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Lynn wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been praying to find my future husband. I was studying abroad and recently returned home as part of my studies. A few months after returning home I met a very lovely Catholic man. We are both in our early thirties. We actually knew each other because we work in similar professions but we never really spoke. I prayed for God's guidance from the moment I met him. In particular I prayed to St. Raphael.

This time we got to know each other and realized we were attracted to each other but we were both unsure about a relationship.

  • I was unsure because I was only supposed to be home for a few months.
  • He was unsure because he was previously engaged and was deeply hurt when that relationship ended.

Due to a series of delays with my studies, I remained home for much longer than I anticipated. Over several months, we continued to get to know each other and I was willing to pursue a relationship with him. He is still unsure, expressed a fear of commitment, and is afraid of getting hurt again. When we discuss the possibility of a relationship I can see how hurt, scared, and confused he is.

His previous relationship ended four years ago and he has remained single since then. Sometimes I feel that he is living half a life and has allowed that previous relationship to control him, not just in forming relationships, but in other aspects of his life. I have even prayed for the Holy Spirit to light a fire under him.

He has always said it is divine intervention that we met. We both connected on a spiritual, emotional, and intellectual level that I never thought possible.

  • Why would God present a man, that appeared to be the answer to my prayers, just to have him say, no?

At this point I am not sure if I can remain friends with him because of my feelings for him but I wonder, if it is divine intervention, then:

  • What is my purpose in his life and what is his purpose in my life?

Thank you,

Lynn

  { Why would God bring this man into my life and answer my prayers, only to have him say, no? }

Bob replied:

Lynn,

Patience. I would bet $1,000 you will marry this man. Be his friend — that is the first requirement and test of this ordeal.

My wife and I dated until we both determined that dating was a false commitment and ended our exclusive relationship. We essentially broke up. We dated other people. The fact that my wife (then girlfriend) was willing to let me go was the ultimate act of love. She became my friend, despite the fact that it tore her up inside because of her feelings.

We have celebrated 20 years of marriage last summer. She trusted God above her feelings and loved me enough to allow our freedom to supplant the feigned security of an exclusive relationship.

When I had to face the prospect of her moving away for a Masters program, I needed to make a decision. I gave her a reason to stay with a ring.

Patience. Let God lead and He May surprise you.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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