Happy Love Day.
In 1990 I met the love of my life, I was 11.
It was the Annual Country Fair and I had my sow and piglets on display for the public. Who doesn't love that?
It was there, that we met. I actually remember the moment and the bale of hay I was sitting on. [I currently can't remember where I put my phone, purse or keys but I can remember that bale of hay. weird]
We spent every second together at that fair and continued "going out" after.
I had known his family and he had known mine but we did not really know each other until that point.
I remember my mom coming home one day, telling me Justin's grandpa had paid her a visit at work.
He told her how our families go back generations.
My grandpa was a young preacher man in Mitchell, OR. His grandpa was younger and part of a beautiful, yet very poor family there.
My grandpa would pick his grandpa (and brother) up for church every Sunday and at one point the brothers lived with my grandparents.
Justin's grandpa loved and respected my grandpa so much that when he got married he told his new bride that he wanted to name their first two children the same names that my grandpa had used for his children.
Therefore both of our fathers are named David, named one after the other. We both have Auntie Loretta's. :)
Justin and I continued to "go out" [we never really went anywhere].
We did attend all the football games and on my 12th birthday he was my first kiss.
Once summer was over and school began Justin's father decided we were too far apart in age (2 1/2 years).
I was crushed. I was devastated.
[now that I have a 12 year old I would make the same judgement call - so I forgive you Dad V. :)]
Justin and I went our separate ways and I rarely saw him in high school. I never forgot that summer and always considered him my "first love."
Fast forward through other boyfriends and his girlfriends, a lot of life, some good some really bad.
I had just graduated from high school, Class of 1997 and was preparing for college.
One of my girlfriends was getting married and I was attending it alone. and I was late [surprise]. Apparently Justin had asked one of his buddies (an usher) to seat a "good lookin' girl" next to him. I ran in late, trying to hurry to a seat, and although I had pointed to my group of friends I was not about to argue with the usher.
It was just Justin and I in the row (I think, or at least it felt like it). We chatted for a moment, I asked him how his girlfriend was, he said that she was not. He asked me about my boyfriend, I said the same. hu. That got the wheels turnin'. :)
From that moment on, we were inseparable.
We knew within weeks that this was it.
We both had to change some plans and for me that was the first time I really heard from the Lord.
I had been accepted to travel with Up With People and I had to take the matter before the Lord. He clearly spoke and I stayed.
Thanksgiving of 1997, in front of my family, he asked me to marry him.
I said yes.
It was after he asked, and we were driving back to college, that I told him about the vision God had given me at the wedding where we were seated next to each other.
For a split moment I saw us standing up there, getting married.
To my surprise, God had given him the same exact same vision.
We were in awe.
The date was set. June 13th.
I was present.
I heard every.word and when I said them, I meant them.
13 1/2 years later, 6 kids added and many changes behind us, I still mean those words. In fact I mean them more.
Our marriage has not been perfect.
We have had our share of learning to pour out and receive much grace.
We both have had to learn what marriage is, according to God, who designed it.
So far, marriage and the very breathing thing it is, has been (next to my relationship with God) the biggest part of my life.
I am so thankful for this man God gave me.
I respect him so.
I have seen him grow in the Lord tremendously. I have seen God use him mightily and have been loved by him much.
I do not know what the next 40 years hold. None of us do, but I am ever so thankful for these past 13 1/2 years of learning, loving, laughing and growing with my love.