There once was a young man named Stephan. He was tall and very good looking. He had a gentle spirit, and was very kind and generous. The only thing wrong with him was his heart was broken. And it needed to be repaired. You see, Stephan's parents divorced when he was a young man in college. This affected his life more than anyone realized. He refused to allow himself to be vunerable, so he made up his mind he would keep his broken heart to himself and never let anyone in. He refused to allow himself to love or be loved.
One day Stephan met Traci. She was tall and beautiful. She had a simple faith in her. She trusted people and believed love was the greatest element of life. She believed man cannot live without it. She too had a broken heart. A man she had grown up with and married had left her. After dating Stephan for a long period of time, she became pregnant. Stephan was furious with her for putting him in this position, so he turned his back on her. Traci had already fallen in love with Stephan from the first moment they met. She knew he kept a guard around his heart, so she could not reach him and make it right.
Then one day in her desperation, Traci cried out to God for help. He met her immediately and started a new life for her and her new baby girl, Alexandra. He became the husband to her, the father to Alexandra and their provider. But deep in Traci's heart, she could not forget the love she felt for Stephan. She would pray and ask God if Stephan was never to come back, to remove this love from her heart for him. But she told God she knew Stephan needed love more than anything and he needed Him most of all.
Several years went by, Stephan always paid his child support,and he always spent time with his daughter, Alexandra. Alexandra was able to find her own spot in the heart of a man that spent his life trying to shield his heart from such a love. But God knew that Stephan could not refuse his own blood, nor the love of his own child. One day, when Alexandra was 4 years old, Stephan had taken her to school that morning. She jumped out of his pick up truck and saw these three rocks laying on the ground. Stephan asked her, "whatcha got there?" She looked up at him with her big eyes and simple faith, and spoke these precious words to her daddy, "These three rocks are you, me and mommie. Daddy, you need to marry my mommy." Stephan's heart began from that day to soften once again.
Alexandra did not know the value of her simple little words she had spoken that day, but her daddy did. His heart began to change. He started recognizing that Traci had needs, not just as the mother of his daughter, but as a woman. He had turned his heart against her, but the light was starting to shine in that dark place once again. So much time had passed, but Traci had never given up on him. She had determined long ago never to use Alexandra to manipulate him. She knew it had to be his own will and desire or she would never be secure in his feelings for her. She waited for Stephan to realize what he was missing in his own way and his own time.
On June 1, 2002 Stephan and Traci were married. The pastor told the crowd on their wedding day about the three rocks Alexandra had found and gave to her daddy. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. The day they got married, the three of them, Stephan, Traci and Alexandra walked down the isle together to unite their family before God, and all who loved and knew them. Alexandra held her parents hands as they said their wedding vows. Later that afternoon, Stephan told Traci he was so thankful she had never given up on him. He knew if she had, his life would have been over. She said to him, I will never give up on you, I love you.
Three months later, Traci and Stephan found out they were going to have another child. Her name was Abigail Hope, born May 12, 2003. Traci chose the name Abigal Hope because Abigail means Her Father's Joy and Hope means exactly that Hope! Alexandra told her daddy the day Abigail was born they had to find another rock for Abigail so the set would be complete.
The Bible says a child will lead them. This is so true. This is a story of redemption, love, patience and faith. Stephan's heart was broken, but it was mended by the simple love of a child. God made something beautiful out of something that started from sin. We must never give up on love and never lose hope. Love is truly the greatest element of life. It is what keeps us going. It is what makes us who we are. Without it, we are truly nothing. And God knows this. Isn't it wonderful that God knows exactly what we need.
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Traci, thank you so much for sharing your story here. It touched my heart so much. I'm absolutely rejoicing that the Lord used your beautiful daughter to reach her Daddy and bring you all together. My only suggestion would be to just break up that one really huge paragraph so that the key points could be really emphasised. Other than that, I just want to say that I was blessed to be able to read your story and rejoice with you at what the Lord has done! With love, Deb