For the preceding chapters to this story, here is Chapter 1, and Chapter 2.
In this final chapter...
My mother is up in northern Norway, helping to manage her fathers general store in Tromso. An avid cross country skiier, she also took advtantage of the winter months to ski often. She began working with the young people in her church. All during this time, she was praying daily about her future. What did God want for her life? Where did He want her?
She also asked Him about marriage, reminding Him that way up there in the northern part of Norway... there was ' not a prospect in her town!"... She asked Him to guide her to the right choice of a life partner, and that if He didn't have marriage in mind, that He would make her satisfied and fulfilled without it. She never thought of marriage as the ultimate in life, but prayed for God's will to be clear.
She treasured the times up in that attic room where she dared to be completely herself and honest with God as she asked for His leading.
The next summer she was attending a youth conference way up north, and they were having a Bible study the day after they arrived. During the study, a side door opened and a man came in. She said she looked, and whistled softly to herself! He was young and VERY good looking and he had a beautiful head of hair! She whispered 'who is he'? to the girl next to her. She whispered back that he was a minister from America... My mother suddenly remembered her friend's letter and wondered if this could possibly be the same man she had written about. Then she said she did something she wouldn't recommend - she did not listen to the rest of the Bible study... instead, she was frantically trying to remember enough English to put together a sentence so she could ask him if he knew her friends... Later, they were duly introduced, and in stumbling English she asked. Sure enough, he smiled and said he had stayed in their home.
She told us that she said nothing right then, but just groaned inwardly and pronto! she fell 'head over heels' in love! She used to say 'if you don't believe in love at first sight, I am here to prove otherwise!".
Of course, this American preacher didn't even LOOK at her a second time. She tried every trick, but nothing worked. She said "not ONE TIME during that whole week did I get ANY encouragement". She almost despaired, thinking he probably had someone back in America.
It was a memorable week in more ways than one. God was doing a real work in the hearts of the young people gathered there. Many of them found the meaning of life as they came to Christ. The news of the conference began to spread, and people kept coming, some of them walking down the valley for up to 20 miles to be there. There were so many people that they ended up moving the services outside where they erected a platform and continued the meetings. And in the midst of all of it... my mother was in love!
When the closing day came, and everyone began to leave, she was waiting in line to say her goodbyes to the leaders. She wondered if she would ever see the American preacher again... was he going to leave without saying ANYTHING? Then, as he came closer and it was her turn, he did say something. Smiling... he shook her hand and said "God bless you"... She said her heart sank down into her shoes!
As soon as the boat with all of the speakers had left, she headed straight up to the 'prophets chamber' and got on her knees and started to REALLY pray! She could hear the whistle of the boat taking him far away...The direction of her prayers right then was not for the missionaries in Africa... she was praying according to her need! She told God... "I am in love up over both of my ears and there isn't anything I can do about it. If you see that this is good, lead us together again... or take the love out of my heart."... She felt that was a 'fair prayer'.
SHE TOLD NO ONE... but she spoke to God about it every day, many times. The love stayed, so she kept on praying!
Three months later, at the end of October, after the first frost had covered the ground, a friend of hers asked her one day... "Do you remember the minister from America?" Guess what she said!... Then her friend said, 'I've heard he is coming back again on another preaching trip'.... And RIGHT THEN... my mother KNEW with a deep inward assurance that God had heard her prayer and was going to bring them together!!
Sure enough! When my father returned to Tromso, he and my mother met again and eventually took that 'unforgettable walk'... he told her that he had felt the same about her, right from the start! (She said later that 'he sure didn't act like it!)... But he was afraid of getting out of God's will and into what he called 'girl trouble'. He had prayed basically the same prayer as his ship left Norway 3 months earlier, (she said his was no doubt in much better words than hers!)...
And although their meeting and love story ends with this chapter, it really was just the beginning. They were married in Tromso, and moved to America immediately, and their love and their life and their ministry together continued for 65 years... they are both in heaven now, but oh. my. goodness... what they have left for us as their 3 children, continues in us and in our children and grandchildren. ... there are 100's of stories I could tell... of a life lived by faith, the whole way...(I mean the kind of faith that has no salary, only trusts in God to provide... and He did, the whole way!)...
I'll add a story from 'within' their story, from time to time...