I thought about doing this post closer to Valentine’s Day, but decided, instead, that there’s no time like the present. So, today, I would like to share why I am so thankful for this guy.
Almost 17 years ago, I had just returned to college after a needed break. I had been in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship and was finally healthy again and I was ready to finish the degree that I had started a couple of years previously. I moved into an apartment off campus with a new friend (which turned out to be a great situation) and she and my sister introduced me to this guy that they had become friends with. We got together with a group of friends and I met this Ron guy that I had heard so much about. By the end of that first evening, I decided I didn’t care much for him. It wasn’t anything major, I just thought he talked a lot and was a little too blunt.
As God would have it though, because of the college we attended and the group of friends we were both involved with, I ended up spending quite a bit of time with him. He kinda grew on me. The first time we did anything with just the two of us, we went shoe shopping for some running shoes for him. How romantic, huh? We did end up going to dinner together afterwards though, and sat and talked for a long time. In his mind, I was a nice friend to pal around with. He had been engaged previously, had been hurt badly, and wanted nothing to do with dating. Over the next several months, we spent more and more time together, and I knew (waaay before he did) that he was the guy for me. So, I bided my time, and eventually he came around.
We “officially” dated for almost a year. Our first real date was up to the foothills above Denver to see the city lights. When he proposed, he took me back up to the same spot. His proposal was…um, a little unusual. He, being a very practical, no-nonsense person, listed for me all the reasons why marriage was hard work, why he was unsure about it, and his concerns about the kind of husband he would be. Then, he said, “So, in spite of all that, what would you say if I asked you to marry me right now?” I thought he was speaking hypothetically. I had to ask him if he meant that for real, or only as a hypothetical question! Of course, when he told me it was for real, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Our engagement was only 4 months long. It was not the easiest 4 months of my life. He kept 2nd guessing himself. He wondered if he really wanted to be married. He actually called it off at one point. I was devastated! I remember sitting curled up in a corner of my room crying, and I knew I had to be willing to let him go. I somehow was able to trust that if our marriage was a good thing that God would bring it about. Within a week, things changed and the wedding was back on. He was not being fickle by any means. He just had serious questions–not about me, but about being married in general. Before he met me, he was pretty much set on throwing his entire life into ministry and staying single. We were married on May 13, 1995.
Our first couple of years were rough. I wondered a few times if we had made a mistake. No mistake though. I can honestly say that after those first years, our marriage has gotten better every year.
This man of mine has not one romantic bone in his body. But I have learned that there are things that are way more important than that. I am so very grateful for his faithfulness that I never have to question. He is a constant student of God’s word, and honestly strives his hardest to live by it. He is a man of incredible honesty and integrity. Through the years he has developed a compassionate, deeply caring pastor’s heart. People know that he truly cares about them and is interested in their best. He still talks a lot, but I’ve come to appreciate his desire to have everything out in the open and since I am not very verbal, he has challenged me on the importance of openness. He is willing to approach confrontation as lovingly as possible, even when I get emotional and mean. He loves the way I look with no makeup on, and doesn’t care that I wear flannel pajamas. He challenges my status quo. He is willing to fight for our marriage. He enjoys spending time with me. What more could I ask for? Absolutely nothing. No, he is not perfect by any means. But he’s the Lord’s man, and he’s mine. And I am eternally thankful for him.