Legacy of Love, part one.
Writing for Message has been a joy and pleasure for us this past year. I never thought that I would be sharing this story about my husband Arthur E. Nowlin, who passed away on October 30, 2016. As I reflect over the past 26 years with my husband it was truly a love story beyond measure.
No risk brings no reward. I stepped out on faith with Arthur and he with me, and it was worth every day of our lives together. He shared how he had handled a great deal of responsibility within his life and had been through so much. I realized that he was a great investment because of his genuine humility and desire to learn more about Christ. He had vision for family and what we could become together if I could only trust him. He was sincere about our direction to unite our skills and talents to develop family ministry to become change agents and help empower others.
Love At First Sight
Arthur and I met in June, 1990 at an AIDS prevention event in Detroit, Michigan. He was a social worker for one of the local family agencies and I owned and operated my own clinic for counseling and speech communication.
It was time to meet someone and build a life with the Lord. Though I had been married before, it lasted only four months. My first husband was a very nice man, but we did not share the same faith. This time, I prayed to God and asked him to lead me to the right person. That person would sacrifice his life for God, join my church, and inspire others to strive for excellence in their lives. If not, then I would remain single and raise my daughter alone.
When I arrived at the event, I got out of the car and my skirt split up the back. I was so embarrassed but I did not have time to return home to change, so I walked in very discreetly not knowing that Arthur Nowlin had seen the whole thing. He greeted me with some of his friends who served as hosts for the event.
I was friendly, a bit reserved, but I turned to my cousin Karen and said “That’s going to be my husband.”
Love at first sight is never easy to explain. Some people think that it is all a physical attraction, or that it is a myth. What is really amazing was that I never doubted in my faith that he was to be my husband. I continued to follow God’s teachings and His obedience and God favored me with a wonderful friend, husband and partner. I believe in true love and love at first sight with God’s guidance, honesty, and transparency.
Dance of My Life
That following week I attended a conference on AIDS prevention and I met a good friend of Arthur’s. I told her that I met him, but I was told he was married. No, she insisted. “He is divorced and has one son.”
“Is he a good guy?” I asked.
“The best,” came her reply.
I still prayed and trusted God to have His way. When a mutual friend of ours was having a cabaret she invited me. I don’t attend night clubs, I told her. She told me it was a fund raiser for her son’s football team, and I asked her if Arthur Nowlin would be there.
“Yes,” she said.
“Then, I will buy all of your tickets!” I told her. Even though I asked her not to tell him, she did, of course. I was stuck buying the tickets anyway.
When I saw Arthur again, he greeted me warmly. I observed him mingling with his co workers, but became uncomfortable when people started dancing, and I decided to leave early. Just when I was about to leave he asked me to dance. I told him ” I don’t dance.”
“I’ll lead,” he said smiling. That was really funny to me because I was not good at allowing other people to lead me, especially men. “What are you looking for, Mr. Nowlin?” I asked as I looked up at him.
“To grow with someone,” he said.
What that meant, I did not know, but wondered. We left the conversation at that, and I went back to the table to get my girlfriend Rita, then left. Arthur said good night to his co-workers, too, and followed us to my car. He asked if he could follow me home to be sure that I arrived safely. I was impressed and he opened the door for us and followed us home. When we arrived he kissed my cheek, and we said good night.
That night I called my mother who asked if I enjoyed myself. I told her the evening was fine, and that nothing exciting happened.
“What did he say?” she prodded. I told her that when I asked him what was he looking for he replied, ” to grow with someone.”
“And you felt that was the wrong answer?” mom said laughing. “He is looking to grow with someone, child!” I thought about what she said and I prayed and left it all in God’s hands once again.
Looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right
When asking God for a life partner I would tell my daughters to put their faith and trust in God and allow Him to give you divine wisdom on your earthly mate. My oldest daughter has said ” I want a husband like you, dad,” several times. Our son has also stated he wants qualities of his mother and I: someone who has the qualities of strength and family values and morals.
In balancing a relationship it is critical to set attainable and realistic goals for yourself and your relationship. External appearance is nice, but in a constructive one-on-one assessment, communication, and sharing time together helps you distinguish between infatuation and true love. One must understand how to utilize courage, have the ability to measure growth, and know how to recognize and respect boundaries. Respect boundaries, and you leave a person no other choice but to respect you. If you allow yourself to compromise on your affections it could cause profound consequences in the future. Reflect and examine your motives for your true love.