Years ago my life began a new direction.
I was born and bred in the deep south (for which I am grateful) and I had rarely ventured more than a couple of hours away from my home at any given time. Life had been fairly normal, at least what I knew as normal, until the time when it was discovered my father was having an affair with one of the young girls in our church youth group. He decided to leave his family because his selfish desires were more important than his commitment to his wife or family or the Lord. Mama never had to support a family before and had never really worked outside our home but now she would have to in order to support us all. We had to move closer to my maternal grandparents for help and support while Mama tried to figure out what our lives would look like, sans my father, her husband of 17 years.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
After several years of being a single mom she reconnected with an old friend in the state of Arizona and our path began anew, again. A long distance courtship for her and a cross country move for us all removed me from everything I had always known. It was frightening for me, starting over, not knowing anyone or anything about my surroundings. I came to understand in a way I’d not known before that my life course was one I would steer, not anyone else. I would have to step up and take responsibility for my actions and choices and bear the consequences of both. I was only 16 yrs old.
Fast forward to the winter of 1983………
Our journey from Georgia was complete and I came into my new home, new state (not in the south, boo-hoo ) new people, new surroundings and new school. It was a whole new world for me and an opportunity to recreate the person I was. It was mid school year and students had already chosen classes for the entire year which meant my choices were limited. I was placed in all my required classes but the elective courses were a different story all together because they were so limited. It seemed the only available courses were ones like weight-lifting, shop or mechanics and I was less than thrilled with any of those choices.
But off in the corner of the page of electives listings was a theater class schedule that might be able to take on one more student…….and BOOM …….. my life changed ……. FOR – EVER.
In that one happenstance (though I know it was the Lord working behind the scenes for my good ) I was able to find my passion, my voice, my new life-long friends and my new path. I was venturing into un-chartered territory and for the first time, I felt like I belonged. These people were crazy, silly, funny and fun in ways I had not experience in my 16 yrs on this earth. Little did I know at the time, this decision was going to be life-altering in ways I had not anticipated. Because the next thing I know………
In walks “Curly” – the lead in the spring musical “Oklahoma” (aka Steve Murphy) and oh! I was smitten. One might even say it was love at first sight although I made him work hard for that first kiss.
I couldn’t get enough of him. I wanted to spend every minute with him. I wanted to spend my days doing nothing but talking to him. I wanted my every waking moment to be with him. He was everything I never knew I always wanted.
And I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him……..
So 26 years ago today, we made it official. Committing our lives to one another, and as a couple, to the Lord – accepting His blessings and His life lessons but always keeping Him at the center of our relationship. We have weathered quite a bit over our years together. We have dealt with what we sometimes felt were more than our fair share of ups and downs but we have survived – even thrived through it all, always coming back to our little nucleus of two. Best friends facing the world together no matter what life threw our direction and here we are today, stronger than ever.
We would never have made it to where we are today without the hand of God in our lives. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am where I belong and with whom I belong. The Lord knew the desires of my heart and granted me His favor.
Life has never been the same…..its been better.
Baby, I love you more now than I ever thought possible…….Happy Anniversary!
And here’s a little something to think about……it all began because of one little drama class, with one little opening, for one more little student, from a one little southern town.
FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, DECLARES THE LORD, PLANS TO PROSPER YOU AND NOT TO HARM YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE. JEREMIAH 29:11