who is this guy? could he be santa?

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2002 wedding pic p&e

Joy Story #8

Who is this guy? He is my husband and I love him!

I’m so thankful for what God has done for me. I have a storehouse of treasures that have sustained me when I was overwhelmed by some of life’s troubles. Details about my heartache are not important… God knows all about it. I constantly cried out to the Lord and He heard me. He gave me a promise: Job 11:16-19 “Surely you will forget your troubles, recalling them only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noon day, and the darkness will become like the morning. You will be secure because there is hope; you will look about and take your rest in safety. You will lie down with no one to make you afraid. And many will court your favor.”

In 1999, with circumstances beyond my control, I became a single mom. Though the future seemed unclear to me, I knew God is always faithful! Later, a minister prayed for me, asking God to send someone into my life. He didn’t know anything about my situation. When he prayed that prayer, it made me fearful because I wasn’t ready to entrust my heart to another.  I specifically wrote in my journal, “God, I am alone and fearful and my children are almost grown. I don’t want to even think about sharing my heart with someone. But, I know that your plan for my life is good. If you choose to send someone into my life, they would have to love, honor and cherish me, as Christ loved the church, and even spoil me.” There… it was written and I left my thoughts and fears on that page.

When revival swept across our nation, God was doing something new in my heart and I began pursing Him like never before. Anytime I entered that special place of worship, God would shower me with His love. Even now, the thought of those past experiences warms my heart. He still comes near. One day, during worship, I asked the Lord, “Why do you keep pouring Your love on me, over and over again?” He said, “Because, I want you to recognize true love when it comes your way.”

Let’s take a walk several months down the road. I was invited to a birthday party for a friend. There were several people from our church attending. This one guy noticed as I was leaving, that my tail light was burnt. He told me that if I wanted to meet him at Walmart, he’d change it for me. I told him sure and he followed me to the store. Little did I know that he had been looking for an opportunity to talk to me. As he nervously looked for the tail light, I asked him if something was wrong. Was he okay? He said he would tell me later. Then it was me who started to get nervous. What does he have to tell me? About 15 crazy minutes later, my tail light was changed and he spoke very softly saying, “I would like to talk to you about something.” He didn’t think I heard him, but I did. I asked, “You said something?” He repeated what he said. I told him, “Well, it’s starting to rain. Come sit in my car and tell me.” I kid you not… this is the exact words he said to me. “I would like to pursue a relationship with you. I want to love, honor and cherish you, as Christ loved the church, and even spoil you.”

The friendship begins. He took me on a date and we had so much fun! We went to dinner and walked around the mall. It was Christmas time and Santa was taking pictures with the children. Phil asked them if he could take a picture with me and he wanted to wear Santa’s hat. Santa didn’t like that idea. He kept trying to stand behind the chair to be in our picture. Phil finally had to tell him that we didn’t want him in our picture and the photographer made him move away. We had so many laughs over that. So…. a few days later, I received this:
flowers from santaThese beautiful flowers arrived at my desk with a note attached. It read, “To Ms. Eva from Santa”  Everyone at the office was trying to figure out who Santa was. The bouquet arrangement had 8 beautiful pink roses (my favorite), with the vase filled with Hershey’s Kisses and a small bottle of cologne attached to the ribbon. He told me later that the Lord told him specifically – 8 pink roses, adding, “Nothing but the best for my daughter.” So he did it. Also, he questioned, “Why 8 roses?”Later on the Lord showed him that the number 8 represents new beginnings.  He also added the Hershey’s kisses, saying that he wanted to fill my life with kisses to heal my broken heart. And the cologne was the kind that I was wearing. Only one person guessed who Santa was, saying, “If I had to pick Santa for Eva, it would be Phillip Sonnier.”

Two years later, I became Mrs. Phillip Sonnier. We’ve been married almost 14 years and are still in love. He is everything the Lord knew I needed. He loves my children like his own. We have so much fun doing life together!

This is our story… it always puts a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart.  I’m so thankful that God brought us together.

I’ll share more about God’s faithfulness to us in the next few posts. Come back tomorrow to hear about the times God literally saved my husband’s life.

Living in His joy!
Eva Raye

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