After my husband died, I thought I’d never find love again—until Everett Griffin walked into my life.

Well, he didn’t exactly walk into it. He just happened to sit down next to me.

I was attending a grief support group, and Everett showed up there, too.

We sat at opposite ends of the room and didn’t pay any attention to each other at first. I planned to go to dinner after the meeting with four other widows I’d met there the previous week. As I walked through the parking lot in the late afternoon of that wintry day, I saw Everett sitting in his car, staring straight ahead, almost as if in a trance. I thought it was odd but kept going toward my own vehicle.

When I drove past, however, I noticed he was still sitting, staring, in his car. I didn’t even remember his name, but I couldn’t drive off without seeing if something was wrong. Maybe he needed a doctor.

He snapped out of it when I knocked on the window, and told me he was all right. But he thanked me profusely for checking on him.

“No problem,” I said, and went on my way.

Fateful Date
Fast forward to the following Tuesday. We both showed up at the meeting and, when it was over, he asked if he could take me out to dinner. Kind of a thank-you-for-caring sort of thing.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “It’s nice of you to ask but it’s really too soon. I’m just not ready to go out with anyone.”

Just then, I saw the four women heading toward the door, and I hurried to catch up with them. They said they were going to the same restaurant and asked me to join them. One woman turned and noticed Everett standing alone in the foyer.

“Hey, Ev, why don’t you come with us?” she asked.

He did, and ended up sitting right next to me. I tried to ignore the chemistry I felt happening between us almost right away. My plans had no room for another man. I was trying to build a new life for myself as a single woman. A retired, older single woman with white hair, that is. One who was definitely out of the dating scene.

But we talked and laughed our way through dinner, and I had to admit to myself that I had a great time with him. He was charming and full of fun.

And, later, I realized I couldn’t  get him off my mind.  

Unexpected Love
That night, as I was saying my prayers, I asked God what was going on. How could I possibly be developing feelings for a man I didn’t even know?

I was stunned by the immediate answer I got. Not a literal voice, mind you, but that awareness in your heart and mind when God is trying to tell you something. The message was startling to say the least: “Everett is my gift to you.” And deep down, I knew it to be true.
Joyce Starr MaciasStanding Tall: Joyce’s plans had no room for another man

(As if my experience wasn’t enough, Everett had a similar one the moment he awoke the next morning. “You’d better marry that woman or you’re going to lose her,” was what came into his mind as soon as his eyes opened!)

We hadn’t exchanged phone numbers, so we had to wait for the following Tuesday’s meeting to see each other again. I could hardly think of anything else all week. And I guess he couldn’t, either, since our whirlwind courtship began almost immediately.

We spent time together every day—sightseeing, going to concerts and church, dinner dates and talking about everything. Being together seemed as natural as breathing. It wasn’t long before we were talking marriage.

Everett and I attended different churches, but we had both committed our lives to Jesus many years earlier. Prayer was important to us, especially for our families.

We each had adult children, and we prayed that they’d accept our late-in-life romance. I was blown away by one of God’s answers. That happened the night I’d cooked a meal for Everett for the first time. Later that night, he dropped me off at my son’s house where I was living at the time.

My son loved to tease me about my cooking, and that night was no exception. I was glad Everett hadn’t come inside.

“Well, is Everett still alive?” my son quipped as I walked toward the living room.

“Yes, and he enjoyed dinner,” I joked back.

But his next question floored me: “Well, then, did he ask you to marry him?”

When I got my voice back, I answered that he had indeed, and we planned to marry on April 2.

Imagine my shock when my son started laughing out loud. He finally revealed that the whole family had been betting on whether we’d get married in March or April. And we thought we’d been so discreet!

Everett and I still can’t explain just how we fell in love. Neither of us was looking for another mate, but we found each other anyway. The only thing we knew for sure was that we were in God’s will. He put us together, and we couldn’t be happier about that.

It’s been wonderful to learn that love can happen to anyone, at any age.


On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, Jim Leach said:

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