Here I am awake. I’ve been awake since about 5:30 and it’s almost 6:00 now but I knew that I had to write. Why else would I be wanting to get out of bed when it’s 37 degrees outside (and in Florida that’s colder than you even know) and it’s my 20th wedding anniversary? Yep, that’s 20 years! The most amazing part of that, that I believe I’m supposed to share is that my husband and I only spent just 9 weeks dating and only knew each other for about a week longer. If you put your relationship in God’s hands and He wants you together, He’ll get you together.
I was only released from prison 3/29/90 and working temporary jobs. I so vividly remember the events that surrounded our meeting and eventual marriage. I’d thought that I had been placed by the temporary service in a near perfect position with full time hours doing data entry until after the New Year (this was the end of September). And, the money was good for that time, besides. I worked only one day and had plans to spend an evening with friends. I turned the corner onto their street, sneezed, and within a few minutes I was so sick that I had to leave and go home. I remained quite ill over the weekend, then tried to go back to work on Monday and they sent me home. I was just so sick. And, to my chagrin the place where I’d been working said that they no longer wanted me to work there. The temporary service, then, decided that I needed the rest of the week off to get well. I was quite distraught as I lived alone and I so felt the need for money to be coming in on a regular basis. I got better and was reassigned on the following Monday (Hallelujah) but was assigned to another factory position, which I was hoping to bypass as I’d already had one factory position that left me coming home as black as night from a filthy job where I only got a 15 minute lunch as voted on by a union. But, I needed the money no matter where I was placed and this was all in God’s hands.
I was placed at the beginning of the factory line and my future spouse was at the end, but we had breaks together. I was (at that time) already engaged to the man that I’d gotten in trouble with whose mother played a major role in my being led back to the Lord prior to entering prison. This man was 7 years younger than me and I was only 30. His immaturity showed as he broke up with me periodically for a few days but always came running back. I was also living in and redecorating the inside of a house that was to be our wedding present. Joe and I had already met when this man decided once again to break it off, sighting that he thought he was too young to get married. I was quite tired of this happening every few months so I accepted Joe’s advances. We had a mutual friend that he hadn’t seen in some time so I offered to take Joe over to see him. We hit it off and Joe asked me out for the following Friday. That first date was on 10/1/90.
Joe didn’t seem like my type at first and I’d wanted to take things slowly but we hit it off, even talking on the telephone to the wee hours of the morning many nights. I remember, quite vividly, talking to the Lord about him. I surrendered to God’s will. I told Him that if I was supposed to fall out of love with this other man and fall in love with Joe, then so be it. And, I don’t even know when it happened, but here we are this 20 years later. Everything fell into line.
We attended a wedding of one of my closer friends at that time, which got us romanticizing the whole being married thing. When we told my folks that we wanted to get married as soon as possible I thought my dad would go ballistic. His jaw went sideways as I’d only seen happen 3 or 4 times when he’d been the maddest ever. So, I took it to the Lord in prayer and the next day my dad was planning our reception. I’d remembered my oldest brother (minister) had told me that when I found someone who God wanted me to marry that I would have my parents full approval. Well, this was a definite miracle that I will never forget. I also remember calling my other brother’s wife in Florida to share this with them and came upon no opposition what so ever. I even questioned this and she knew I’d been previously engaged several times before but hadn’t gone through with it so this must’ve been right. All the events just fell in line. All the doors opened and we ended up married on 12/8/90 with 11 family members present and then had a full wedding on 1/26/91.
To top it off, we found out after a few years that I was unable to have children. Joe had a son from a previous marriage who we ended up getting custody of in 1999 when he was 13 years old. At that time, Brian wasn’t living in a Christian home. Brian is now 24 years old. He lives about an hour north of us and has been involved in church, singing on praise teams and gets mad when I called him my step-son stating that I know he’s my kid. Even though we have our struggles, as all families do, I couldn’t be happier. The things that they both have stuck with me through in my life definitely shows me that this entire endeavor was God’s plan.
And, many nights I awake several times with this tremendous song of spiritual warfare in my dreams: (here is a wonderful video portrayal, too - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmxUpDmvAfs). It is a reminder to me to fight alongside God against forces that would have Joe and I break up. That it isn’t easy especially in this world today, to make it in any marriage yet for 20 years! And, I know, because He orchestrated our marriage, He blessed it. I have placed our marriage in His hands over and over again over the years. And, I will stand my ground!
May God bless you through my writing. If He has especially touched you in any way, please leave a comment below. This is so very encouraging to me to keep writing. I pray you will keep coming back. I totally believe that my writing is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so if I am writing, there is someone that needs to read it! Maybe it’s you?