Monday, April 20, 2009

They Gave Us Six Months

I was a liberal feminist. He was Mr. "God's Plan for the Family". I was a Democrat, he was a Republican. I had lived on my own for the previous ten years. He was still living at home at age 27.

I was also a not-Italian, not-Catholic, hard-nosed Wall Street bitch who my future mother-in-law was certain would break her Italian Prince's heart. I was one of "those" Christians, from that Bible thumping "protestante" church he had been attending. Surely I wasn't the right girl for him.

We had nothing in common. I had a subscription at the Metropolitan Opera. He had made up a number of songs mocking opera. I had deliberately moved from the Atlanta suburbs to New York and lived in Manhattan. He was from Jersey City, and he hated New York. He hated Jersey City, too, and devoted his life to trying to get to the suburbs. He hated museums, opera, and ballet. I hated guns, cop shows, and techno-gadget crap.

He had a really sophomoric sense of humor. Too many puns, too much rhyming, too much slapstick. It was Monty Python and Hugh Laurie vs. Leslie Nielsen and the Three Stooges. Jonathan Swift vs. "There was a young man from Nantucket..."

I was headstrong, he was controlling. I was daring, even reckless. He was ridiculously cautious. The irresistible force meets the immovable object.

They gave us six months.

But we knew something they didn't know. He had gone home after the first time we met and announced that he had met the woman he was going to marry. I had heard from God that "this is the one you prayed for." OK, so my response was "Lord, you've gotta be kidding." The fact was that the time we spent together confirmed that we DID have in common the only thing that we had to have in common to make it work: Jesus Christ.

Has it been easy? No.

Has it been worth it? Absolutely.

The foundation we built on sustained us through poverty and plenty, "the Cesspool", church difficulties, political strife, the Pets from Hell, health crises, 2 difficult pregnancies and 2 miscarriages, the deaths of all our parents, buying a house with no money, six years caring for my cantankerous aunt with Alzheimer's, homeschooling, internet marketing, family catastrophes, Homeland Security, spiritual crises, and living in New Jersey. We have survived stresses that would have sunk nine out of ten other marriages.

Maybe ten out of ten.

Twenty four years later, I am more sure than ever that I made the right choice. That I really did hear from the Lord. That my husband is the one and only that I prayed for.

Happy anniversary, honey. I love you more than you'll ever know.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." - Matthew 7:24-27


  1. Sue:

    Very powerful testimony.

    Sam T.

  2. Susan,

    What an absolutely beautiful testimony to the power of love! Happy Anniversary to you and your husband, and may you live to celebrate many, many more together.

  3. great post... and more common than you can imagine ;)

  4. Really a good one. I like to read such type of posts.

  5. That was so inspiring and sweet. It gives me encouragement for my husband and I...with G-d's help we will make it. Thanks for sharing

  6. Happy belated anniversary! My marriage has been considered the same thing, my parents didn't want me marrying the man I did, we've been married almost 13 years and going strong with four kids in tow! Your life sounds like ours in a lot of ways!

  7. Thanks so much to all who commented! It is so nice to know that there is something in our experience that is an encouragement to others. marriage is hard work, and so many throw in the towel too soon. May God's grace sustain you all in your marriages!

  8. I KNOW you had a lot more in common than we the readers of your story don't know about.

    Happy Anniversary!

  9. good post nice to visiting you keep writing and sharing

  10. Oh my goodness ... that was really a special post. Bet he couldn't read it with a dry eye ... I know I didn't.

    Happy Anniversary ... and here's wishing you many, many more (hopefully with less trials).

    Small Footprints

  11. But..but.. how did you meet? Was it at the church? Did I just not get it?

    Really got me curious here :)

  12. Oh wow.
    I am just speechless with this blog entry. The writing is so amazing, and the storytelling compelling.
    And it has given ME a great deal of encouragement today. We have been married eight years, and the days are not always as I dreamed they would be when I took my vow.
    I am so happy to read your story, because it gives me truth that when Jesus is in the center, that's all that matters.
    God bless.
    Heidi Rafferty
    Harrodsburg, KY

  13. apples, we did meet at the church, though that is not a guarantee of a lasting marriage. Some of our friends who married around the same time didn't make it.

    The other thing we did - the part of the story that is not widely known - was before we decided to get married we took divorce off the table, with the understanding that it would NEVER be an option, and that whatever went wrong we would have to figure out how to live with.

    That has given us a powerful motivation to take our problems to the Lord and make it work.

    So far, so good. I am getting ready to unseal my preserved wedding dress in anticipation of losing the rest of the weight I need to fit into it next year for my 25th anniversary.

    Thanks for all the comments. It has been great to know that this has encouraged people.

  14. Great post, and a belated very happy anniversary to you! Your post illustrates just how strong the bond of Jesus is!

  15. That was a beautiful, eloquently stated summary of your match made in heaven! God's plan for us is perfect, even though we may wonder what on earth He's thinking & where we are going to end up when we find out what that plan is. Congrats on your anniversary & here's wishes for many more :)

  16. Proverbs 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

    You can read my post here:

    Regards from Philippines.

  17. My husband's gotta meet your husband:) sounds like us only were at the very begining...