Friday, June 7, 2013

Post #3 - Our Engagement!

In my last blog, I said that God revealed to me that Michelle was the woman he chose for me. While, I don’t believe in the concept of the “one for me” idea per se, it seems that God had a specific one for me. "I would counsel people that while God has a good plan for us and puts people in our lives, we still have the choice to reject His plan." In our case, both of us felt peace about our relationship and moved forward. After the second date Michelle and I began to meet together regularly and talk on the phone daily.
There was a gap between our second date and the time I was to depart again for Lee University to attend the fall semester. It was during this gap I made my move; I asked Michelle to marry me and she said yes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to buy the engagement ring at the time. I had to wait two months before I was able to officially propose, but the verbal agreement was all we needed. After all, we were in love.
This was a commitment I didn’t take lightly. Through the years I witnessed the pain of divorce and the havoc it caused on spouses and kids. I determined not to suffer the same experience as many of my friends and family did. So in order to not follow in their shoes, Michelle and I worked through three pre-marital workbooks that prepared couples for marriage and participated in six sessions of premarital counseling with our pastor. While such a preparation regiment is not iron-clad protection from future marriage problems, it did set for us a wonderful foundation on which to build.
The courtship would continue on for several months. I would leave college and move back to Terre Haute to marry Michelle.
More to come tomorrow!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our First Date - Continued!!!!

In my last blog, I told about how Michelle and I went out on our first date. The date was a memorable one for me. After she picked me up, we went to Olive Garden and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Michelle had the Tour of Italy while I enjoyed the Veal Marsala. The meal was filled with a lot of small talk seasoned with the great aspirations I had for ministry. I thought at the time I was destined to be the next mega-church pastor. In looking back on the conversation I am surprised I didn’t scare her away with some of my grandiose dreams. 

After dinner we played miniature golf followed by a time spent at the Banks of the Wabash Festival. It was there that Michelle and I rode the Ferris Wheel together for the first time. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the conversation, but I thought that this was probably our last date. After all, I was returning to Lee University in the fall to continue my education.

The months of June and July were spent separated from Michelle as she went back to Michigan for the summer. During these two months I was convinced that my wife to be was at Lee University waiting for me to sweep her off her feet. However, God had other plans.

At the time I was still involved in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement and all that goes along with that. On several occasions I had people prophecy to me that Michelle was to be my wife. While I didn’t take their prophecies seriously, it did get me thinking of the possibility of Michelle becoming my wife. Even so, I continued to be resistant to the idea until one fateful Sunday morning toward the end of the summer. Michelle had returned to church with her mother and grandmother in tow. Our pastor preached a powerful sermon and at the end of it I felt impressed that Michelle was the one for me. I wasted no time. I made a bee-line for her pew and asked her to go on another date. Her mother and grandmother must have wondered what was wrong with me! While I don’t recommend my experience as a blueprint for finding a wife, this is how it worked out for me. 

To be continued tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our Love Story: The First Date

The first date is always the scariest, isn’t it? Sometimes you know if the other person is the right one after the first night on the town together. While my first date with Michelle didn’t wield the same immediate conclusion, just a few months after that first date, I knew that Michelle was the one for me.

Our love story began a little unusually. Michelle, the 26-year-old shy, beautiful girl that she was, decided to ask me out in a way that might seem odd to some. She decided to ask the pastor’s wife to ask the pastor to ask me if I would like to go out with her. I said yes, returning the message through the same chain of command, albeit in reverse order. Now the stage had been set. Little did I know that I would spend the rest of my life with her, my caring, supportive and faithful companion.

A day or two later I called her and we set the date, with one caveat. She had to pick me up. I didn’t tell her why I couldn’t assume the traditional role of picking her up. However, when the day of our first date arrived, I met Michelle at my door and introduced her to my grandmother. A few minutes later we ventured out to the car to prepare to go to the restaurant where I made reservations. 

However, before getting into the car Michelle asked me to drive, which was the one question I didn’t want her to ask. You see a few years earlier I was arrested for the third time for my drinking. At fifteen years old I had become an alcoholic and in my later teen years it progressed into an even greater problem causing me to get arrested three different times before Christ turned my life around. So when Michelle asked why I couldn’t drive, I was forced to reveal to her that my license was still suspended for my DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and minor consumption charge, all in a night’s work, two years earlier. I figured any woman who would still go out with a guy like me, might just be a keeper. I would find out later she was more than a keeper; she was God’s special gift to me.

Well, I better get back to my studies. I will write another installment tomorrow, and every day after that until June 12th, our anniversary.