This month on my blog, I will be featuring excerpts from Full Quiver Publishing’s new book, “Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship” to be published this summer. Most of the stories are taped and edited interviews.
Today’s excerpt is entitled “You Should Get Married Again,” and it tells the powerful story of David, a widower and Posie, a widow:
Posie: As part of my discernment, it just worked out that someone anonymously gave me this amazing gift of a trip to Medjugorje in 2004. I was so thrilled, and felt so confirmed and cared for that someone would do this for me. On that trip, part of my discernment was “God, show me; Our Lady, show me. If you have anyone for me, tell me. If you don’t, tell me that, too. I’ll follow wherever you want me to go, whatever life that you ask of me.”
During that pilgrimage, I really felt God saying to me, “Give me your heart and I’ll give you mine. I’ll give you a new heart.” It was sort of like my heart had been broken by losing my first husband, and He wanted to heal it, and really did. I experienced a very deep healing, which was a really profound spiritual experience for me. But there weren’t any concrete answers, other than that, just that my heart was healed, that I was whole, and I had this heart that was Jesus’ heart. How can you really love again with a broken heart? It was very shortly after I got back from Medjugorje that David came back into my life as friends.
Whenever I thought about the idea of getting married again, I knew it would have to begin with friendship, and be built on that foundation. I just couldn’t imagine getting into the dating scene, and I couldn’t imagine ever falling in love without it being based on mutual faith and trust and sharing of our deepest values. I began to realize what a precious and rare thing that is.
When David came along, I was really glad to see him again, because we had been quite close as families, but as you can imagine, we’d known each other as married to someone else, so of course I didn’t fall in love with him back then. It really showed me how love is from God. When He wants to manifest what we call “falling in love,” He can do it. But it’s not the way it’s often portrayed in movies, where these married people are so attracted to each other, they end up having an affair because they cannot resist it. I think that would really be ‘falling in lust.’ I think of falling in love as more like falling into God together, and allowing His love to be made manifest between us. It’s still a very powerful attraction, as I was to find out.
David: The last year of Anna’s life was a very intense time. So when Anna did pass away, I was really burned out. Anna died in February of 2003, so when I did come up to our family cottage the following summer, in June, I was looking forward to just being in nature and resting. I wasn’t in the mode of wife-hunting by any means. I just relished the thought of some down time, and my children came up now and then through the summer. So we had some good quality time with the children, good tears. Then in the summer of 2004, the Lord just somehow chose that time for Posie and I to meet once again and begin our courtship.
Posie: There was one night – it was the Feast of the Assumption which has always been a really powerful feast for me – he made me dinner again. And there was something electric going on in the air, but we weren’t really talking about that yet. It was just something unspoken was going on. I was trying to figure out if I was imagining it or not. But when I went home that night to my house, my mind was going around and around and I couldn’t sleep. I think it was fairly early the next morning, I drove back to the cottage because I just had to talk to him. I just had to ask him. I figured I’ve got nothing to lose because if there isn’t anything going on in his heart, then I’ll just carry on the way I have been going; we’ll be friends. But if there is something going on, then maybe we can talk about it. I had gotten to the cottage and he was already out sitting by the water. I went down and I just spoke from my heart. I said, “It just seems like I’m falling in love with you and I don’t know what to do and I just have to say that.”
I remember thinking, it’s getting real now, speaking from the heart, being vulnerable and yet not jumping to any conclusions, trying to do it gently. But then the topic was opened, and we started talking more about a relationship and what was going on and yes, there was something happening and what is this? Neither of us had any other relationships since our spouses had died. I remember one time, probably a few days after that, when we saw each other at Mass, I invited him back for brunch. We were sitting on the porch and he said, “Hmmm…that would be 14 children…” This was sort of the first time we started to talk about marriage. He was really genuine and sincere: “…how would we do that?” Then gradually, we talked more and more about it. We started to talk about marriage and what that meant and how it would happen, and how it would impact our families. Then we started talking about the timetable of it all. We didn’t want to wait around too long. We knew how short life can be.
David and Posie Douthwright were married in December 2004. Together, they are the parents of 14 children. The complete version of their courtship story is included in Full Quiver’s new book “Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship” to be published this summer.
Copyright 2011 Full Quiver Publishing