I would never trade these years for anything.
They have been the best years of my life.
On my 16th birthday Mark and I officially started dating.
We had eyes for each other before then, but my parent only allowed me
to start dating when I was 16, and now I am very grateful for that. And knowing
what I know today, I wish they would have made me wait longer, or better yet
encouraged courtship. But this was they only way they knew of, so that's just the
way it was.
We always knew that we were meant for each other and by God's grace saved our
hearts for each other. I am so grateful to Him for His protection.
In spring of '88 Mark and I went with a team on a mission trip to Mexico.
We had talked of marriage many times by then and were just waiting for God
to show us His perfect timing.
On our mission trip, every evening we would go out to the slums and set up a
projector and show the 'Jesus' film. This particular night was an amazing night of
ministry to the Mexican people. We were able to pray for others and see
God set people free from bondage. On the bus ride back to our motel, Mark and I
felt overwhelmed with compassion for these people. It was a feeling I don't think
either of us have had since, and one that was very hard to put into words.
When we got back to our motel, Mark and I sat outside on the curb talking about
the nights events and how our hearts were touched. Before the words came out of
his mouth I knew that he was going to ask me to marry him. And he did. And I said
'YES'. Not thought out, totally unexpected, but we felt a moment planned by God.
It was hard because the rule of the mission trip was that couples were not allowed to
touch one another. So we just sat there, gazing into each other's eyes overwhelmed by God's goodness. We decided at that point that we wouldn't tell anyone because we had heard rumors that the trip before a couple had got engaged and they threw them a big party. But when
they got home they broke the engagement off. So because of this we thought we would wait
until we got home and tell people then.
But when I got to my room that night my room mate took one look at me and said, "You
are glowing. What happened to you." So then it all spilled out. But I told her that she could
not tell ANYONE.
The next day it was quite obvious that the word had indeed leaked out. The congratulations
started coming in. And they did in fact throw us a engagement party! We felt very honored.
So on our way home we had a day of shopping somewhere in Mexico (can't remember)
and we went ring shopping and bought my engagement ring and our wedding rings.
We planned our wedding for Sept. 10, the first Saturday after my 18th birthday.
And the rest is history :)
Actually history is still in the making :)
God's grace through it all has been overwhelming.
We were young, but in love and God has been with us every
step of the way. He has been so faithful.
And here we are 20 years later planning the wedding of our oldest son.
Time has went by so fast. Life is so short.
So here is to the love of my life, my sweetheart, my best friend.
I love you more than you will ever know and I look forward to
(Lord willing) the next 20 years together.
Here's the song Mark and I sang to each other during our wedding ceremony
Household of Faith
Here we are at the start committing to each other
By His word and from our hearts
We will be a family in a house that will be a home
And with faith we'll build it strong
We'll build a household of faith
That together we can make
And when the strong winds blow it won't fall down
As one in Him we'll grow and the whole world will know
We are a household of faith
Now to be a family we've got to love each other
At any cost unselfishly
And our home must be a place that fully abounds with grace
A reflection of His face