then he would pick! What a prince!"

Chuck just said he wasn't defending JC, but thought I should know that JC really didn't just lead me on the whole time and had really felt he loved me. 

Well love or not - what was he doing sleeping with a woman who was once someone he deeply cared for but knew he was intending to ditch?!

It just made it even more apparent to me that God had chosen the right guy for me in Mark Van Drie.

The other bomb shell Chuck dropped on our nice little picnic that day was shortly after they had gotten engaged, Cindy confessed to JC she was never pregnant in the first place. What goes around...

Because both families had already gleefully begun wedding arrangements, and because his dad adored Cindy and JC worshipped his father, they went through with the wedding anyway.

It was some years later someone from Ladycliff I knew who also was aware of all that had happened with JC called to tell me she and her husband were stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia. She said they ran into an old mutual friend of JC's. The guy said JC and Cindy had three kids and that JC was often found in the Officer's Club bar right after work, drinking down a few drinks before he'd bother to go home.

How ironic. How sad - but how wonderful for me that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to Mark Van Drie.

JC was like a northern star the Lord sent to lead me to my true chosen love. I just had no idea that was what he was at the time. The Lord had a great and grand plan and I was not in on it prior to all the elements that brought me to where I am sitting today - married over 30 years to someone who is so much a part of me I absolutely can not tell you where I leave off and my husband begins...

I am more in love with Mark today than I was the day we married. He is my best friend on earth and he is truly my soul mate - all arranged by God. God the Holy Matchmaker. 

Given my own devices - had I been left to choose - I would have foolishly chosen JC. But the Lord arranged it so I had no choices. How COOL is that?! The Lord intervened and made the path, broken along the way - but it led directly to my heart's desire even before I knew where He was leading me!

After JC, I never believed my heart could love that way again. My heart didn't love that way again - it loved better - because Mark was the man the Lord had chosen for my future!

Am I saying Mark and I have the perfect marriage? No marriage is perfect. I am saying however, Jesus chose the perfect partner and husband for me in Mark Van Drie.

I loved JC like I never had loved anyone in my whole life. I could not imagine anyone else on earth who could make my heart skip a beat the way JC made mine skip a beat. I couldn't fathom anyone who could kiss me the way he did and make my knees weak or make me laugh the way JC did. I never thought I could even get close to the same true love I believed I felt for JC with anyone else on this earth. It was impossible for me to even imagine it.

I was wrong. 

God knows so often what is best for us because so often we are very, very wrong.

Our feelings are not gauges of the truth.

Even when those feelings are deeply and passionately felt.

How much God must love me! He not only gave me a northern star to guide me down the broken road but He provided comfort in so many along the way. My dear dorms mates in particular, Rug, Danna and Jo-Die, John Curry and then “Chuck.” God cares about even small details like answers to troubling questions I had after I broke it off with JC. What are the odds that after four years at Ladycliff College and meeting countless cadets, after I got engaged and was secure in my relationship with Mark, I would happen to meet (again) JC's childhood neighbor?

What are the odds we'd become friends, neither of us knowing who the other was - and have a picnic just so this "angel" could then fill in the pieces of the puzzle for me? How PERSONAL the Lord Jesus is!

How much Jesus must love me to provide a blind date for my cousin and I choose "the guy on the left" and that was the one God just happened to choose as my future husband?

How much Jesus must love me!!!

How much Jesus must love YOU!

Today, I know an unshakable peace that surpasses all understanding. It is the faith I cling to.

Rom 8:4-15

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Psalm 18:2

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

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Comments 23 comments

Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Carol,

God and Jesus always make for happy endings. It's the miracle of life and His love for even the least of all of us!!!!!!!!!!!


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

A beautiful ending to your story, and how nice to know you've been together all these years. Loved the photo, you look like a happy, loving, close and very good-looking couple,


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Absolutely Tom! I couldn't have said it better myself! Thanks so much for sticking with the story all the way through!


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Sheila - how sweet and gracious of you - your observations are right about how close we are! And I thank you for saying we're a good-looking couple! You're very sweet!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

What a beautiful ending to a terrific journey to real love. I must say you make a fabulous couple.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Awwww...thanks Pop! And I KNOW how busy you are - thanks for taking the time to read about it!


Dave Sibole profile image

Dave Sibole 6 years ago from Leesburg, Oh

God's ways are perfect if we simply trust enough to walk in them. Great Hub, touching story. Thanks for sharing.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Dave - you are SO right! His ways are always the best way!


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Very touching and yes God does know what is best. It sometimes takes many years in some people's lives to find this out; but He does not make mistakes. Never!

Thank you for sharing.

Linda


anioka 6 years ago

Hello Carol,

i just have a hard breakup with a guy who is getting married to someonelse. I am so torn, as he told me he loved me during one and half year, even though he was fiancé already to this girl, he told me that i was the one!! but in the end he broke up with me, saying that he was thinking about me in a different manner and that i was only an experience for him, i loved him so much and he knows that but did not hesitate to tell me that he would never leave his fiancé, in a few days wife for me, even though he said he loved me during one and a half year! i am so torn and i read your story which give me faith for my broken heart. Me too , think that i will never love and be loved again. But your story gave me faith in God promises!! thanks for the story


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Bless your heard anioka - I do pray God brings someone you'll love even more who will be the fulfillment of your dreams! Thank you for leaving your heart-felt comments!


6 years ago

thank you for this inspiring story.

i pray every day to find someone who will make me laugh about all the angst i feel these days.

God does have a plan for all of us! :)


lambservant profile image

lambservant 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Wonderful captivating story. Great ending and very happy for you and Mark and your 30 years together. But you left one thing out so the story is not complete. Did Mark ever learn to dress? Ha ha. Good hub.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL lambservant! NO - I have to dress him - but he's picked up on a few essentials - ask me first! LOL!!


kiwi_girl 6 years ago

Thank you so much Carol for a wonderful story. I am a 24 year old woman from New Zealand just recently felt quite depressed. My mother passed away unexpectedly 2 months ago - and I've had my heart broken a couple of times - to the point where I decided I HAD to be single as I was too scared to risk being hurt again. Now been single for a few years! Finally met a lovely Christian guy but my insecurities nearly pushed him away and now I am giving him the space he seems to need. Felt so anxious that I would never be capable of having a happy healthy loving and MUTUAL relationship... but now after spending a lot of time in God's presence and handing my problems over to God, I have faith he will bring me the right one. Reading your story gave me a lot of comfort and made me realise we must trust in God's timing and his plan for our lives as he really does know best :) Thank you.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

This absolutely made m year! Thank you so much kiwi_girl for your sweet comments. My heart breaks for you. It's been years since I've known heartache like yours, but I certainly can relate on some level. I will trust that the Lord will bring you His hand-picked partner of your dreams in His time. Until then, I pray you will find His peace daily while you wait on His perfect timing. My God bless you in your beautiful, beautiful country of New Zealand. I hope someday to visit!


uniquewriter profile image

uniquewriter 5 years ago from London.UK

Very touching and encouragingly beautiful story. I like. God bless you both.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you for reading and commenting uniquewriter!


Cristina 4 years ago

How wonderful is your testimony. I realise you are not a counsellor but Revelations 12:11 says 'They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.' I can see how your story inspired your readers and I can personally say it inspired me. As a youth leader at my church, I hear the same sort of stories and I believe God led me to work in this church for a reason; because it's only girls and my testimony really does help. It's so funny how I came across your blog but I know God guided me here. I was praying for something very specific and when I started reading your testimony, I couldn't stop. Especially when I read the initials of your x was JC. Mine is JC as well so your blog spoke to me in that way too. Unlike you though, he is a recent x of 1 and a half years. But he can't seem to let me go and keeps trying to come back into my life. There is no other woman in his life, we never had that issue but although I know he is a great guy, I also know he is not the one for me and God has shown me that because it's from the depression of our breakup that Jesus found me and rescued me and I've been saved ever since. Every time he comes back into my life, I try to speak to him about Jesus but he refuses to talk about that because he is Hindu and is quiet happy with his faith. I have resorted to ignoring his contacts and praying for him.

Your paragraph (added below) really made me sit up and read because it is exactly what I have been thinking and satan is using our past to keep me captive.

"I loved JC like I never had loved anyone in my whole life. I could not imagine anyone else on earth who could make my heart skip a beat the way JC made mine skip a beat. I couldn't fathom anyone who could kiss me the way he did and make my knees weak or make me laugh the way JC did. I never thought I could even get close to the same true love I believed I felt for JC with anyone else on this earth. It was impossible for me to even imagine it."

But you are right, we can get over these things and realise we are wrong. It is absolutely possible and for anyone that is going through a similar experience, understand one thing, God is not a mediocre God so if you trust in Him, you are trusting in someone mighty and powerful. It's hard at first to trust even God but believe He can see all things and sees your life in 20-30years time and just push all your burdens His way; this is what He wants from His children.

I once heard a funny quote that says 'men are like monkeys, they don't let go of one branch until they have a firm grip on another.' Please ladies, do not think this method will help. I hate the saying there are other fishes in the sea. Sometimes the counsel of the world seems nice, harmless, sweet but if it doesn't come from the bible then don't apply it in your life. Don't think finding someone else is what you need to do. THat's not going to help and I'm sure you've heard of girls that seem to go in and out of many relations but if you line up the men, they all seem to be the same.

I love you said choices left to us means disaster but when we truly give them up to God to make the choices, we get HIs absolute best. Not 2nd best, whatever your past sins deserve; the very best.

I felt inspired to place a comment based on all the comments to your blog. The hurt I hear in these comments really break my heart. As a woman that have felt similar pains, let me tell you the road does get easier. If you are a believer in Jesus, then remember that one bad day with Jesus is better than one bad day without Him. Truly hang onto His promises. There are over 8,000 promises in the bible and they are all there for ALL of us. :-)

I want to leave you with a quote my sister passed on to me: A woman's heart should be so lost in God, that a man has to seek God in order to find her.

Seek to be that woman. Seek first to please and honour God. Seek to put Him first in your life, then He will take care of the rest.

God bless you ladies and thanks for your blog. I pray it continues to inspire woman and I pray for a wonderful marriage for you, your children, and many generations to come.

Cristina


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Wow I got chills from your comments! Thank you Cristina for such a beautiful testimony! I was so moved by your sister's quote. Excellent and I plan to refer to it time and time again. I'm humbled that the Lord used me in even a small way to speak to your heart. God is good!


salol 4 years ago

Dearest cjv,

I am 100% sure that God has led me to your page in my most desperate moments of my life, it was His way of reassuring me that I will be also OK just like you! Please allow me to share a similar story with you, and I am appologizing in advance on how lengthy it may be!

My boyfriend decided to leave me this past February out of the blues. He did not even break up with me. The last thing happened between us is attending his surprise birthday party that his sisters and I have planned for him. I had a great time that night but he was sort of avoiding me during the party. I felt rejected and not very invited by him.

You see, i have been with him for two years, but during the two years of us being together, he would leave me so often then come back to me. The first time he broke up with me he told me he is breaking up. The reasons he gave was because his father is not fully approving of our relationship given the fact that he owns a business and his father would like for him to focus on the business. Then the next three times he left, it was for no reason, he would just stop answering my messages and completely ignore me.

The last time we got back together was last August, and he has proven to me that he will not leave me again. His actions also indicated so. Our relationship was also a secret from his parents. He keeps assuring me the he will mention it to them soon enough and then we'll be engaged after. I was totally in love with him the same way you and JC were. So you must understand how difficult it was for me to leave him after the many times he had broken my heart.

Now, I still miss him, it's been 5months since he left me and I am not sure where to go about with my life. I am 28 and he's 30, so we are grown adults, and it makes it hard for me to even believe that there is someone out there who is better than him, or that i will actually fall in love with someone else again the same way i did. Only three days ago that he decided to message me saying "hey" and what a relief i got after hearing back from him, how ever i did not reply to him, because the last thing he said to me in person after i met him in church was that the doors are closed and this relationship is not going to work out and that he wants me to forget him. No other reasons were given to me. I am in my most desperate moment of my life to find answers. I feel left out, rejected and truly all alone. It hurts more because his sisters and i are still friends. And I still love him very much. At this point of my life, i donnot know what to do~~

Your story is what gave me faith to hold on and believe in God,

thank you for sharing your story, I continue to read it many times.

sincerely

S


Tay 4 years ago

Hi Carol!

You know....I was at Google search looking for answers to something else when I accidentally found this hub. You want to know how GREAT God is? (Although I know you know how great He is). Your experience with JC and Mark is EXACTLY what I experienced over the past few years. I know God sent me here and your hub was confirmation and encouragement in so many ways. I want to thank you for publishing this hub. God used you to show me things and speak to me. To God be the glory!


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Salol & Tay -I'm humbled that the Lord would use my experience to help in any way. If my words gave you hope then as you said Tay - to God be the glory because I have learned - if I do anything right - it's because of God.

Thank you both for writing. I'm so sorry Salol your comments seemed to have been put in the Hubpages 'Spam' category so I somehow missed them until now. If you happen to see my comments, I thank you both for taking the time to read my story and for leaving your encouraging comments.

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