Part one of a two part story.
The story of two people who met and were so different. Terry went to church and knew God as his redeemer. As for me, I was angry with God when I met Terry. I wanted nothing to do with church or church people. We met in 1973 right after my dad died from a sudden heart attack inside our home. I was dating someone else and Terry was a friend of a friend (Dennis). I had just graduated high school too. Time would move forward and I would eventually take my mom to church. It was the church where my friend Dennis attended. She cried a lot after my dad's death and I thought church might help her. Little did I know that service would be the beginning of change for my life forever. The pastor announced that Terry was speaking that night. I never heard a little kid preach, so I told my mom we should go back. I didn't know Terry was the same age as me. He looked so young. What? I actually wanted to go back to church? It was then I felt a tug on my heart to God.
I shared my experience with my boyfriend (Steve). He told me how weird things sounded to him. He was catholic and didn't understand this church taught the holy spirit. To be honest, I didn't understand a lot in 1973 either about the holy spirit. I only knew that something was changing inside of me and I was beginning to feel peace. After all, I had just graduated high school that year, lost my dad and my mom wanted to die. Church wasn't about Terry, because it took months for me to start liking him as a boyfriend. There was no physical attraction at the beginning. I would break up with my boyfriend over time, because we didn't agree on God things. He said I was no fun anymore and I always wanted to go to church. I guess I did change, but I saw the change as a good thing.
Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
God had a plan in 1955, Terry and I were both born that year in March. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri and Terry in Bakersfield, California. My parents decided to move to California six weeks after I was born. God had a plan in 1973 to start a friendship with Terry and I. It has all become part of our story. Four years after we met, we would marry in 1977.
Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV)
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
It hasn't been easy this thing called marriage. The Bible says you are no longer two, but one flesh. You don't always hear about the better or worse, or richer or poorer part of life. The struggle of wanting your own voice in somethings or just holding the remote control. Let's bring kids into the picture and we both grew up so different. We had to unlearn somethings and learn new things daily in so many areas. When I posted this Wedding picture above, I see two kids now. We were 22 years old and our song continues to be, "We Have Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters.
What am I trying to say: Marriage is hard work and a daily choices. Letting go and letting God be in control. Letting go of self at times, but needing to speak up at others times. Sharing hopes and dreams that came crashing down on us. Watching our kids go through hard things and getting back up. Having grandchildren we adore and cry in disbelief of what is happening in the year 2020 Pandemic. We love being Grammie and PA far more than anyone knows. A joy that is deep inside our soul and we learn when to give advice but when to just listen to our kid/adults. We are growing old together and feel our age of 65. A gift from God and not taken lightly. God has been faithful to us and we have seen miracles within our own family. We stand by faith and our family sticks together. Once again, nobody is perfect, but we must continue to do our best.
When I get frustrated with Terry, I think about the days I couldn't wait for him to come to my house to visit. I would ask if we could go get a coke and he said, "I have a dollar". He always just seem to have a dollar in those days. He was working part time as a janitor at school and in last year of school. He graduated a different year than I did. Yet, it was his presence that matter to me and not about a dollar. We enjoyed talking and getting to know each other. Much like I do with God and his presence. It's unexplainable and a wonder of life. I wouldn't change a thing in our lives, because it might change who we are today. Yet, I see how we can do things better. You never stop learning someone, because we change over time.
JEREMIAH 29:11 A plan, A promise and A future
God does give you the desires of your heart.
Let me pray: God, I thank you for a marriage that we continue to grow in. Frustrations to let go of and being real in a pandemic time of life. It's hard being around someone so much and yet such a blessing. Help those who want their mate to come quickly. Life is short and it's not your will that we are alone. Help marriage grow doing this pandemic too. Keep us teachable and ready for the next step of life. As we grow old, help us to in you God. Thank you for seeing what I needed far before I saw it. Thank you for helping those who read this to hold on for their dreams and wants of life. AMEN
Happy Anniversary Mr. Terry Nance
~ Sign your wife Janet "Sparkie"
Watch for PART 2 tomorrow