Twenty years ago, a modern love story began.
Two people had grown up together, through church and school. Her mother taught both of them in Sunday School and youth group. They didn’t run in the same crowd at school, but being in an area where few shared their beliefs, they had a connection there because of their faith.
She was popular, in student government and choir. He was a little awkward, in band and drama. He was shy, but asked her to prom – only because he knew she was so nice she wouldn’t say no. Otherwise he probably wouldn’t have had a date. They had fun, but it was just as friends.
She was a year older than him in school. When she graduated, she went to Youth With a Mission for their Discipleship Training School in Lakeside, Montana. He was a little lost without his good friend that year, but ended up following in her footsteps, also going to YWAM after his graduation.
When he returned, they both attended the local university, carpooling together the first year. She didn’t like it when he was snooty about having to listen to country music. He wasn’t amused when she and her friends all got in the back of his car and treated him as their chauffeur. Sometimes they seemed to bicker like brother and sister, but they remained friends through it all.
She found that she could even call on him-when he was about to sit down to a hot plate of homemade macaroni and cheese-while she was being chased by a vicious spider. He arrived at her house, only a few blocks away, to find her standing on the kitchen counter using a broom to fend off the ferocious arachnid. A well-placed sandal ended the threat.
After a couple of years he decided he needed something radical in his spiritual life, and signed up for a Bible school program through YWAM – in Australia. She is one of the last people he spends time with before leaving. He even calls her from Oz, since he has some extra time on his phone card. But she wasn’t expecting a call from overseas, so she asks, “Who is this?”
After 9 months he came back from Down Under, and their friendship resumed. She noticed that he had matured in his time away. He had always honored their relationship so much that he never dared to make it more, because he didn’t want to scare her off.
Over the next year, they continue their friendship. Best friends now, they start working together at a local restaurant. But when asked if he’s ever thought of dating her, he replies that “they’re just like brother and sister.” When you’re both in your early twenties, and some of the only singles around in your church in a small town, that automatic pairing is inevitable. However, they both share a strong passion for the Lord, and they try as best to let Him guide their lives.
Their college studies are coming into focus: she is majoring in education, and he is trying to get into the physician assistant program. December arrives and he’s dealing with finals in fun classes like anatomy, physiology, and organic chemistry. English papers aren’t the highest priority, so on a Sunday he is holed up in his basement most the day to research and write his next assignment. He might have been farther along, but his mind was distracted by what she said after church.
“I need to talk to you about something. But I can’t do it right now.”
Isn’t that maddening?
“Well, when are you going to tell me? What if I call you when I get my research done?”
He finds that he can’t concentrate, and his overactive imagination is spinning with different possibilities. Finally he gets enough done where he figures he can take a break and give her the long awaited phone call. Despite all his imaginings, he can’t expect what would happen next.
“Remember how you said we were like brother and sister?”
“Well, my feelings for you have changed.”
Pause. “What do you mean?”
“I like you more than a friend.”
That may not be the most amazing line ever spoken in a romantic film, but it was the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. This woman, who was my ideal, had just opened a door that I could not have ever hoped would open. She is beautiful. She loves the Lord with all her heart. She is sweet and kind, tender and caring. Her smile lights up a room, but she could also speak with God’s fire when moved.
So our courtship began. Being good friends, we knew that this wasn’t a trifle. The next day I fasted and prayed and the Lord spoke Proverbs 18:22 to me. Wow.
It wasn’t easy to be single and waiting. Both of us railed against that at times, but mercifully Jesus kept us hidden in His hand, keeping us from any serious entanglements, keeping us pure.
March 28, 1998, was the day that we were joined into one, and that day will always be special. But our journey started 20 years ago. The day we fell in love.
I love you Beccy. Always and forever.