Jeremiah 29: 11: “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.”
This was my husband’s favorite verse of Scripture. He loved this verse, he taught on it and he lived it, believing it with his whole heart. It gives me peace when I hear or read this verse. Since my husband passed in January I feel like a lost sheep at times. Many of you knew who we were, but you didn’t really know us. I thought I would share a little bit about us in the column, hoping that those of you who are in the midst of some sort of crisis, or mine-field of the soul might be able to garner a little peace from it also.
We were married 44 years. When we met, we were two broken individuals and we were not Christians. Yet, we had this feeling, this sense, that it was our destiny to be together, so after just nine months of dating we got married. I had three children when we met. My husband raised them and loved them like they were his. Our first two years together were like living on a roller-coaster. He was an alcoholic. He used to say he wasn’t an alcoholic he was just a drunk because he didn’t go to meetings. His sense of humor was one of my favorite things about him. We argued, screamed at each other a lot and finally began to settle into a routine as a couple. He was never abusive as some drinkers are, but usually a happy drunk. Please, understand this, drunks aren’t really happy, they have a reason they drink and it’s usually a dark reason.
We started going to church because we wanted to improve our life together. We got saved one night in our own home. My husband’s cousin who is a good Christian man, led us to the Lord. When he asked my husband to pray that special prayer, I remember thinking, “Good, now he’ll quit drinking.” Well, he did. I didn’t realize I needed a Savior too, and when his cousin turned to me and asked me if I wanted to accept Jesus, I said yes, because I didn’t want to offend him. But, out of the blue Christ came into my heart and I realized how much I needed Him.
Chuck and I had a marvelous gift from God, a really good marriage. We were able to talk to each other for hours on end. From our first date until his death, we could still talk for hours and never get bored. We would see couples eating in restaurants who never exchanged a word. Chuck thought it was sad. We knew each other’s darkest secrets. We knew why our past relationships had failed, we never judged or condemned each other. We knew Christ had washed our sins and our past away.
Later, when we were called into ministry, had schooling and training, we realized that the feeling that we were meant to be together was a true God thing. He put us together because we needed each other. We had many years of successful ministry in New England, but when we came home and were able to take a little church right here in our hometown, we were ecstatic. It was like the final ingredient in a delicious recipe. Perfect! Chuck was happy with our church and our people.
Our family was and is a close-knit core. We all talk at once and usually loudly. We too share our innermost sorrows and joys. He loved us with every fiber of his being. Our relationship with our kids and g-kids was solid, and it still is for me. But he was our center. We all mourn losing him.
So, on those days when I start feeling like that little lost sheep, I remember that verse that he loved so dearly, and I think God, You are truth, so that means You have a plan for my life, even with my beloved no longer being here. Show me the way Lord and guide my steps as I walk out your plan. If you are reading this, then you know by now, He has a plan for you too. Until next time!