When Your Happily-Ever-After Happens Later in Life: Guest Post by Lauri Barnes

My newest contemporary romance novel, Catch a Falling Star, tells the story of a romance between a man and a woman in their thirties — their late thirties, to be exact. The romance is of the “are these two really right for each other?” kind. 

I’ve talked with others about whether there’s an expiration date on romance — I even wrote a blog post on it for RT’s daily blog! I’ve also loved hearing real-life stories of later in life romances. Today, my friend, Lauri Barnes, shares her story! 

 

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When I was growing up, I always imagined that I would marry young.  I was eager to find the love of my life and start a family of my own.  God apparently had different plans!

After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I began teaching and working on my first master’s degree, and I had a very small social circle.  I didn’t have much time for dating, and when I did have time, I wasn’t meeting anyone that seemed compatible.

As I passed from my twenties to my thirties, and then when I passed 35, I became discouraged, picturing myself as the prototypical old maid.  I had begun to lose hope that there was “the one” out there, and seriously considered settling for Mr. He Likes Me rather than Mr. Right.

When I told a godly friend how depressing it was to think about growing old alone, she told me that God didn’t call me to be single the rest of my life; He only asked me to be single “today.” One day at a time made the wait a lot easier, and I’m so glad that I waited!­

After I finished my doctorate just before my 37th birthday, my mom made it her mission to find me a husband, and she scouted out Dale on an online Christian dating site.  Both Dale and my dad worked at the same Air Force base, so my parents met him for lunch one day.

When I first heard about this “great Christian guy,” who was 47 and had never been married, I was sure that he would be like all the other awkward blind dates I had been on (why, thank you for taking me to look at tools in the Sears automotive section—how romantic!).

I was pleasantly surprised by Dale when we met at a local Mexican restaurant.  The conversation flowed easily, and I felt so comfortable with him. We met March 7, dated every weekend (we lived in towns an hour apart), and on Memorial Day of that same year, he asked me to marry him.

Our wedding was two months later, and the adventure really began! Trying to combine our two homes into one (for a brief while we had three houses!), renovating our homes so they could be sold, doing all of this while I was pregnant or nursing our two children (who are 17 months apart) … not easy!

Nevertheless, we are so grateful for each other that we would rather go through all of the challenges together than to spend our lives apart. When it is true love, it really doesn’t matter what you are doing, as long as you are doing it together–stripping wallpaper, spackling, repairing ductwork or plumbing, or living with a room full of boxes (even 5 years into the marriage)–it’s all worth it!

If happily-ever-after came true later in your life, what did you learn while you waited? If you’re still waiting … what makes the waiting easier — or more difficult?

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A true later-in-life love story: Guest post with Lauri Barnes Click to Tweet 

Lauri Barnes taught for 15 years before becoming a work- at-home mother of two adorable preschoolers.  She teaches research writing online and is the coordinator for her local MOPS group.

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9 Comments

  1. June 11, 2013, 1:51 am   /  Reply

    Waiting upon God “one day at a time” is simple, but profound, life-transforming truth. Yours is a great story and its a reminder to me that when we’re caught up in God’s redemptive plan, all of our stories are great stories. The waiting will give way to the revelation of a beautiful ending–eventually. My wife I were married in our mid twenties and began our great little story. In the middle chapters, live blew up. As for our circumstances, we’re still waiting for things to be put back together again. So, all the characters are in place, but we are waiting for a new beginning. You reminded me to wait for it “one day at a time.” THANKS! 🙂

    • Lauri Barnes
      June 11, 2013, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for sharing your story, too! I know the waiting and trusting is a huge step of faith, especially when you are facing challenges, even tragedies, in your life. I am so glad that we serve a God who gives us “beauty for ashes” in His time. Saying a prayer for you today as you wait on God for that beautiful new beginning in your romance.

  2. Andrea Cox
    June 11, 2013, 8:18 am   /  Reply

    Hi Lauri! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m still waiting on my prince, and I’ll be 26 this summer. I totally know what you mean about the depression and life being hard when you’re single and think that your life is never going to begin. Lately, though, I’ve leaned on 2 Peter 3:9 (the first part of the verse; NIV): “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.” Also, hearing of others who are either still waiting or had to wait a long time before finding Mr. or Mrs. Right helps (when I’m not too depressed to just get envious.) I love how God sends me the right messages at the right times. 2 Peter 3:9 came at a very pertinent time for me. (It’s hard realizing you’re a quarter of a century old and still single.) The great thing is I KNOW God’s got the right guy out there for me and He isn’t slow in bringing him into my life. I just misunderstand His time frame. God’s got the blueprints of my life, and I’m ready whenever He is.

    So happy for your happily-ever-after, Lauri!

    Blessings,

    Andrea

    P.S. Hi Beth! *waving wildly*

    • Lauri Barnes
      June 11, 2013, 9:04 am   /  Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      That is a great verse! It’s such a reminder that our God knows the end from the beginning, and we need to trust in His timing. Thank you for sharing that!

      • Andrea Cox
        June 12, 2013, 8:20 am   /  Reply

        You’re welcome, Lauri! It’s helped me a lot lately, and I’m always glad to share stuff that helps. 🙂

  3. June 11, 2013, 10:39 am   /  Reply

    Sometimes after a time of marriage we find ourselves alone again. That happened to me 16 years ago. After I met a truly godly man, I thought I would be married again, 4 years tops. Well, I’m still dating that godly man after 14 and a half years. Now why in the world would you date someone that long? you might be asking. Simply put, I just am. God hasn’t seen fit to change my friend’s mind about marriage, and I like my life with him in it, and God is saying, “Be still. Enjoy now.” Will we ever get married? Who knows? It’s not something I lay awake at night thinking about. 🙂

    • Lauri Barnes
      June 11, 2013, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

      Hi Patricia,

      “Be still.” Those are tough words to hear sometimes, but, if we don’t, we sometimes miss out on the blessing of “now.” It sounds like you are in a great frame of mind–trusting God for the future, and enjoying what He has blessed you with in the present!

  4. June 11, 2013, 3:34 pm   /  Reply

    Great story and how neat that your parents were involved in your meeting/blessing. And children to round out your family. Hats off to following God at each step and then Him directing your paths to converge. Congratulations and many more happy years to you.

    • Lauri Barnes
      June 11, 2013, 3:58 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you!

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