I've always taught my kids that one day they would meet "The One". Now, not everyone believes in this concept. Call me a hopeless romantic, I guess. But I've always prayed for each of my children's spouses from when they were little. At bedtime, they knew the routine. First we'd snuggle up with their favorite books, then I'd tell them a made-up, fantasy story with them as the main character, and lastly we'd pray. They may not have understood, being young as they were, but I was already praying for their future spouses. I still do. My children are no longer young but a twenty-something and 2 teens. They are also hopeless romantics. I guess that's my doing.
The reason my kids are hopeless romantics and believe in "The One" that God has for their future spouses is because I've taught them that I found "The One". I knew at 19 years old when I met my husband, Tim, that he was the one I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. He just didn't know it at the time.
Tim and I met in a young adult group at our church. He had just come to faith in Jesus and was in a relationship with another girl. This girl had been an example of Christ to Tim and he had begun his journey of faith (thank you very much!). He looked for a church nearby and found the one I attended. Coincidence? I think not! Within that year, we became very close and it was apparent we were made for each other. Fast-forward 30 years later and we are still together. We often talk about how it feels like yesterday that we met and fell in love. It's been quite the journey, our marriage. We fell hard and fast for one another and this year, we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. Let me say this, I know he would agree when I say that we love each other more and more with every passing year. The love changes and grows, looking much different than it did in our younger years. Wisdom, challenges and time changes it, but not for the worse, for the better. Over the years, we've learned so many lessons in personal growth, commitment and compromise. Learning how to extend grace and patience is also huge.
Our all-time favorite family movie is "The Incredibles". Our kids say how much of our family is truly represented in the characters. Especially in Bob Parr's case. Forced to assume mundane lives as Bob and Helen Parr after all super-powered activities have been banned by the government, Bob longs to return to a life of adventure and he gets a chance when summoned to an island to battle an out-of-control robot. Soon Mr. Incredible is in trouble and it's up to his family to save him.
There’s a scene that is crucial to Mr. Incredible’s seemingly mid-life crisis storyline. A little neighborhood boy is always parked on his tricycle in front of their house, watching. After a particularly irritating day at his mundane job, Bob comes home and yells at him, “What are you waiting for?” The boy answers, “I don’t know...something amazing, I guess.” Bob sighs and replies, “Me too, kid.” This little exchange paints the larger picture perfectly: that everyone is waiting to be inspired.
My husband has been in ministry for 30 years, the last 15 as Senior Pastor of our church. I've watched the ups and downs of ministry...the mundane and the fantastic miracles. He has remained everyone's rock. Everyone who knows him knows his heart. He has a big one. I can write a book just on these stories alone. In one of the pictures above, Tim is giving blood in a local drive. He's always looking out for the well-being of others. When our community suffered the ravaging of Hurricane Sandy 5 years ago, he was the rock of our neighborhood. Never stopping for a minute to help others, even at the expense of taking care of our own home. God was good to us and sent many organizations to help and set-up a community station at our building. People came from all over the ravaged neighborhoods for help. There was my husband, in the middle of it all, serving.
Tim, as a father, has always been there for his kids. They know they can count on him for anything. When they want to ask for something that might be above and beyond the norm, he'd find a way to get it for them. They are who they are because he's the only pastor they've ever had. They've learned everything they know about loving and serving Jesus from him. (And of course a little from me...)
So, if you're struggling with that spouse, boyfriend or still patiently waiting for "The One", hang in there. Another favorite movie of ours is "Parenthood". Steve Martin plays Gil and in this scene with his Grandma this lesson holds true:
[Gil has been complaining about his complicated life; Grandma wanders into the room]
Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
And that's the truth of it. Some things are worth the ride.