About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Sweet Like Jasmine, Whispers of Rest, wife, and mom to two boys. An inspirational speaker featured by Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today, she’s guided thousands to detox stress and experience God’s love through soul care, encouragement, and prayer. She loves refreshing your soul at...

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  1. How sweet a start to a great love story! How true a reminder in trusting Him in open places during fierce storms. This is true in romance and life…
    Thanks for sharing…a good morning devos on my 27th anniversary. Even in marriage we have to trust God and His plans…to remember His promises (because people promises aren’t as strong), and to lean on Him to equip us to serve…and equip our spouses to know our needs…
    “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” -unknown

  2. I met him over 14 years ago and we became fast friends.
    He ended up becoming one of my best friend and it wasn’t until a mutual friend knocked our heads together and told us how perfect we would be that we decided to give it a try.
    That was nearly 10 years ago.
    We just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, and I am even more in love with him now than when our relationship was still new and exciting.

    I believe it is when you stop looking that the man you were meant to be with will come knocking on your door.

    Charmian

  3. That’s a sweet story. My husband and I met when we were 14 and 16. That was 33 years ago this past October. Now I watch my son struggle with rejection. It’s so hard not being able to help at all. I know God has someone out there for him. The waiting is the hard part.

  4. This post reminded me of the chapter on vulnerability in “Strong Women, Soft Hearts” by Paula Rinehart. (Definitely a recommended read!) I went through a rough time in my marriage when I felt I couldn’t trust my husband after he really hurt me. I was obeying God by not leaving my husband, but I was not being a good wife, and I wasn’t learning to trust and forgive. Then, the idea of letting go of pride and self-protection, giving in to vulnerability and like you say, “stepping out into the open” led me to forgive, trust and love my husband in a way I never imagined, in which the presence of God dwells. And this after the fairy tale… Only by God’s great grace!!

  5. I took the new fashioned way to meet someone – Internet. It was scary at first just looking, but then I, too, took the plunge. I put my “ad” out there for all to see. Sure I had some e-mails, a few dates, but nothing serious.

    Then I changed my ad title and said a prayer to God! That did it. When I turned the whole thing over to Him – he sent me the most wonderful, caring man alive! We emailed 3 weeks, had 1 blind date then an invite to “his place” for dinner. 10 weeks later we decided to marry and that was 7 years ago.

    I wouldn’t trade those 7 wonderful crazy years for anything. He has been there for me!

    Next time God says “step out in faith – take a chance” Go ahead you never know who or what He’ll bring into your life!

  6. I really hope I get to meet your sweet hubby in person one day! Thanks for the reminder that love is on the other side of fear and it’s worth the risk! So true and good…

    • What a awesome idea… esp. in the midst of that hard place of belief… to have the courage to remember the journey to where you are. Thanks for sharing this space you’re in, Elizabeth!

  7. Bonnie, you’ve got yourself a treasure!

    We were juniors in college when Charles asked me out on our first date (dinner at Souplantation, walking distance from campus). He asked if he could take me to dinner that next Thursday—which happened to be April 1.

    But he wasn’t foolin’. 🙂 We were engaged about 5 months later!

  8. I´m in that spot right now…. I´ve been hurt before, and I´m afraid. I met this sweet guy, and he likes me, the problem is he is not christian. He really wants to know more about God, but right now he is not christian. I don´t want to miss on a good opportunity, but I want to please God with my life. I´m conffused and afraid.

    • Hi Maria, I don’t know the full story of the journey you’re on, but keep heading in the path to please God and He will not do you wrong. Keep trusting Him and be careful to guard your heart. Thank you for being vulnerable here.

  9. Dear Bonnie,

    I’m so glad I stopped to read this this morning. You’ve encouraged me so much with your words.

    I was widowed a little over two years ago and I’ve been terribly lonely.

    About 8 months after my husband passed away, I wasn’t really looking to meet anyone but I met a man and ended up getting hurt badly. That pain, in addition to the grief I was still going through, pushed me backward on my grief journey so far.

    About a year ago, I began wishing for a relationship and, about 4-5 months ago, a man I met (and am very attracted to) began flirting with me. For months, he made no move however. We had talked some and so he does know I that am a widow and I always figured that that was the reason he was being so cautious with me. Because we had already talked some, I knew that I liked him and like talking to him. It’s hard to talk, though, where I regularly see him and I wanted to date him so that I can get to know him better. A couple weeks ago, he did ask me if I wanted to get a bite to eat with him. I accepted and we had a really nice time together. The more I get to know him, the more I like him. He’s continued to flirt and we email some but there’s been no second date. He did ask again but I was unable to go that time. I’m afraid that, because I had to turn him down, he might be a little discouraged.

    Anyway, the last few days, I’ve been wondering if I should invite him to dinner. I want to, but I’m afraid. Back before he ever asked me out, so many people were encouraging me to just ask him but I couldn’t do that. On one hand, I guess I’m old-fashioned and think the man wants to do the asking but on the other hand, I know I just hated to make the risk. That’s what hurt the most with that other man. I got to know him, cared about him, let him know how much I cared, and then, when it ended, was hurt so badly. It wasn’t just facing another loss that hurt me — the man was just mean.

    I try to convince myself that it’s still worth the risk. I also try to tell myself that it can never be wrong to let someone know that you care about them. I also keep reminding myself about how much I’ve prayed during this relationship. And I think God wanted me to read your sweet story this morning. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Blessings,

    • Dear Becky, you are in that wide open place. There are no easy black and white answers, but it sounds like you are already drawing close to God in the gray. There’s a lot of wisdom in your words, as you tease out what is just plain hurt and what is healing in trying again. Keep surrounding yourself with those friends of yours and may God bless this journey you’re on with His comfort and direction.

  10. As a 23 year old girl, who is single as all her other friends are engaged and married and well onto having their first child, this speaks volumes to my terrified heart.

    Thank you so much for your honesty!

    • Hi Megan, Sounds like you’re going through the first “wave” of people getting married after college. I survived that and so will you… Keep pointing yourself forward ‘cuz there’s so much personal adventure you’re free to pursue in your 20’s and yes.. plenty of fish in the sea. 🙂

  11. Love your vulnerable words Bonnie. You always make me laugh! I love this line “I’d been burned before, and I had the char marks on my overdone romantic history to prove it.” those singe marks do seem to take a while to dust off!:) happy Friday!

  12. What a great story, Bonnie! 🙂 And, although I’m coming up on my 10 year anniversary this month, I can use the reminder to be vulnerable to others in friendships. I have been struck by lightening and I’m definitely a little gun shy.

  13. It was my best first date ever, too.

    Sure was glad your friend convinced you to call me back! 🙂

  14. What a great reminder! I’ve been with my husband 17 years and I still feel like I’m waiting or lightning to strike. So hard the things we learn as a child, that can burn us to the bone, and continue to taunt and tease our hearts into distrust. Thanks for the sweet reminder!

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  15. Oh, do I have a fear of being struck again. My heart is telling me to reach out to my estranged husband, while my common sense screams “Don’t get hurt again!!” But you’re right in saying that if we take the risk, and Prince Charming doesn’t catch us, then our Heavenly Father will. I know this, yet still needed to hear it again. Thank you!

    • Dear Rachel, what a vulnerable voice you’ve added to this post. I know you’re walking down a path many sisters are in agreement. May God guide you in this journey to the middle of open places of the heart and may your husband meet you there, as you hang onto the One who will hold you safe.

  16. Loved this. So encouraging in a year where my theme is “more yes, less nuh-uh.” But it’s so funny how different male-female communication is. You meant slow down. He heard “we’re done here.” They so need decoder rings.

  17. Bonnie, just popped over here via another blog. I have to say taking a risk right now seems too crazy. I just came off a hurtful breakup with the man I really thought was the one. We were best friends for a year and a half till we started dating, so I thought this would be a good basis for our relationship. Things turned another corner and now I am left hurting and frearful. I was so wrong, when I was so sure. So, I am afraid of taking that risk again. Thanks for your words, I will try and take them to heart. 🙂

  18. I love your story! And it made my heart melt a little that Eric commented.

    If I’m ever heartbroken and on my way to CA, I’ll invite you over for chick flicks and bon bons!

  19. Your story of self-protection is so familiar, Bonnie. Sometimes it does take immense courage to do that free-fall thing. Thank you for sharing your story here. “How we met stories” and “first date stories” are my favorite. 🙂

  20. At almost 35, virtually all my best friends and peers are married and having children. I certainly thought that is where I would be now. Apparently, God has another plan for me. For several years I did the internet dating thing with absolutely ZERO success. In the past 15 months, I was reconnected with a guy from college who I hadn’t seen in 10 years. First encounter – last year at a Super Bowl party. All indications from mutual friends were that he was interested in me….however, he made no moves. At the end of the summer, I decided to take the leap and just call him. We went out a couple of times, but then nothing. He played the “work is insane” card late October and aside from a random text at Christmas, I haven’t heard from him. I’m definitely of the mindset that the guy needs to do the pursuing, so I haven’t initiated anything. However, lately I’m wondering if I’m missing something. Or perhaps I’m just lonely? Back to internet dating for a test this month, but so far, striking out there as well.

    Despite continuing to give this back to God, I feel my heart slowly getting hard – though I desperately crave that true heart connection with a man. Struggling to know how to step out into the wide open….and what that really means for me.

  21. Loved hearing part of your love story ! Thanks for sharing and encouraging us. The bible verse at the end was especially sweet to me. I actually got teary eyed reading how much Christ is devoted to us. He loves us so fiercely. Blessings!

  22. This has been exactly what I needed to hear – thank you! One of my best friends has introduced me to a male friend of hers over Facebook, because she thinks the two of us are quite similar & would get along well (also, we both get quite shy around the opposite sex, so she’s also doing us a favour!). A few months ago, the Lord told & showed me all this stuff about my future husband – nearly all of which this guy seems to have! Only I’m a bit scared of getting to know him properly; I’m scared that, when we finally meet in person, he won’t be the same person he is online, and that I won’t like him at all. But your article’s inspired me not to be afraid that it won’t work, but to just trust God and go for it! Thank you so much for writing this!

  23. What a sweet love story! 🙂 I have a recent story about standing out in the open, but it isn’t about love:
    I have never shared that I have a blog with people, except for a few friends. With the exception of one friend, those few found out on there own. For me, bloggging is vulnerable because I tend to put my heart on the screen. I don’t mind sharing my heart with fellow bloggers. However, when it comes to my friends, I hide my heart until it feels safe, which sometimes takes years. Well, a couple of nights ago I decided to risk vulnerability and rejection by putting a link to my blog on Facebook. Eek! It was really scary, but I learned that my friends cared about me even more when I shared my heart.

    Sorry for the long story! Still lovin your blog!

    • I’m in the same situation, only I’m not quite brave enough to put a link to my blog on Facebook yet. Thanks for inspiring me to copy you!

      • Anneliese, it was really vulnerable, but definitely worth it! It healing, in a way, when my friends responded positively. It gave me confidence in my writing and in sharing my heart. 🙂 I hope you find the same results. 🙂

  24. Oh Bonnie, how I loved reading your encouraging story…so much truth about taking a risk…sometimes the harder we try to protect our hearts, the more damage we do to them. Loved this!!

  25. Loved reading your love story Bonnie.
    I met my husband in a dark room…. a photography darkroom. Even though he heard me sit in class complaining and swearing off dating, having just been burnt by an engagement that did not end well, he asked me out anyway.
    We ended up going on a spur of the moment “date” that I (at the time) did not consider a date. We went to the zoo to take photos… 18 DAYS later he proposed… that was 20 years ago. 4 kids and 18 years of marriage later we are even more in love.

  26. Bonnie,
    I enjoy your blog so much. Each thing you have to say resonates with me.
    I, like Becky, (another commenter) was also widowed. I was in that limbo area for 5 years before I met and married my current husband. (who was also widowed). It was different for me having been married and having a young son, and dating again. I spent much time with God, praying for HIS best for me. I wanted that with all my heart. I went out with several nice men, but nothing clicked. I was okay with that. I was happy and content with my life, and so enjoyed motherhood! It was not until I “tried out” an internet dating site on a fluke that I met a wonderful Christian man that lived 500 miles away! We talked, emailed, wrote, visited and talked some more. I remarried at 37, to God’s best for me.
    God can take our tears and heartaches and change them into to something beautiful.

    Thank you for this blog post, I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.

  27. I love this – just what I needed to hear! Satan has been using the loneliness of my heart against me mightily this week. Thank you for allowing God’s truth to speak this time!

  28. Bonnie, it’s like you stepped into my mind, pulled out the words, and put them on paper… or on the web… it’s like you were talking about ME! Sabotaging the fairytale? Being afraid to step out into the open? Classic me. Thank you for sharing this post! I am finally learning that the rewards of opening yourself up are worth the risk … and I’m not eating as many of those bon bons anymore, either! 🙂

  29. Thank you for this story. I know the fear you speak of…after my fiance died 6 years ago I put myself out there a couple times only to get to know why some guys just aren’t married! Not the best deals for a heart already so tender with loss. But after knowing a love so true and real my heart aches for that…. especially with all those romatic films, etc that come out this time of year. In the meantime, I will continue to trust God and see just where he will lead me on this journey… I’ve been invited to step out there yet again… we’ll see.