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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Me and My Sweets

Now and then, when I have time to sit and think (seriously, who has time for that??), I sometimes think on all of the reasons I am so very blessed by my hubby.  We met in college way back in 1986.  I dated his roommate for about a month, but during that entire time, Jeff and I were the ones sitting on the green talking for hours.  He and I seemed to "click" but I didn't think he liked me like that.  But, finally, one spring evening we figured out that we did like each other!  We were both out that night and ended up getting burritos at the Burrito Buggy and sitting in front of my dorm until nearly 4:30 guessed it...talking.  We talked about everything it seemed, but then we had been doing that as friends too.  We began dating in 1987 and dated throughout college. 

I'll make a very long story as short as possible.  I graduated a few months before Jeff, so I was working my first job a few days after my last class on campus.  We broke up just a few short months after that.  I literally thought  my heart was going to break in two, but I was the one who asked for the break up because I wasn't sure about marriage at all.  On the day Jeff and I saw each other for the last time (for a while), he told me he would always be "there" for me, if I ever needed him.  The Lord knew that I would...within about a year and a half... I would definitely need Jeff. 

I ended up getting engaged to a guy I dated for a short time in college during my freshman year.  It wasn't a good decision to say the least.  I was so miserable I called Jeff one night out of desperation.  I was ready to end my life...just couldn't figure out how to do it without causing myself physical pain.  Geez...yes, I know.   So, I picked up the phone and called Jeff.  He was actually home!  Now, you need to understand why that is so important.  After Jeff and I broke up, he was actively involved in his singles group at church.  He was studying God's Word every night for a few hours and didn't watch any television for two years.  He spent many evenings out with the group for Bible study or service projects, so the fact that on the night I called and needed to chat and he was home - this was no coincidence.  God is good!

We talked for a few hours that night.  I realized about halfway through the conversation that Jeff was somehow a really good way.  I thought I knew everything about this man, but couldn't put a finger on what was different about him since we had dated in college.  All I knew was that I wanted what he had in his life. 

Jeff came alongside me as a friend.  He spent so much time with me listening to my pain and my confusion about my life.  I was drinking heavily at that point several times a week.  I was caustic and very unhappy.  How Jeff put up with me...ugh.  He helped my parents move me out of my ex-fiancee's apartment and sat with me on the steps while I sobbed and wondered how my life had become so empty and meaningless.  I was a "good" girl and couldn't believe I had allowed myself to sink to this level.  Jeff never judged.  He sat with me and was quiet.  When I was finally ready to get into the car and drive home to my parents' house, he hugged me and promised we would stay in touch.  He told me he was praying for me

That was the summer of 1993.

I visited Jeff on weekends whenever possible and sometimes he would travel up to see me at Mom and Dad's.  He took me to church with him on the weekends I visited him.  I was certain that someone was going to hit me over the head with a Bible and know just by looking at me that I was no good and I didn't belong there.  But, no, instead, everyone I met was so kind and genuine and that really spoke to my heart. 

One night in Jeff's mom's house, we were sitting on the living room floor talking.  I expressed that I just didn't understand why he got out of bed in the morning.  Really, what was the point?  I was at probably the lowest point I could be, physically and emotionally and most certainly spiritually.  I still entertained thoughts of ending my life, but deep down I really didn't want to, you know? 

Jeff sat with me that evening and shared Christ with me.  He just calmly and slowly explained that Jesus had died for my sins and that He loved me and wanted to save me.  He walked me through the gospel step by step and answered every question I had.  I was sure that it was a trap or trick and I told him as much.  Every guy wanted something...and I was sure that Jesus wasn't any different.  But, Jeff assured me that Jesus Christ was different.  Salvation was a gift with no strings attached. 

I went to sleep that night after praying for Jesus to save me.  I desperately wanted to believe that the Lord loved me, despite how awful I had become.  I slept through the night in one spot that night.  That's significant to me because for many months, I had tossed and turned and had dreams that wouldn't allow me to sleep through the night.  That next morning when I woke up, I knew I was saved!  I knew it in my heart and my mind! 

Ok, I know that I said I would make it short...sorry!  Really though, this is the short version!

The rest of the story in very abbreviated terms:
·    I accepted Christ in November 1993
·    Jeff and I began dating in January 1994
·    We were engaged in June 1994
·    Married in January 1995

Jeff is my Sweets.  He is my best friend.  Jeff is an amazing husband and father.  The Lord gave us something precious when He gave Jeff the opportunity to lead me to Christ.  I am so thankful for that gift!  I am thankful for this man the Lord has lent to me for a time.  He is everything I've ever wanted and didn't know I needed. 

This photo was taken this past Sunday on Mother's Day.  I would love to post photos of us when we were in college and dating, but that would involve figuring out the scanner!  Maybe someday.

Do you have interesting memories of your dating relationship with your husband?  Testimonies?  I'd love to hear them! 


Marie said...

Susan~ Thank you so much for this real, honest, wonderful post! When it's society's norm to bash and complain about our husbands, it's so refreshing to know people who celebrate theirs! I'm so thankful for my hubby and the sacrifices he makes for our family, and I love being married to him! Someday I'll share our long journey...pretty sure there's gotta be a limit of characters on these comment forms! ;) Have a great day!

tribalmama said...

BEAUTIFUL journey, thank you for sharing ♥

What precious gifts we can be to one another.

Your story is similar in that I too was engaged to another prior to marrying my dh. I too was walking in sin (which leads to death). My fiance "loved" me so much that he, like Adam allowed me to eat of the forbidden fruit and partook in it with me.
(After the long drug out breakup)
HaShem joined my dh and I together through the heart of a child. Dear husband already had a son and his son changed my life. I soon desired to be a better person for his sake. HaShem sure does work in mysterious ways! And to think I preached to my parents all those years growing up that I did not want to be married or have kids.
May 6th I turned 31 years old, have been married for 8 years and blessed with a step son and 5 children of my womb.
Baruch HaShem! (Blessed be the name (of the Lord)

Rachel said...

Oh- I just loved reading this! :)
Lovely story. God is Good!

How my husband and I ended up together can be abreviated as follows:

1. I was 15- met him at a tattoo shop while getting my navel pierced.
2. I asked him to my junior prom. He said yes.
3. He went to jail for a week for bashing in a porche windshield. I helped get the money to bail him out with some other friends.
4. We started "hanging out" so as it was called, at parties- and we decided we loved eachother at one particular party that we took a nap together at.
5. Dated for a while- started thinking about church and a reigniting our commitments to the Lord.
6. Got Married- Johnny still in his hardcore band "Bullet".
7. Became involved with Youth Group ministry- still not finding a complete connection with the Lord. (but it was there)
8. Attended our current church. Prayed endlessly. "Bullet" broke up- Christ became the focus in our marriage. The desire to have children was ignited.
9. Fertility doctors.
10. Accidentally pregnant. (after spending a fortune at the fertility doctor) :)
11. Willow
13. Johnny is a spiritual leader in our home. I am a joyful stay at home/homeschool mama.
14. I pray for our little family endlessly.
15. Thanks be to God. I have loved my Johnny for 15 years- and have 12 married years under our belt! :)

Michelle said...

Your story brought me to tears. When I met my husband I wasn't a believer either. I came from such a different world and didn't feel like I was worth anything. i was also involved in Occultism and my life's ambition was to become an astrologer! (Such lofty goals!)

Christ brought me up out of the pit of destruction and has so blessed my life. I have been married to an amazing, godly man for the last 18 years and it just keeps getting better!

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story which is really part of His Story! What an awesome God we serve!

Susan said...

Ladies, you have each blessed me today with your comments! Thank you so much! I love hearing how others found their husbands. Thank you for sharing with me. :)

Angie said...

Susan, thanks for sharing. Your candor is refreshing! I almost married the wrong man because I was following my flesh and emotions and not what God wanted for me. It is my husband that put me on the right track spiritually. I could never repay that in a million lifetimes. But I can try to be the best wife I can and do for him as unto the Lord (even when I don't get my way ~LOL). Bless you!!

Susan said...

Hi Angie!
Great to see you here! Love your page - it's so pretty with all the color and the excellent photos of family. :)

Janet said...

What a beautiful story of God's love in your life. I loved reading your story and am so glad you have such a Godly man by your side.

I can relate to where you were during those darkest moments. I had actually accepted Christ as my Saviour as a teenager but by the time I reached college I gave into temptations that drew me away from Him. I also wanted to die and I look at those years as a period where I was trying to kill myself without actually having to kill myself. I found myself at a point where I felt totally unloveable. I couldn't imagine that anyone could ever love me and surely God couldn't after how I had treated him the last several years. I knew He had to be done with me. And then one day he brought the young man who would become my husband into my life. This guy wanted to spend time with me. He listened to me. What I said seemed to matter to him. And it wasn't long until he loved me and I loved him. He wasn't particularly close with God at that point in his life but like me had accepted Christ as His Saviour as a teenager but had stopped living for him in college. However, there was enough of a foundation there for us to have conversations about our faith and I found myself drawing nearer to God again. And one day I realized, God had used this young man who would become my husband to show me that I was in fact loveable and that if he could love me then God most surely could. Within our first year of marriage I recommited my life to Christ. We've been married 15 years now, together for 16. I have never stopped thanking God for the gift of my husband and His never-failing love.

Susan said...

Your words resound in my heart and mind. I too thought there was just no way the the Lord could want me in His kingdom and was amazed later to realize that, yes, He does! Thank you for sharing your heart with me and others. I'm blessed and I know others will be too. :)