OK, so it didn’t quite play itself out like that. I’m a sucker for fairy tales to this day. I just love the happily ever after part. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the fairy tale ending. But that’s a post for another day.
This is about the beginning…
My best friend, Luke*, asked me to be the girls’ leader for a Disciple Now weekend in Palacios, TX. I grew up attending camp there so of course I said yes. It’s the Texas Baptist Encampment and it’s beautiful. It’s where I asked Jesus into my heart. Where I talked to God for hours sitting on the pier watching the sunset. Conversations that literally changed my life. Anyway, the weekend was really great and on the last day a musician came in to give a concert. Luke had hired him from a demo tape (yes, I’m that old) he had received. The musician’s name was Justin*. His voice was amazing but more importantly, his testimony touched my heart. I was 21 at the time; just out of Baylor with a degree in teaching, living on my own for the first time.
After the concert the youth leaders were hanging out in a cabin and Justin and his friend, Ken*, (who did the sound) came in. Justin asked if anyone wanted to walk along the bay. No one responded (although I really, really wanted to but didn’t want to appear obvious) so he and his friend walked out. A few minutes later I made an excuse to leave and caught up with Justin and his friend. We talked about all kinds of things into the night. At some point Ken left but I don’t remember that part (lol). During our conversation I found out that he led worship for a class at Second Baptist Church. I had visited several times but at the time was attending Tallowood Baptist Church. (If you haven’t realized it by now, I was raised Baptist.)
After the weekend was over everyone went back to their “regularly scheduled lives” – except I knew that I had met the man I wanted to marry. He was handsome with gorgeous eyes, a man seeking God (which turned me on more than anything), and he made me laugh. I told a friend at my apartment complex that I was going to marry him. She thought I was crazy.
Later, I got up the nerve to ask Luke how old Justin was and to my dismay he said 18. Eeek! I was 21 and when you’re in your “twenties” you really don’t want to date a teenager.
But down deep inside I didn’t really care. I thought he was amazing and I had dated a lot. A whole lot. I knew what I wanted and was willing to wait for it. And *Justin was who I wanted.
There was an issue I thought my parents would be concerned about, though, if it ever got serious enough for them to meet. (See? I was already planning ahead.) Remember I said I was raised Baptist? Well, think conservative Baptist. In a small town. At the time Justin had long hair.
(I’ll have several other posts about my story so hang with me.)
*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.