May 22, 1977
My wedding day. Sheila Pettit was my bride. We married in Ellijay, Georgia.
I was 19 years old, though I had just graduated a few weeks before from Freed-Hardeman College. I was nervous, but excited.
We had dreams...and plans. First we would housesit for various people as I served as a summer Youth Minister for the Springfield Church of Christ in Springfield, VA just outside of Washington, D.C. Then in late August we would move to Philadelphia, PA where I would attend Westminster Theological Seminary.
We moved to Philly with no money. All our savings had paid tuition for the first semester. We had no jobs, but we had paid the first month's rent on our apartment. We were going faith or perhaps naivete. Nevertheless, the Lord blessed us. We both found jobs within two weeks--including a preaching opportunity at the NE Philadelphia Church of Christ.
We had dreams. We planned to serve God in Germany, perhaps behind the Iron Curtain.
That first year was exhiliarting, and as with all first years of marriage a learning experience...learning to adjust to each other in our love.
We experienced tragedy that first year. Sheila had a miscarriage. But we were surrounded with a healing community in our small church.
It began on May 22, 1977...29 years ago today. It ended on April 30, 1980 when she died.
May 21 and May 22 come right after each other. I sort of wish they were spread out a bit. Those two days bring a mixture of sadness and joy to my heart. They are part of the stuff of my life and give meaning to my life.
And they (Joshua and Sheila) have shaped my life and enable me to be the person I am--whatever that is worth. But it is worth something because God has given me love once again and the joy of relationship and intimacy with Jennifer.
God be praised. He gives and he takes away, but he keeps on giving...and one day his gift will be without end.