The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.
It was 19 years ago today that I married Julie. She came into my life right after I stopped looking. Honest. I will tell you the story.
After high school I went to Bible college in Dallas, Texas and then moved to a small town in Georgia to do an internship at Vidalia, Georgia’s First Baptist Church. It was a crazy time moving from Oklahoma to Texas and to Georgia in less than a year. That first summer after entering college was lonely. I prayed and sought God like crazy. I asked God for a wife or just a girlfriend. There never seemed to be an answer.
But there was an answer, but it was not what I expected. The answer was simply this: stop looking and start trusting God. And that is what I did. During the next few months I got stronger, and my relationship with God got much sweeter. God is much better at these things than I would ever be.
I spent 18 months in that internship working with junior high students, and it was an incredible time of learning and growth. God then opened a door for me to begin pastoring Bear Creek Baptist Church in rural south Georgia which was very close to the small Baptist college I was attending.
In December of 1992 I was pastor of that church and my home church ordained me to the ministry, and that night I remember a sweet lady handing me a card and telling me that she was praying for my wife. I don’t know who that lady was, but I can close my eyes and see her hand with the card and hear her voice. It was the next week that I met Julie. It really was the beginning of a journey that I had stopped looking for and started trusting God to begin.
God started that journey in big ways. We married 8 months later. Rebecca, Ruth and Ryan were born into our union and have continued to bless our lives. We have served several churches and experienced more of life together than either of us thought we would experience. 19 years later we are still together, we are stronger than ever, and we are still learning to love more and follow God closer.
I am more in love with Julie than ever. She is a great lady with potential that is far beyond what she sees in herself. As a teacher, Julie is a huge success. No telling how many children’s lives she has shaped and pointed toward God, and there are many more to come. As a mother, she is an expert leader and care giver. As a wife, she is the most patient and loving woman in the world. I don’t deserve her.
But I am grateful for the blessing God put in my life through allowing Julie and I to hook up. That is a hook that God put out. I didn’t. These 19 years have brought us through many high points, lots of low ones, but we’ve walked through every one of them together. And there are many more ahead. It’s time for a celebration because the future is bright as we continue on this journey together.
Happy anniversary, Julie. I love you more today than I did 19 years ago!