There is great value in your love story. In the rush of life, it is easy to forget why you wanted to marry that man
snoring sleeping beside you every night. Because it is the month of love and because I need this, I am remembering my love story today.
On a hot Alabama July Sunday morning, with the sun broken by the stained glass, I made the decision to take my focus off the pursuit of relationships and make Christ my focus. I went forward at the end of the service, broken. I poured my sacrifice out on the alter (Psalm 51:17). I left the broken pieces of my heart, the hurt received and delivered, the skewed priorities. He took it all.
After the service, eyes red from the cleansing, I saw him. He was the new interim youth minister. I knew that if I were going to actually live out my decision, he was one person I would need to know. I remember introducing myself. His smile was charming, but my vision was fixed on my Savior. Soon, the two images would share the same frame.
After our first meeting, David and I spent the next year developing a friendship. I was running hard after God, trying to make up for lost time and past mistakes. He was trying to juggle work, family, and leading a bunch of students to a deeper relationship with Christ. I appreciated that last part immensely. I was so hungry for more, more, more of God. He had all of these wonderful concepts to share, his college brain full of ideas and truths. David became one of my closest friends. He encouraged me toward faith and faithfulness through all of the stresses a girl has at 18.
The time came for my dear friend to return to Mobile to finish school. By this time, my heart was his, although he didn’t know it. He left; I cried. We kept up with phone calls (the 10 cents a minute variety as cell phones were rare for us common folk) and letters (paper and pen…no email back then!). When he came home for a visit, he usually made time for an outing with some of us students. And sometimes it was just me, David, coffee, and good conversation. I looked forward to those visits more than anything.
My prayers changed. My whole outlook on relationships changed. He became the standard by which I compared all the others. I struggled through the wait, praying for God to direct my heart according to His purpose for my life.
(from my prayer journal, July 5, 1996)
I can see how the past 1 1/2 years of being single have been super. I have learned so much about You and me and who I am through You. I feel like I am ready for what you have for me. But, I am very far from knowing what is best. I know, or think, that I love David. I want to be with him forever. But “my thoughts are not your thoughts.” So, instead of worrying, wondering, and waiting for it to happen on my level, I give my concern to You. You can handle it better than me! I have read how you changed Pharaoh’s heart to read your will. If it is not your will for me to be with David, I need my heart changed. I need to . . . stop reading stuff into our conversations. It can not be done by me, so I will stop trying. I give you my heart and my words.
I met David the next night for a movie. I left my heart with God and got in his car.
That is the night he changed my life. We sat under the stars, each one placed in the perfect place by its Creator. He asked me if I felt something more than friendship. I think my words were, “If you hadn’t said something tonight, I would have!” Through our deepening friendship and under the watchful eye of our Creator, I fell in love with my best friend.
We were married two years later in that same church, sunlight streaming through those same stained glass windows. The last 17 years have been full of bliss, pain, babies, moving boxes, illness, and laughter. Even still, the warmth of those two July days–the day we met and the day we fell in love–can melt my heart.