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God Speaks Through Hot Chocolate

(Sept. 22, 2013)

How do you know a life is changed? You pray for years, dreaming of the day when he comes home with a fully repentant heart. A life surrendered to God.  But how do you know it’s for real?

I remember struggling with these very thoughts regarding my husband.  We had a very difficult marriage filled with sin and deception. After nine years of marriage he announced that he didn’t love me anymore and was leaving me.  Knowledge of the affair and the child he would have with her proved tragic for all of us.  Months turned into years of separation.  After about seven years of watching for the change, it happened.  Not as I expected and sweeter than I had dreamed.

It was the week of Valentines Day.  He had been living back in the house and staying in the spare room.  His offer to come back was coupled with a promise to remodel the spare bathroom.  An offer I could not resist.  He asked me “will you please be my Valentine”?  Although a sweet gesture, I was filled with fear and anxiety.  There was no way I could trust again.  Yes he could live in the house.  He was paying for it and he was the father of our child. But to offer him my heart again caused me to hyperventilate with fear.  He continued to ask until I finally agreed to let him take me to dinner that Thursday night, Valentine’sDay.  I remember praying and fasting that day, asking God for strength and to protect my heart.  “No expectations”, I would repeat all day leading up to dinner that night, as a protective shield.  He ended up cooking me dinner and taking me to the beach to serve it to me.  He commented that the restaurants would be full and he didn’t want me to have to wait to eat.  After dinner, he gave me a simple box.  The thoughts of “no expectations” continued to race through my mind and shield my heart.  Although the contents of the box was beautiful, his words were much more.  It was a  diamond engagement ring.  He had attached it to a bracelet with large links and various crosses as charms to add to the surprise.  He spoke these words to me “you deserved this ring the day we were married”.  All the guilt went away.  He reminded me of the day we met and the love we had then.  It was still there.  With the memory of these last few moments together, we began to drive home.  I am still hesitant and apprehensive thinking that although beautiful, how could any material item and a dinner on the beach fix all the years of pain and deception I had endured?  How could I be sure that his heart was changed and not just his mind?  God was about to show me.  He knew me so well, knew what I was feeling and what I was thinking. James asked if I wanted coffee. We loved Dunkin Donuts coffee and saw it as a special treat to share.  As we pulled up to the drive through, he didn’t even ask what to order for me because he already knew. A medium decaf coffee with four cream and four sugars. Then he ordered his, regular coffee with six cream and six sugars.  What he said next was straight from God’s lips to my heart.  He said “and can you give me a white hot chocolate too”?  I asked him why a white hot chocolate.  And he said “for Avery”.  In the midst of all the thoughts of us, in him trying to make it all right with me, he remembered the purest, most innocent one in all of this, our daughter.  Many times I had prayed, “God, if not for me,for Avery”.  If God was not going to fix our marriage I could live with that but I wanted so desperately for Avery to have her daddy back.  God spoke to me over a white hot chocolate at Dunkin Donuts. He said “you can trust him, I have changed his heart”.  From that moment on I did.  I saw the change in him and he was not only my husband again, he was a loving, generous dad again.  And for the next year he loved us like a Queen and Princess.  God in His mercy, changed this man’s heart, let him love and serve us for a year as evidence of this change, then took him home in a tragic motorcycle accident as his rode to work one morning.  I am so grateful that God spoke through hot chocolate that Valentine’s Day, so I can know that James made it.  He is with my Savior in Heaven.  Until we meet again James, I promise to listen for God’s voice as He speaks to my heart even if it’s over a cup of hot chocolate.

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