A certain young man has been hanging around here of late. His presence is especially surprising given the fact that the young man hails from the faraway state of Alaska. However, he claims to have a special motivation for these regular visits to the heart of the South.
My story begins last May, when our family had the privilege of providing music for American Vision's First Annual Worldview Superconference. A certain Alaskan was also in attendance, but had not yet crossed paths with our family ... that is, until May 26th, the second-to-last day of the conference. Over the last twenty-four hours of the conference, he kept showing up here and there, spending time getting to know our family (without us knowing exactly why). Right before we left for home, Dad extended to him an invitation to visit us. Now, this is an invitation that is given to just about everyone we get to know at conferences and other such events, and only occasionally do we ever see these people again. This time turned out to be one of those "occasionally's."
Both Mom and Dad were significantly impressed by the maturity and marked character of this young man, and commented several times to that effect.
The middle of June an e-mail arrived: "I will most likely be taking you up on your offer to visit in your home." Toward the end of the said visit, when permission was sought, permission was granted to call and e-mail a young lady in the household. Phone calls between Mom and Dad and the Alaskan, and the Alaskan and the young lady, and Mom and Dad and the Alaskan's parents, followed. Our family met up with him at two Vision Forum conferences in San Antonio, TX, where he was interning with Vision Forum. Then a visit during Christmas. Now Courting.
Yes, Tait Zimmerman is courting a young lady from SC, who happens to be me (Lauren here!).
I know what may be going through the minds of some: Courting? Isn't that what people used to do like hundreds of years ago? Isn't that terribly old-fashioned?
I now begin another story, one which commenced slightly before my last one, although the very point at which it began is difficult to determine. One might say it began before I did, though. Both of my parents dated, and knew that they wanted something better for their children. It had always been understood, from the time we were little, that we would not follow the dating route. Dad would say, half jokingly, "You can date after you're married." When we were still quite small, Mom began keeping a "courting" file, to which she added the various articles on courtship versus dating that she came across.
Several years ago, our family's plans to pursue courtship instead of dating were cemented when Dad conducted a study on courtship for our church's weekly "Family Night."
The purpose of courtship is to seek God's will towards marriage. It has both direction and a certain amount of commitment. It recognizes the father's authority, and seeks guidance from both sets of parents.
One of my favorite verses in Proverbs 31 is "She will do him good, and not evil all the days of her life." As a little girl, as a teenager, as an eligible young lady. I am some man's future wife. I must avoid the emotionally- and physically-defrauding relationship found many times in the dating process. I belong to my future husband, and must do him good ... now.
We look forward to meeting his whole family - parents and two lovely sisters - in just two days! On Wednesday, Leslie and I are off to Asheville with them to attend American Vision's Second Annual Worldview Superconference! Then, the Zimmermans will be honored guests in our home for about another week-and-a-half. I shall have oodles of pictures to post, so keep checking our family blog!
Every day, my phone rings with a call from Alaska, and I am normally busy talking and studying for about the next hour or two with Tait. The consistency of his calls has earned him the nickname "The Pesky Alaskan" (PA for short) from Leslie.
Today is exactly one year since we met Tait at that conference in the out-of-the-way town of Toccoa, GA. The respect that each person in my family holds for him has only grown with time. He has vision and a desire to truly bring everything, every thought, into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Tait has a wonderful blog, Not by Bread Alone, and has posted a "courting post" too. Click over to read his perspective and a slightly more detailed account of our first meeting last May 26th. He hasn't had a chance to blog very much recently (all that phone time!), but has lots of great articles from the last few years.
Your prayers are appreciated as we continue to seek God's will.