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Catch a Falling Star
The couple had broken up once before. Could Steve show her he was a changed man?

"I think it’d be best if we went our separate ways.” While Steve Beam had been looking forward to a romantic holiday with his girlfriend, Shonette Wilson, this was the last thing he expected. “She gave me no explanation!” Steve chuckles now. “There was no time for that. We were on our way to the airport when she dumped me!”

Steve Beam

Welcoming God

Up to that point, life had been a beach for Steve, literally. Born and raised in Bermuda, one of five siblings, the athletic Steve was a professional salsa instructor and the coach of the national tennis team. He taught physical education and physics with a passion and was popular with teachers and students alike. Then came the fateful drive to the airport.

“While the timing was not good,” says a rueful Steve, “I wasn’t totally surprised by the announcement.” Shonette was a devout member of The Salvation Army—indeed, her father was a pastor at one of the Army churches on the island. For his part, Steve, though brought up a Christian, had let his faith lapse. “She was a believer and I was not,” he states. “Spiritually, we were not a match.”

A disappointed Steve went on the trip alone and took serious stock of his life and how things had gone up to that point. “I had no real problems, I was successful and I had developed a very independent way of thinking and way of life. I felt I didn’t need anything outside of what I had.” But this was the third relationship that had crashed and burned. Something was missing in his life. “I realized that something was God.”

When Steve returned to Bermuda, he started to attend different churches but none took hold of his heart. One evening, he decided to go to a Salvation Army service. While there was an Army church just blocks away from his house, Shonette attended that one, so Steve headed into town.

Steve had never been to a service like that. “I was welcomed at the door,” he marvels, “and the Salvationists there were warm and friendly.” During the service, many got up to share their own touching stories of faith. Steve was shaken to his core by their sincerity. “Right there and then, I knew I had welcomed God back into my life,” he says.

Turn-around salvation

From that day forward, Steve was a changed man. He started attending church on a regular basis, faithfully read his Bible every morning and began growing spiritually. “I felt my life changing, my thoughts changing,” he recalls.

Through all this, Steve had never given up on Shonette. They continued to stay friends and even went to salsa dances together. She had not dated since the break-up and that encouraged Steve to hope he still had a chance.

Before they stopped dating, Shonette told Steve she had prayed to God to give her a sign that Steve wasn’t the right man for her, and He had shown her through a falling star. “Shonette was convinced that I was not for her,” continues Steve. “But I was a different person now than the one she had known. God had shaped and moulded my life and made me a better person.” How was he to convince her?

So Steve prayed, “God, I’m a changed man. Why do you still have me in Shonette’s life? Lord, if we are meant to be more than just friends, show me the same way you showed her.”

At that moment, a star flashed through the Bermuda night sky.

The next day, Steve went to Shonette and explained what had taken place. Outwardly, nothing changed in their relationship but their close friends knew that a transformation had occurred. And in August, Shonette told Steve she was interested in taking their friendship to another level. This past September, Steve asked Shonette’s father for her hand in marriage. “He was elated,” Steve reports. They were engaged in the fall and plan to get married in 2008.

“We’ve never been happier,” says Steve. “God has a way of working things out in His time. I’d been patient, but He was the one who turned me around.”

Ken Ramstead is the associate editor of Faith & Friends.

Originally published in Faith & Friends, November 2007..




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