In December we will celebrate 40 years of marriage and ministry. Since we are hundreds of miles away from family and many friends, we want to celebrate with you—a kind of virtual party! So in the next few months we are going to share some snippets from our 40 years together. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy remembering them!
The very first time we went somewhere together was to lead Revival services at First Baptist Briggs, Texas! Alan calls it our “first date”, but honestly, I don’t consider doing music and preaching for a church exactly a date! And we weren’t exactly a couple. I consider our first date as the Friday after we became engaged. That’s right. Alan was my Music & Youth Minister in my home church. We weren’t allowed to “date” while I was in the youth group. Most people are shocked at this and ask, “Then how could you be engaged if you never dated?”
Well, here’s the deal. I believe with all of my heart that God really protected us from the social pressures that dating always brings. We were just friends. Truly. We spent time together with other youth and talked about all kinds of things—spiritual, general, personal. We spent time together with other youth building a youth hang out and leading Bible studies in the park. A foundation was laid in Jesus Christ (HE was really all we had in common at the time!) And that foundation developed toward a deeper relationship. Over the months of my Senior Year in High School we became very good friends and prayer partners. I’m not joking! I don’t really think until after graduation that either of us allowed ourselves to think the relationship would go anywhere, much less be anything permanent.
But, the LORD indeed works in mysterious ways. I have to say… we’ve not just survived, but thrived for 40 years… and still counting… so who’s to argue?
“Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Matthew 19:6b, ESV