If follow me on social media, you may have seen the post that recently we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. Sometimes it’s just hard to comprehend how long we have been together. We’re at that stage of our relationship where we think alike, react alike and often walk out of the closet not realizing we are dressed alike. I often say we are ‘one.’
Ours was a crazy beginning. We met through a mutual friend and fell hard for each other. Teri told me after a week of being together every day that she loved me. And while I met her expression of affection with a ‘deer in headlights’ stare, I knew I loved her too. So much so that I asked her to marry me two weeks later and three months after that we said our ‘I do’s.’
And here we are, now having spent more than half of our lives together, our love growing deeper every day, if that’s even possible.
People often ask what our secret is, how we make it work day after day, year after year. For me, I think it’s because I know she is exactly who God designed for me. He’s the center of our relationship, the rock on which we’ve built our lives together. She completes me and makes me better and stronger than I am on my own.
I talk a lot about love and relationships in my book, sharing one story in particular that has always fascinated me about how God shows us His plans for us. I thought this was a great place to share that with you, so here’s a little piece:
When I was in my teens, rather than wanting to “sow my wild oats”, I began feeling this nagging emptiness and loneliness inside for who God had for me as a life companion. I remember after my first heart-break (what one really could term as a complete “heart crushing”) asking God for answers, crying and distraught. He has spoken to me hoards of times through His Word, devotionals, people, sermons, etc. – all very specific to my current situations at the time. Although in this instance, something happened that probably only occurs once in a Christ follower’s life, if that. As I was asking Him why and where “the one” was for me, I heard a very audible whisper say, “She’s in Germany”. It was spoken in my ears, but the voice didn’t come from the outside. It was as though the words were spoken from inside of me. It scared me to say the least, especially since I was in the house alone. Completely startled, vaguely understanding what had just happened, I responded from my wet, tear-wrenched face with a dumbfounded voice questioning what I had just heard. “GERMANY?” I was definitely not expecting an immediate, audible answer, and this was so not the one I would have wanted to hear. None of it made sense (God’s ways often never do). Being a teenager, and the bizarreness of it all, made me just slough it off as something weird that I didn’t understand. When I met my wife years later at the age of twenty two (another instance where I simply had to wait on the Lord) and became aware that she had lived in Germany for eight years, I remembered and now clearly understood the once confusing encounter with God. He knew my soul mate was an ocean and years away, and the prize, no matter how distant, would be exceedingly worth enduring the momentary present loss. He even went an extra step to comfort my spirit with the assurance that He knew exactly where she was. He had His timetable for getting her back to the States and knew all the details about how our paths would cross. Sometimes you just have to trust Him and hold on to what He promises when nothing makes sense. I’m so thankful that He has our backs even when we can’t understand everything that’s happening.
All of our journeys are different. Not everyone finds their ‘happy ever after‘ the way I did. I look at my life, my wife and daughters, and even though I have plenty of my own struggles and hardships and life doesn’t always go the way I hope, pray or envision, I realize that ‘fairytales come true.’
I share all of this in hopes that it will encourage you today.