Tuesday, April 20, 2010

25th Anniversary Edition: Wasn't 1985 just the other day?

Twenty Five Years.

I can't believe it is already a year ago that I published my most popular post ever, They Gave Us Six Months, a love story about an arranged marriage.

Arranged by God.

I am more in awe than ever of the rightness of that match, and more in love than ever with the man who is still the greatest gift I have ever received from God.

We were engaged, December 8th, 1984. It would have been my dad's 83rd birthday, and I was so sorry he had not had a chance to meet my future husband. On the other hand, under the circumstances, he might have reacted poorly at first...

Did I mention our first date had just been about a month before?

We went to a party at the home of dear friends, and as much as we wanted to, we decided not to tell anyone because, well, they gave us six months, as I said in my post from last year.

Did I mention they meant six months of dating?  That we would get married was not on anyone's radar screen. They thought we would probably kill each other before Christmas.

One of the activities at the party was that everyone wrote down their favorite scripture verse on a strip of paper and put it in a bag, then we shook them all up and passed around the bag and selected one of the strips and read it aloud. Then the person who put it in there had a chance to say what the verse meant to them.

That was easy. I scribbled down Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths."  It was one of the few verses that I had really memorized.

Did I mention I had only been a Christian for about eight months?

Saved that previous Easter Sunday, I was one of those who had a kind of Damascus Road experience - or maybe a Woman at the Well experience - at the age of 29. In any event, it was a powerful transformation. I was so in love with Jesus that He was a continuous tangible Presence. When I got shut into my prayer closet, I didn't leave until I had a response from the Lord, whether it took four minutes or four days. It wouldn't have mattered to me if I had never met anyone or gotten married, and frankly I considered that possibility. Remember, I was from the South, and they had kind of stopped asking my mom "Isn't she married yet?" about five years before.  She had actually stopped asking rather before that.

I was ready to leave Wall Street and go live in Calcutta, or at least Newark, and devote my life to whatever adventure God had for me. I even quit my job, but got talked out of it. I sat Mama down and had a couple of shots of Jack Daniels before I told her that one.

Wait, where was I?

Oh, yes. Passing around the bag of little scripture verses.  So it's finally my turn, and I pull one out of the bag, and it's...

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths."

In someone else's handwriting. Turned out it was the only one that was in the bag twice.

Guess who drew the other one?  The one I had written?  Yep.

The whole thing was kind of like that. When I went home for Christmas, I sat Mama down again and had another couple of shots of Jack so I could tell her that I was leaving my Wall Street job and marrying a man she had never heard of, and oh, by the way, he was arriving the day after Christmas to meet everyone.  (PS- Mama, if you can see this from heaven, I am SO sorry. I totally get it now.)

Sometime before Christmas we decided it was time to plan a wedding. The Lord gave us a date: April 20.

Ah, the Divine sense of irony.  Muhammad's birthday, Hitler's birthday,  Weed Day, and L. Ron Hubbard Day. Later to become the day of the Columbine massacre and the Johnson Space Center Shooting.

And every few years, the day of the school board elections. Like today.  (What other idiots are working the polls on their 25th anniversary?)

I bought my dress off the rack and it was about 3 sizes too big.  Who knew my mother-in-law was a seamstress who specialized in beading, formal wear and wedding gowns?

Did I mention it cost $325?  Even in 1985, that was cheap.

The wedding was planned in about an hour. Seven phone calls and we had a band, a photographer, a hall, a caterer, invitations, wedding favors, and two limos.

Did I mention the five course catered meal was $9 a plate?   That was probably cheap in 1965.

The whole thing since has been kind of like that.  In the other post I talked about the hardship, but there has been much joy as well, and an overwhelming assurance of God's faithful presence, with a periodic demonstration of miraculous provision thrown in.

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

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths."


  1. What a touching story. You were a beautiful bride, you're still a beautiful person and dear friend.

  2. You certainly were a beautiful bride! And that's a great wedding dress, no matter what it cost!