Forty-three and counting

I remember the first thing he said to me.

The Fourth of July had dawned and as a member of the staff at the church where I worked I was expected to attend the annual barbecue and family picnic at the church’s campgrounds. I found members of my singles college and career Sunday School class to hang around with as we waited with others in line for our burger.

He passed by, a grin I would learn to recognize as mischief, on his face. He looked at my peasant dress. “I don’t like long dresses,” he said. “They cover up the view.”

Shock notwithstanding, I placed him in a file of my brain that said—Beware! Not suitable marriage material. I didn’t see him again that afternoon until he strode across the parking lot and climbed into his 1930 Model A pickup. No kidding.

The following week he came to the church office and invited me to lunch. Like Eve sampling the forbidden fruit in the Garden, I decided to risk the encounter. That was the beginning of a relationship that continued to grow despite setbacks, disagreements, and other challenges.

Four years after we met, we married.

This week we will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of our wedding day. Not enough words nor pages exist to contain all of the life we have lived together. We’ve survived health issues, parenting challenges, deaths, births, and financial ups and downs. With each trial we pulled together, making a stronger force to withstand the testing we endured. With each victory we emerged like iron tested by fire, forged together and strengthened by the grace of God.

Matthew 19:5,6: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. . . What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

Happy Anniversary to my husband, my lover, my best friend.


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