Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Rest of the Story...

I had great intentions of telling our story yesterday but discovered after starting that our favorite coffee shop with free wifi was closing in 20 minutes, so I quickly posted a greatly abbreviated version and called it good. Today I'd like to share the rest of the story...

Back in 1977, shortly after I was saved, I went to a Christian camp where I was challenged to consider becoming a missionary. Okay, so what's next? I wondered. I talked to the speaker and don't remember much of what he said EXCEPT (1) if I wanted to be a missionary and (2) wanted to be married, then I'd better (3) make sure I married a missionary!

Taking that to heart, a year later I left for college where I met a handsome young man who was planning to be a missionary, and promptly fell head-over-heels in love. It was literally love at first sight. I met him a few weeks into the semester at church, and went back and told my roommate I'd met the guy I was going to marry. You can imagine how she responded!

He and I ended up spending a lot of time at the library. Me because my roommate was not the studious type. Our room was a great place to have fun, yes. Study, no. He was at the library because one of his professors had put a number of books on reserve that the students had to consult for a big paper due in that class. We ended up studying at the same table every time. Funny how that happened!

For some reason I got it into my head that he was going to ask me out after he finished that paper, which was due on Friday, October 13th. Seriously.

So that Friday I waited for him to call or come by. Waited and waited and waited. And he didn't come. I was crushed! About 6 p.m. I found another friend in the dorm and we decided to gather up the gang and head to the campus snack shop. When we went to the library to find our friends, we also found him! He was there looking for me :-)

Our first date was simply a walk around the small college town. We walked and talked for HOURS my friends. Our second date was to a Bible study I'd been attending. And we saw each other at church on Sunday. And continued to spend a LOT of time at the library. It was our "spot".

Sunday, October 29th, he offered to drive me back to campus after the evening service. On the way we stopped at a little park on the lake to talk. Or at least that was the idea but I found myself doing all the talking. He was quiet by nature but this particular evening he wasn't saying ANYTHING AT ALL. Awkward! Finally I asked what he was thinking about.

"I'm thinking I'd like to ask you to marry me but I guess it's too soon," he said, not looking at me. Well. I waited at least two or three seconds before responding, "How long do you have to wait?" Yes I did! You think I'd let such an opportunity slip through my fingers? I think not!

So we became engaged. But secretly. He was concerned what his parents would say/think/do. His dad was in Iowa, visiting some of their supporting churches, and he wanted to wait until his dad returned home before breaking the news. So we had THREE WEEKS to keep our secret.

Can you imagine any girl being engaged and not telling someone?! Of course not! So I told one dear friend who promised to keep our secret safe.

And you know his parents offered little resistance. They did ask us to consider waiting until we were finished with college before getting married, but they understood when we said that wasn't possible. I mean, come on! That was three years away! Not going to happen.

We got more flak from friends. And they were right to be concerned. We had known each other such a short time. We were very different, came from very different backgrounds...the list goes on and on. But when has anyone in love ever listened to calmer heads?

We were attending a very conservative Christian college that did not allow students to get married during the school year without special permission. Which we did not have nor were we likely to get. So we waited until the weekend after school let out the next spring and were married on May 26, 1979.

We took Marriage & The Family the semester before the wedding, which was good on many levels, not the least of which was the assignment to plan a wedding. Not sure I would have had time to plan one otherwise! As it was, the invitations were sent out late because I happened to be in the middle of mid-terms when they should have been mailed. But it all worked out and we had a lovely, very simple ceremony.

And that's how this southern girl met the boy who was even more southern (you can't go any farther south than Argentina!), fell in love and got married. BY THE GRACE OF GOD we have been married for 29 years and BY HIS GRACE we will continue this journey together.

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