Sunday, April 6, 2014

LOVE

http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/selah-clanton-zephyrhills-fl/
the answer today is: the bottom one- something like finding the cheapest van on line....


YEAH we have $235 that has come in so far for Sonya!!!!!  (So that was $125 today!)   You can be apart of helping this little girl by going to http://www.gofundme.com/78kap0   to give on her site or through the church at
Grace Church
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills Fl 33540

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Today a teen in our church asked me how did I KNOW Jon was the right man for me, especially after we only dated for one month when we eloped....  Well we told the story again and it just warmed my heart.....so I'm going to share it here.

In the fall of 1986 Jon and I were in a class Urban Context for Ministry, together.  I was the ONLY girl (Bible college is GREAT!) and he was the only guy I didn't know.  He didn't live on campus so I assumed he was married.  There was only about 25 people in the class.  The summer of 1986, I did an internship in NYC at Metro Assembly of God, an inner city church.  Also at college, I was leading a large ministry group that worked on the notorious OBT  (Orange Blossom Trail)  in Orlando.  We worked out of a soup kitchen, reaching out to the homeless & the prostitutes that worked the street and the strip clubs.  It was exciting times for sure, more than once I was threatened by pimps, as we rescued prostitutes from their pimps.  One time I brought one back with me, bless her heart, she only had one leg.  My roommate almost freaked out!  I helped the lady get into Teen Challenge.  Anyhow Jon knew who I was and was interested in me but I didn't give him the time of day since I assumed he was married (he lived off campus with his parents) 

After that semester, Jon took time off from college to work full time in ministry with Teen Challenge of Florida.  He spoke, traveled, took the choir out to churches on the weekend to raise money and worked with the program during the week. 

About three years later in the fall of 1989, I had graduated from college but was picking up some classes in education so I'd have two majors.  I had just broke up with my long term boyfriend.  Then I happened to see a flyer on the job wall looking for an assistant director of a homeless shelter, Talbot House.  I was THRILLED!  I loved working with the homeless but had never dreamed I'd get paid for it! 

So I called the number listed.  The first number an older lady answered, I told her what I was calling about and she told me that a young girl (I was ALMOST 24 years old) had no business at a homeless shelter.  I assumed she was the director's wife.  THEN she said I'd be PERFECT  for her son who LIVED at home.....  In a nice way, I told her I was only interested in a job, certainly not a guy who was 25 and living at home!!!!!!!   LOL

Then I called the OTHER number which was the homeless shelter and spoke to the director who was HER son NOT her husband.  I had so much confidence, I told him I WAS the ONE for the job!  He crossly told me I could come in the next day for an interview.  (he said he didn't remember my name and thought I was WAY too self assured)

So the next day, I went in for an interview (Sept 13, 1989)  I still remember what I was wearing, loved the outfit I had on.  We had a THREE hour long interview.  Then he carried my briefcase (yes I always used one) to my old 72 Brown Comet.  As I was leaving, I said that we ought to get together for coffee sometime.  He put his foot on the fender and asked me what I was doing that weekend.  (Had I known his recommendation for the job  was for someone else, I would have probably told him to "kiss my grits")

Well he submitted my resume and a mutual friends résumé  to the board,  the friend turned it down since he was also the pastor of a church and then the board met with me and hired me!

So Jon became my boss, we were inseparable.   I think I knew I was hired BEFORE our first date that weekend. 

So we went out to Olive Garden with his brother and sister in law to be.  Jon nor my SIL to be talked much but me and my soon to be BIL had a great date LOL.  They left and then we went to Lake Morton, the scene of many romantic evenings for anyone who lives in the Lakeland area:)    We talked for hours. 

My birthday came up that next week, he took me out again and took me by to meet his parents informally.  I WANTED to meet them since I'd come out of a relationship with a guy who had a CRAZY family life and I wanted to make sure I was not getting into something like that again LOL!  I found his parents to be warm and wonderful-they passed:)   I had REALLY wondered WHY Jon was living at home.  I'd be on my own since I was 17 years old and him living at home made me uncomfortable.  But I found out his mom had recently asked him to move home to help as his dad had opened heart surgery (remember that was 25 years ago and quite a bit deal) also one of his brothers had gone through a really hard time and his mom hoped that Jon would be able to help in that area too.  So then I was fine with him living at home. 

I KNEW  I had found the most amazing man, when one night on "rounds" at the homeless shelter with me, he saw a homeless man had kicked off his blanket, without missing a stride, he bent down, picked up the blanket and covered the man up.....I was IN LOVE!!!!!   Seriously, that act showed his heart and I had never seen a more beautiful heart. 

So we saw each other daily and within a week or two were talking marriage.  It was certainly a whirl wind courtship!  One night he was leaving to go to a speaking engagement and I was at the shelter.  He said he was seeing one of his closest friends and he was going to ask the guy to officiate at our wedding.  Just kidding around I said that he hadn't asked me officially yet....so he did ....AT the homeless shelter with one of the men calling for "Bro Jon" in the background LOL.  How fitting for our life......

Another  night I was up at the shelter and he went out with a friend.  The friend counseled Jon not to marry me since I had only been broken up with a long term boyfriend for about 4 months.  The next day we had a BIG discussion about things and I told him that when I was done with the other guy, I was done....   then somehow we got to discussing WHEN we were going to get married and I said something like December, April or today, I know I want to marry you.  So he said LET"S DO IT TODAY...I really thought he was joking.  REALLY! 

I went back to my dorm and changed clothes and he called the court house to see if we could really do it!  And we could:)  So we went down to the courthouse and got married.  At first we were going to get the license so our friend could do the wedding but then we decided to just do it there.  A lady justice of the peace, Molly married us!

We met on September  13, got married on October 12....same year......Crazy huh????

So as we were leaving the courthouse, I thought "what the hell have I just done??"  But really got over that feeling pretty quickly. 

Now it is so sweet to look back on our unusual dating/marriage. At the time, some  people didn't know what to think.  A few thought I was pregnant....NOT,   a few thought we were crazy but most everyone around us thought it was wonderful.  In the ministry/collage community we were both a part of, we had MANY mutual friends and over and over again, we were told by friends "WOW- you two are perfect for each other, WHY didn't you meet sooner????"

Jon's family was a little shocked but had met me a few times and thankfully taken a liking to me.  Jon called his mom and told her and she was cool ( years later my brother in love, told me she freaked out just a bit)  my father in law was quoted saying "what the HELL has Jon done?"  But by the time we got home from our short honeymoon, we were greeted with love and acceptance.  I had a great relationship with my in laws, my mother in law passed away just six months later in a car accident, that was heart breaking to me.  My father in law is elderly & deals with Alzheimer's, but remembers me. 

Since I only had my grandmother and great aunt, we didn't tell them on the phone but went up a few weeks later to see them.  My grandmother, who NEVER minced words said "Lord have mercy"  HAHAHA!  But they loved Jon, probably more than they loved me in a short amount of time. 

This October will be 25 years since this crazy love story started.....I'm blessed, Jon was the man I thought him to be and so much more. 

Do I have any regrets....NOT ONE!

Would I counsel anyone else to do what we did?  NO!

I'm not into any type of fixed style of dating/marriage.  The bible tells Christians only one thing "Not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever"  I'm not into any of the new style of "courting" or any of that type of stuff.  I think the bible, gives freedom to date/court/get to know someone as long as you are both believers.  Of course I have some ideas of WHY our marriage has stood the test of time and that is because we were so very equally yoked.....we had the same heart, same desires for our future as far as ministry went.  We were both seasoned in ministry.   We both had dated before and knew what we wanted and what we didn't want in a mate.   Jon and I have seldom had a disagreement about basic things, we have the same values and goals in life. 

Now we certainly did not know we had so many of the same ideas but we were pretty much at the same place spiritually & emotionally that it just worked for us.  We didn't have big discussions about anything in the future BUT ministry.  We really didn't talk about kids for years.  So no we did not see ourselves the parents of FIVE kids!  LOL

As time has passed, we have become so much more interwoven with each other.  It is amazing to me, how we've become one.  We never set out to adopt kids, but God opened doors and we both heard from God and went through those doors.   Now we know what the other one is thinking about things, and we have learned to trust each other.  It was the hardest for me to learn to trust as I'd had such a crappy life growing up.   But I learned to trust his decisions and judgment and he has learned to trust mine too.  We make a pretty good pair.  He is generally the nice guy and I'm not :)   He is tactful and I'm not:)  He keeps me from getting killed probably! 

During the lowest point of the valley years ago, I thought about leaving Jon.  I was so angry at God and didn't want anything to do with God or the ministry, but I couldn't....and he couldn't....and we worked on things.....thank God. 

So we met and married in one month. Crazy true story..... 

If you are reading this and you are single, the one thing I'd advise you is to get close to God, set your eyes on Him and then continue to walk the path He wants for you.  We were both walking the path God had for us when we bumped into each other....

A funny coincidence....
On December 7, 1983, I was writing in my journal.  I prayed that God would save my husband to be if he was not yet a Christian.  THAT SAME DAY.....Jon "happened" to go to a church and gave his life to God.  We found my journal in an old box at my aunts house some years AFTER we were married.....  Kinda neat huh?








2 comments:

  1. What a joyously 'goose-pimply' story...esp. the part about the journal entry and Jon's commitment to Jesus! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. So, what if one of your sons called you and told you he had gotten married? I would have heart failure! Did your grandmother and aunt meet John before you got married? Lordy, lordy girlfriend you were just a tad jump in with both feet, huh? But, it worked, didn't it and that's what counts.

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