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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!