Since we’re only a week away from Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share the story about how I met my husband!
Have you ever stubbornly stamped your foot and said, “No. I’m never going to do that”? I’m never going to live in that town? Or I’m never going to do that job?
When I was younger, I stamped my foot and said, “I’m never going to marry a pastor.”
I grew up as a PK (Pastor’s Kid). My dad was a Lutheran minister and served God faithfully until the day he died. While he loved his ministry, he would also get discouraged from disgruntled parishioners, financial shortfalls, the heavy burden of his workload, and more.
As a child seeing his hardships, I declared , “When I grow up, I want to marry a man with a regular job.”
But . . . of course, sometimes God has a sense of humor in how he works. It’s funny how He decides that what we DON’T WANT to do is often exactly what we NEED to do. He realizes long before we do that we’re letting fear dictate our decisions, and so He forces us to face that fear once and for all. He knows that once we walk through our fear (instead of running away), that we’ll be stronger on the other side.
During the fall of my freshman year of college, a guest speaker by the name of Tony Campolo come to our campus for a week of spiritual revival. Every day Tony shared about his ministry and passion for the poor, the underprivileged, and the hurting. By the end of the week, I knew I couldn’t live a “normal” life.
I came to a place where I wanted God to use ME in ministry. Once God had hooked me, it became clear that I’d need a partner who also felt the same about God using HIM. With fear and trembling, I added “pastor” close to the top of my list of qualifications in a mate. I’d gone from “never” to “need.”
Once God finally had my attention and obedience, I expected that He’d immediately bring the right man to my door. All fall and into the winter I looked for that man.
After praying and wrestling through the angst of being single when so many of my friends were pairing up, I decided that I needed to be patient and let God bring me the “right” man in His timing. So I stopped worrying. And I went home for Christmas break at peace with waiting.
Over break, I tried to arrange a visit with my best friend from high school. But it turned out that both of us were busy working and spending time with family and had almost no free time.
One evening near the end of my break, I was supposed to be at my younger brother’s basketball game. My best friend was supposed to be at a party. But somehow, neither of us ended up at our events. On a whim, my friend gave me a call (even though she thought I’d be gone). On a whim, I picked up the phone (even though I’d already changed into my pajama’s and was planning to go to bed early).
My best friend cajoled me into changing out of my pj’s and getting together for just a little while that evening with her and a couple of friends from her local college group. Thirty minutes after the call, my best friend and two young men showed up at my house with board games and chips in hand.
We had a lot of fun together that evening playing games and joking around. I immediately felt comfortable with the men, particularly the tall, handsome one who kept teasing me and throwing a dish towel at me.
As the friends left much later in the evening (a “little while” had turned into a “long while”), the tall one stopped at the door, looked me in the eyes with his twinkle and crooked grin, and said he’d had fun. Then much to my surprise, he asked if he could call me sometime.
I said, “Sure. Anytime,” as nonchalantly as possible, all the while my insides were jumping up and down like popcorn.
That sweet man with the twinkle in his eye and the easy smile, did call me. Over the next few days before I left for college, we spent more time together. I was attracted to him, and I could tell he really liked me too.
Our last night together we talked about what we each wanted to do with our lives. You can imagine my surprise when he said he longed for God to use him in ministry of some kind and that he was considering becoming a youth pastor.
After he left, I could only sit in stunned amazement at how God worked. He brought someone into my life in the most unusual of circumstances, on an evening I was supposed to be gone, on an evening my best friend was supposed to be busy.
It was a meeting that wasn’t supposed to happen on so many different levels.
But that meeting that wasn’t supposed to happen eventually turned into a marriage proposal! And now my husband and I have been married for close to 25 years! Although he’s no longer a pastor, he’s still in ministry as a Christian counselor.
YOUR TURN! How did you meet the love of your life? And for those who haven’t yet met your true love, what are the top qualities on your list for a mate?
P.S. I’m giving away 5 signed ARCs of my new medieval YA, An Uncertain Choice (which releases March 3)!! I invite you to stop by my website and sign up there for a chance to win! JodyHedlund.com
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