The courtship between Isaac and the Princess began slowly. They spent the first six weeks building boundaries and coming to an agreement with each other about their conduct, visiting, and the children. It was different from the dating she had attempted out in the world. They did not sleep together, instead they chose to honour the King and wait.
Of necessity the courtship included the children, who the King regarded as fatherless. The children, who had always known that Isaac would one day come, were gracious to him and welcomed him. The way they saw it, his had been the empty chair at the dinner table. In turn Isaac cared for the children and started to forge deep bonds with them. Although the Princess had not “fallen in love” with Isaac, he had her liking and respect. From the start she preferred Isaac over Ishmael, because of his allegiance to the King. Her heart held no secrets, only shadows. There was a peace, a deep contentment that went beyond all understanding. All was well with her soul.
The Princess visited Isaac with her children. He lived in an old cottage just off the beach, in a street sheltered by Norfolk pines and black sand dunes. The rolling waves of the Tasman Sea could be heard, sometimes a soft murmur, other times a loud roar.
One day she walked into his old cottage, at his invitation, following him into the kitchen as he made coffee. He leaned against the bench holding out his arms for her. As she folded herself into his inviting embrace she smiled. Her head fitted just beneath his chin. “Thank you for keeping yourself in shape” Isaac said as he smiled down at her. “Same to you” she replied, smiling. He wasn’t big on compliments. She preferred his honesty to the charm of Silver-tongue and Ishmael.
Isaac ticked all the boxes – they only thing he lacked was money. He had made a start on renovating his cottage, but had been unable to continue, clearly. His old car was in the same condition as the house.
The Princess stayed silent at church about their relationship. In the late summer, shortly after the courtship began, a stranger came to visit her home group. The stranger, a Scots woman who lived in Florida, came bearing a gift for them all – a word of knowledge for every person there.
When it came time for the Princess to receive her word, the woman bid her and the man sitting next to her to come forward. The Princess shook her head; “No, I am not with him. I am on my own.” The prophet replied in her rich Scottish voice; “You are not on your own. There is a man, and you are going to be married. You have asked the Lord about that man, is he the one? Yes, he is the one God has chosen. He has been waffling, but now he knows! You have come from a very hard place. Your life has been like a desert. The desert is going to bloom. You are precious, very precious to Him. You used to have very bad nightmares. You will never be bothered by those again. You have dreams. God will speak to others out of these dreams.”
The room went silent as every eye was fastened on the Princess. The prophet moved to the next person, saying “… the almond trees are in bloom, they are in bloom.”
The Princess tried hard to keep her feelings in check, but the tears started to flow and her chin quivered. The joy and wonder could not be contained. She knew the King had paid her a very deep honour, and she thanked the prophet for delivering the word He had given her. When she came back to earth, she grinned. The Princess had not revealed anything to anyone at home group about Isaac. Now their courtship had been announced despite her best efforts at keeping it quiet, and the whole church would soon know. As soon as she got home the joy bubbled over. She laughed as she delivered the King’s message to Isaac.