One Flesh

>> Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I carefully explained to God that I was never getting married again. Then I softened that declaration a little by saying, “If you want me to get married again, you are going to have to plant him right in front of me.”

Marry again? Not in my plans after getting out of 13 years of marriage, the last number of which were filled with unhappiness and betrayal. I was lonely but it wasn’t in my head or heart to find another wife. It was in my DNA to find new things to do as a single person and press on with life. I started running, working up to 10K’s.  Not being a passive person, I wasn’t sure just where a newly single guy would fit in at my church so I asked God if He could give me some direction.

Think God can’t do that?

I talked to my pastor and he had some ideas.

Ron and Julee King were friends of mine and had been inviting me to attend their church. With the breakup of my marriage a few years earlier, I had been on a mission to become a real person, not just a robot obeying anyone in authority. As part of that mission, I was searching for a church that was real too. So when my kids went to spend time with their father, I agreed to visit their church.

That’s how it all began.

That’s how it all began.

The Sunday I visited just happened to be the Sunday that the new leaders for the next year were being introduced. I listened as they spoke of small children’s classes, teenage, young married, etc. When they were all through, no mention had been made of a single’s class … of which I was one. At the church I currently attended, I had been instrumental in getting a single’s group started. As I sat  pondering the lack of a single’s group in this church, I knew without a doubt that God was telling me to go to that pastor and offer my services to help him start a single’s group. My heart was pounding as I argued with God.

“I can’t do that. I don’t even know that man. This isn’t my church. I’m not strong enough yet to do that.”

My heart pounded on.

God won.

After the service I forced myself to take that walk to the front of the church to extend my help to the pastor. I mentioned I had heard no single’s group in his introductions. He whipped out a little notepad and said, “No, we don’t have one yet, but we are working on it. If you give me your name and address, I’ll let you know when we have one up and running.”

“No, I’m here to offer my services to help you get one going.”

“Good. You’re number two.”

“Please explain that to me.”

“I asked for God to send me three people to help get a single’s group started. You are the second person to volunteer.”

Guess who the first person was? You got it. The man I am now married to.

It was a Saturday morning; my usual long run morning. Instead I found myself running just a few miles to my church for a meeting with my pastor and someone else who was interested in getting a singles group off the ground. There she sat. We discussed some plans and spent enough time there that I “cooled down” and didn’t feel like running back home, so I asked her for a ride. We began a conversation on the way to my apartment that has continued to this day. I had no romantic ideas that day. I just was fascinated by her life story and her laser-focused determination to build a better life for herself. We became friends first and talked for hours each time we would meet. Then we began a romance which finds us still friends today.

Today, we have been married 31 years.

The first few years took a lot of hard work. We separated for almost a year. But we knew the kind of marriage we wanted … and that just could not happen overnight. As the years passed, we struggled less.

I brought a lot of emotional baggage into our marriage and it took some wise counsel and long talks with myself and God to sort through things. But she never stopped loving me while she held her ground.

We now have the relationship we dreamed about all those years ago. He is my best friend and confidant. We hold hands when we walk. We laugh together … and cry together. Even when one of us travels to another city, we are in daily contact by phone and texting. We are in love.

It is the highlight of my day to come home and sit beside the fire pit on the patio and talk to my lover and friend.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31 (NIV)

and John


opramum June 1, 2011 at 8:52 AM  

A beautiful love story, beauty for ashes. Thanks for sharing! It's an awesome thing to be married to your best friend!

Joanne Sher June 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM  

What an awesome, AWESOME story, Joy! Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself (and your wonderful hubby!) with us.

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