Funny how 17 years can go by in just a flash.
Seventeen years ago today I was in Columbus, Ohio.
Eleven days prior I’d met John McBride – face to face – for the first time.
We’d met “online” some months before – by chance.
He was a recent widower with a baby daughter named Jessica. When we met he was finishing up his last semester of seminary, was pastoring a church in rural SE Kentucky, and caring for his daughter and mother.
I was a committed to being single young woman who had moved home to care for my Dad, who had a terminal diagnosis, and had asked me to come home and be his primary care giver – with the hope of freeing my Mom of some of the things she’d been having to juggle.
We’d formed a friendship, John and I.
I had an airline ticket that needed used before it expired, and so I was planning a trip to visit my much-loved cousin, Bobby, in North Carolina. As it turned out, John and I met – had a great time getting to know one another, and even went through a crazy adventure involving car keys locked in a car, over 100 heat, multiple calls to AAA, hours and hours of waiting for AAA – and a resourceful Marine who ultimately came to our rescue. Boy was I sun burnt!
I’d always heard, “You’ll know when it’s the right guy!” Yeah – I wasn’t so sure. I’d met plenty of nice guys. Just none that had a commitment and heart willing to go and do ANYTHING that God called them to – from that moment through the rest of their lives.
I think my biggest fear was that I’d marry someone whose love for the Lord would wane over time – and who would cease to be willing to be obedient – no matter the cost. So I’d resigned myself to the fact that I would be single – hopefully contentedly so.
When I met John face to face that first day I knew I would marry him.
No – he hadn’t asked.
No – there was no implication that he would.
No – there were no expectations headed that direction.
I just knew. Not a me thing. Totally a God thing.
My goodness, God is amazing, isn’t He?
So there it was, August 6, 1993.
We were headed to dinner with Brad and Alcy – pretty much life-long friends of John’s, who I’m happy to claim as friends now, as well. (Although – just a warning – take your blood pressure medication if you need that sort of thing before you ever ride in a car that Brad is driving!)
He had a ring, that John McBride.
A lovely little diamond solitaire.
He asked me if I’d consider marrying him.
I assured him that I’d be most happy to.
Not a day goes by that I wonder anew why God would choose to bless me so. There certainly has not been a single thing that I have done or could do that would merit the blessings of having a husband like John McBride. The man is amazing.
He’s my best friend.
He’s exactly the partner I want leading me through the rest of my life.
He’s a man of honor and integrity.
He’s an amazing father.
And above all – he’s a man who is committed to following his Savior faithfully.
So – today, August 6, 2010 – we celebrate 17 years since our engagement to be married.
I am an incredibly blessed woman.
1 John 4: 16b – 19: God is love. Anyone who leads a life of love shows that he is joined to God. And God is joined to him. So love is made complete among us. We will be bold on the day God judges us. That’s because in this world we love as Jesus did. There is no fear in love. Instead, perfect love drives fear away. Fear has to do with being punished. The one who fears does not have perfect love. We love because he loved us first.