We met on a street corner, passing out tracts for a youth rally that was to take place later that evening. He was older, having just finished up a six-year stint in the Navy. A few days before that, he had gone to a Billy Graham crusade and had a similar experience to my encounter at the surf club. When he said he would like to see more of me, I told him I would pray about it.
I did not date. Long ago, I had decided I was not interested in trying out partner prospects in the same way one shopped for new shoes or bought a car. Besides that, I was far too sensitive to others, and didn’t know anyone that I didn’t like immensely. How could I ever choose? So, I asked the Lord if He would just let me know whenever the right person came along. That way, there would be no mistakes. When I asked Him about this new acquaintance, the reply was, "I have given you to him as a gift."
Three weeks later, we were married.
My parents might have objected, only I was adamant. I had also turned eighteen two weeks before, so there was little they could do. In their estimation, it was probably better than taking off for any more foreign countries by myself. I had already been to six since my newfound freedom, and they were getting gray hairs. It bothered them that he was twenty-seven, but then again, maybe he would have some sort of a stabilizing effect on me.
Which he certainly did.
The first thing we did – before even renting an apartment – was take off for Europe. We went to Denmark, where we stayed with relatives of his and participated in youth rallies, hosted coffeehouses, and visited various churches. It was winter, the country was beautiful, and we walked between ten and fifteen miles a day to the different activities. The more we got to know each other, the more we realized how similar we were. Even in small things.
We both liked travel, we both liked simple living, we both wanted to do something worthwhile with our lives, and – most importantly – we both loved the Lord more than any of these things. At some point during this trip, we realized we were perfectly cut out to be missionaries. But neither of us had been raised in church. Just how did one go about it? Then we found a small pamphlet on a table at one of the churches called, "Ten Steps to the Mission Field." Number one was go to college.
He asked where I would like to go. I was from the West Coast, which still symbolized everything restrictive to me. So, I said, "As far away as possible." We went to the East Coast, starting out at a little Bible school in Pennsylvania. If I was going to be attending a Bible school to become a missionary, I decided I better start out clean. There was one part of my life I still hadn’t shared with him, yet. It was a bad habit I had. Almost an addiction. Matter of fact, I still did not have complete control over it.
He was so understanding. Whatever it was, we could handle it. We would work it out together. "I write stories," I confessed. "My head is absolutely full of them. Sometimes, they seem more real than life to me. I scribble them down everywhere and then hide them."
He bought me a desk and a typewriter – the first I had ever owned – and said, "Write."
What’s happening on the farm today: Still melting, and warming enough in the afternoon to turn the heat off in the study. Just when I reached the conclusion that all the bugs are either asleep or dead altogether for the season, I swallowed one in my tea this morning. Global warming seems to be effecting more than just the weather.
Habit status: Day 11, round 2 (drawing close to a judgment)