We were supposed to do a short concert that night before the service started. We did so and then filed down from the platform and sat on the front row of the church. I was placed by the leader for some reason right in the middle of the row. When it was time for the preaching to begin, that guy that I had seen in the office of our leader walked up and plopped his bible on the podium and began preaching. Well, I found out pretty quick who "he" was.
After the service was over, someone suggested we go to Pizza Hut for dinner. No one in my group wanted to go eat and I so wanted to meet this guy. I finally found someone who would go with me and we headed to the restaraunt. My girlfriend and I walked in and found a table that no one else was sitting at. I was hoping when this guy came in that he would come and sit at our table. He finally arrived and looked around the room. I then thought I had lost my opportunity because he had pulled out a chair at another table. He suddenly looked up, saw and smiled at me, and then walked to my table and asked if anyone was sitting there. I took a gulp of air and said, "no, you can". His friend and he sat down and we began our journey of getting to know each other. When it was time to go, I really thought that was the end of it. He then asked if he could take my phone number and wrote it down on a napkin. I really thought that that napkin would never make it home but...
That is truly how it all started. There was only one problem. He was in college in Kentucky, which was only about 500 miles away. There were no cell phones or texting to communicate. However, his dear parents allowed him to call me several times a week and he visited me once a month. Almost a year later, he asked me to marry him. I did, December 29, 1979. We left the next day for Ft Worth, TX for him to go to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and our life began. I had graduated by then in Nursing and found a job there in a hospital in Ft. Worth. Since we hadn't done much dating, we quite enjoyed ourselves in the big cities, (Dallas and Ft. Worth) and truly got to know each other. What could have become quite a disaster because we really didn't know each other that much, truly was a union from God.
People ask what we have done to stay committed. Our first thing to say is that we decided from the start to have a Christian marriage, truly honor our commitment and plain old stuck with it through everything. Has it been easy? No, especially while the kids were small. Neither of us are perfect, so there is no perfect marriage. Are we always happy? That answer is no. However, we are very glad we made the decision that we did, because it is so worth it. As I write this, our kids are all gone for the new year. We decided to stay home with each other and celebrate the new year just by ourselves and are loving it.
That's our story. I of course left out truly a lot of our 30 year history. I truly have a story to tell and I will someday of our journey as man and wife and pastor and pastor's wife but not tonight. I just wrote this for our kids and anyone who wants to read it. Marriage isn't easy but it can surely be a blessing if you choose to stay with it. It takes two to say I'm sorry. And one more thing, love grows as the years pass and you will never have a best friend like your mate.
Happy New Year.