I’ll never forget when my love and I begin dating. We were barely 16 and very green.
I had started a new job at a local restaurant in our town and that was where it all began. We call it our “Bob Evans love story” and every time we go there, our boys giggle that Mommy and Daddy fell in love there. =)
Rick asked our boss if he could “train” me even though he was still in training himself.. and the rest is history.
Rick has always made me laugh (still does). I just thought he was so funny. But there was something about him I couldn’t point out. Something was just so different about him.
I’ll never forget the first time he asked me to come to Church with him. And boy was I surprised to hear that his Dad was a Preacher. I wasn’t really the “dating a Preacher’s son” type of girl. But I accepted his invitation and that was when God changed my life forever.
I remember vividly that day when Rick’s Dad (now my Pastor) was preaching on being unequally yoked. I didn’t understand it all at the time, but now it makes so much sense to me. Rick and I were very different at that time.
After the service, I asked Rick to explain to me further what all of this meant and what “salvation” was? I had so many questions about the things his Dad was preaching about.
Rick sat down with me on the swing set behind our Church and started to explain all of this to me.
It was in that moment, I found why Rick was so different than me. And that day I was able to obtain what he had… I had no idea it would be so easy.
Right there on that swing in August of 1999, I bowed my head and asked Jesus Christ to forgive me and come into my heart and save me. It was the beginning of another beautiful relationship; mine and the Lords.
I was no longer “different” from the love of my life. I was now adopted into this family of God and I had the assurance of Jesus as my Savior and Heaven as my home.
There was no greater feeling than what I felt the moments after I accepted Christ. And I’m sure it was a weight off of my sweet Rick’s shoulders as well.
Out of all the sweet Godly young ladies in our Church and Christian School, he chose me; just a young girl searching for what life was really all about… Isn’t God good?
The weeks following me getting saved were very sweet and I specifically remember Rick’s sweet Momma giving me a Bible and taking me under her wing. To this day I always joke with her telling her I’m sorry God didn’t answer her prayer for a godly young lady to marry her only son. But He knew. And the truth is, she’s proud of me. She even called to tell me that today. =)
Once I found myself submerged in my Bible and attending Church faithfully, God truly began working on my heart. He changed me in more ways than I could have imagined. I changed the places I went, how I talked, what I wore and the friends I hung around. It wasn’t ever easy being a teenage girl, but it was all worth it.
As Rick went off to college my last two years of High School (he graduated early) I sometimes remember myself feeling very alone. Rick was my rock. He understood my changes and new-found convictions when I felt like none of my friends and family did. Yet the Lord came in to fill that void and help me to grow. And though Rick and I spent this time apart from each other in miles, we had never been closer to each other and the Lord, until now.
I remember Rick being my biggest encourager. He would give me advice and spiritual help and he truly has helped me to get to where I am in my Christian walk today. But one thing he told me has always stood out in my mind when it comes to our relationship; What place God holds.
I’ll never forget him telling me that our relationship is like a triangle. He is at one point, and I am at the other, with the Lord at the very top. The closer I get to God, the closer I get to Rick and so forth.
He drew out a little diagram to help me and it has always been so special. Here’s an example.
I’ve always loved how Rick has taken the time to help me to better myself and in the Lord. He’s amazing. Some days I find myself getting teary eyed at just how wonderful of a man God has given me. I trust him so much. I rely on him. And oh how I love him.
It’s a really special thing our love story and I’m so grateful for it.
For without my Rick inviting me to Church that hot August day, and that message my Pastor preached that spoke right to my heart, I really wonder where I would be today?
Would I be saved? Would I know of my Heavenly father who loves me so much that he gave His Son for me?
I believed in God and I knew who Jesus was and that He died, but I never realized it was for me!
Oh what a blessing. Oh what trust I have in my God.
For He has carried me through some of the darkest of times, and He has given me a wonderful Husband to be by my side. I’m so grateful for that.
I’ll never forget after the passing of our daughter Madeline, my doctor talking with Rick and I at our post partum appointment. He told us this… ” More than 80% of couples who lose a child end up in divorce.” 80 %!!!!
But he encouraged us to lean on each other and God. And that is exactly what we’ve done.
And now as we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage this July, I thank God; even for the trials.
Because those trials taught us to trust God more than we ever thought we would need to.
We trust Him because He knows all things.
We trust Him because He loves us.
And we trust Him because He has a plan… and it’s perfect.
It hasn’t always been an easy road for Rick and I, but it’s been worth it. And even if we did not get to spend another day on earth together ( of course I’m praying for many more) but I know we will have eternity together in Heaven. We will be reunited again with our Madeline Grace and with our Lord.
God is good.
Do you know him? Do you have your trust in Him?
He loves you so.
Are you struggling today friend? Do you feel like there is a gap between you and your Husband? Pull yourself closer to God, and if your Husband will too, you will find yourself in the best place you can be; right smack dab in the center of Gods will together.
And I can’t think of a better place to be. =)
Thanks for sharing in on a portion of our story. We are blessed.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.