Where did I leave off? Oh yes...the first meeting. John & I agreed that we would meet in the Food Court of a local mall at the picture booth by the front entrance (this was way before every Tom, Dick, & Harry owned a cell phone). I managed to convince my ever so giddy and curious entourage to wait outside the door, so the poor guy would not feel overwhelmed, ya know? So in I went and...no one was there! Hmm...maybe he is late, I wondered. So I stood and waited a few minutes, scanning the food court for any sign. Then I spotted this really cute guy with sparkling, mischievous eyes and a huge grin on his face sitting at a table on the far side of the food court, watching me with amusement. The stinker made me walk all the way over there and say, "John?" He had been watching me the whole time, just in case I turned out to be a not-so-fair maiden and he could make a run for it!
Well, I'm glad I met with his approval, because we spent the rest of the evening together and two weeks later he drove all the way to Southwestern Alabama to come see me and the rest is history. That was in July 2001 and we got married on May 25, 2002. God lead us to a wonderful church that challenged us like never before and a year after we were married God called John to preach. Me, a preacher's wife! God does have a sense of humor :).
He is the perfect man for me--we have both grown so much in the Lord and I don't know if I would be where I am if I hadn't met him. No, he's not perfect. And Lord knows I definitely am not. But the meeting of our jagged edges of imperfection have served to create a beautiful, smooth unity.
I wish I could tell you it's all been "happily ever after" without a cloud in the sky since but we both know that's not reality. We've struggled through rough terrains while melding together two drastically different upbringings and domestic cultures. We've climbed steep hills of shattered expectations and bitter disappointments. There were times that the only thing between one of us and the door was a long fall-on-our-face session before God. But with God as our anchor and foundation, we made it, and will continue to make it.
John is a quiet, shy guy with a gorgeous smile and beautiful blue-green eyes that gets him compliments from strangers all the time (women of all ages). From Grandmas in wheelchairs to toddlers in hairbows, females melt when he flashes his smile in their direction. I can't blame them. After 8 1/2 years, I still do ;). He loves his children fiercely, and is the hero of their lives. With 3 babies in 4 1/2 years, I don't know how I would've made it without a man who thinks nothing of changing a poopy diaper or cleaning up spit-up out of my hair.
He bakes the most fant-a-bulous cheesecake I've ever tasted, and loves to take to the woods and bring us home fresh deer meat, that he processes himself. He's a hard worker, and if he faces a task that he's never done before, he reads and researches and asks questions until he knows the issue inside and out. I've never know him to be late for work or even miss a day unless he's flat on his back sick. The needs of his family are his first priority and he puts our needs before his own.
Our love isn't the same giddy, exciting love that it was when we first met and married, but it has taken root and grown into a mature, steady love that is even better. I'm so glad God knew what He was doing all the time, and I thank him for that "broken road" that lead me straight to my husband.
This man of mine...I think I'll keep him!
Happy Valentine's Day, Baby!