A lot of life has happened in 12 years.
- 9 places we called home
- 13 vehicles
- triplets born prematurely
- about 20,000 diapers on 3 children simultaneously
Yeah, a lot of living has gone on. It still seems like yesterday when we met and this journey began.
I was serving in my first full time ministry position youth pastoring at Oak Grove Assembly of God when we became acquainted. First time we met, she was an angel in a play. Yeah, angel… *sigh*… Sorry. Since I was on a self-inflicted “break” from women, and couldn’t entertain finding out more about her at the time, I had to quickly move my attention away.
Less than a year later after seeing her for the first time, her sister and one of her brothers (who attended the same church) had became good friends of mine and we often found ourselves at the same family get-togethers. We would often talk there, and would talk on the phone, but I wouldn’t go further nor would I be alone with her. I remember one occasion, my dad was in town to see me, and he and I were invited to her sister’s house for some food and to hang out. On the way over, he asked “so, uh, what do you think about this Melissa girl.” I was not sure what to say. (I tease him to this day that he was asking about her for himself). Dad, had been an Assemblies of God ordained minister for years, and I had hopes of becoming one myself. However, Melissa had been divorced and at the time it was the unpardonable sin for an aspiring minister to marry a divorced woman. I told him that I liked her, but didn’t know what to do considering the situation.
He gave me the advice that changed everything: “Don’t worry about all that! Get to know her, you’ll never know what happens until you get to know her.” Something about having a nod of “it’s ok” from dad pushes the inhibition aside and go for the moon. So I did!
Melissa and I quickly began to get to know each other. We started out best friends from the gate. The more we talked, the more I fell for her! However, there were a lot of inhibitions still there because we were worried about what people from church would say and how that would impact my position there. Little did I know that most of them were rooting for us! Because of my wimpyness, the only places we spent time together was with her family, and we would NEVER go anywhere together unchaperoned because we wanted everyone to know we were “friends”.
Our first time together alone in a car was on a night Sonic run from her brother’s house. I remember looking around to make sure nobody saw us the whole drive to town! I was a coward (still am sometimes). I was so nervous!
Then one Spring night about 2 months before we married, I was sure I had fallen madly in love with her, popped a tic-tac and we had our first kiss on the pier at Lake Chicot. She could have had anything of mine she wanted (of course all I had was a 92 Ford Taurus and an black MC Hammer suit). She had my heart though. It still makes my heart stop to think of it!
To be continued…