On this date 34 years ago my life changed.
The college group at church was having a special meeting on a Friday night. A new pastor had been hired and he was being introduced that evening. I wanted to go but didn’t have anyone to go with. I was new to the group and only knew a handful of people and could not truly call any of them friends so I called a friend who went to another church and asked him to go with me. He agreed and we walked into the meeting together a few hours later.
I do not remember anything the new pastor said that evening. It was not his words that changed my life. It was something that happened later, during the reception, that altered the course of my life.
I scanned the room looking for faces I recognized. Off to the right of the room I saw two guys who I had met a few weeks earlier at weekend retreat. We met that weekend in the mountains and when it concluded we drove back down together. I had only met them once but I knew them better than anyone else in the room so I migrated in their direction.
Standing with them was a petite and pretty girl with light brown hair. We were introduced. Her name was Lisa and she had a wonderful smile. I do not remember much of the conversation, other than me joking that I drank so much Coke that my blood was carbonated. I talk a lot when I am nervous. I also tend to crack a lot of jokes and tell stories. Miraculously, Lisa laughed at my jokes.
We saw each other again two days later at church. (She saw me approaching and placed herself strategically near the door. She was impossible to miss.) We talked, and I ended up walking her to her car. As we walked across the parking lot I found the courage to ask her out. She said yes. (Another miracle!)
Our first date was a church square dance. We talked more than we danced. Talking to Lisa was easy. The next day I called my best friend and told him that I had met a girl I could totally fall for. “How could you know that after only one date?” was his incredulous reply.
Three weeks later I asked Lisa to marry me. She said yes and less than 5 months later she were married in the room in which we met. My life was transformed. Before Lisa I was self-doubting and alone. She gave me her heart and that gave me courage.
34 years have passed. I still melt at her smile. I thank God every day for miracle of her love.