Thursday, March 12, 2009
Jon and I re met (there's that word I created) in a very unique way. I had broken off a long term relationship and although I had already graduated, I decided to return to SEC to get an education degree. It could be done in 2 semesters so I thought that was a good thing for me to do. On the job board at SEC was an ad for an assistant director of a homeless shelter. Man that was right up my alley. You mean people actually got paid to work with the homeless! I called the number listed and talked to a real nice lady who I assumed was the director's wife. She tried to talk me out of applying and told me it was no place for a woman. I assured her I was used to working with the homeless and thought it would be a fine job. She then proceeded to try and set me up with her son who was actually the director of the shelter. She gave me his background and told me all about him. I thought what a weird guy still living at home. (I didn't know his dad had recently had surgery and his younger brother was going through a hard time so his mom had really wanted him to move home during that time).
I then called Jon at the shelter and told him "I'm the one for the job" (I still get kidded about that statement) Jon didn't seem to impress by my declaration but did give me an interview. What an interview that was, 2 hours and I'm not sure we discussed the Talbot House much! We remembered each other from the class a few years back. He told me the board would have the final interview and say in the matter. So as I was leaving I told him we should get together for coffee sometime since we had so much in common. He leaned up against my old brown bomb and said " How about Friday night at Olive Garden?" WOOHOO..... That was September 13
The board did hire me and Jon was my boss for a short while. We worked together and dated as much as we could. Within 2 weeks we were talking marriage. Some people thought we had lost our minds. All I remember was I had no fear or reservations about the relationship. Jon was the kindest man I'd ever met. I saw how he handled difficult people on a daily basis with respect. He treated the homeless just as if they were businessmen wearing $1000 suits, instead of bums wearing the latest outfit from he Salvation Army.
One of his friends talked to him about the suddenness of our relationship and tried to talk him out of getting serious so soon with me. So he and I met and talked it out one morning. I told him I didn't care when we got married...next year , Christmas break or today...Well he though today sounded good to him! I thought he was really just kidding. So I said let's go to lunch. We ate at the old Ryans' on US 98 South. After we ate he continued to say what a good idea it was to get married TODAY. So off to find a payphone and call the courthouse to see how to go about it. We found out that in Florida at that time, a couple could apply for a license and get married on the same day. He went to his house and got a suit and I went to SEC and changed and off to Bartow we went. At that point I think we were thinking we'd just get the license and then get a minister friend to marry us. Well once we were there, he decided we should get married in the new little wedding chapel in the courthouse. So we did with a justice of the peace named Molly doing the honors. That was October 12, 1989! One day short of one month of dating!!
When we left the courthouse I remember thinking "What have I done?" But I wasn't really afraid just freaked out! He actually had to go to the homeless shelter and work for a while. So I packed and then that night we went to Clearwater for a day honeymoon.
While I don't recommend such a short dating period, it certainly has worked for us. This October will be our 20 year anniversary. Several of the people that were so concerned about us getting married so soon have since divorced themselves. I think that just shows that commitment is what matters in a relationship. Jon and I have gone through some storms in our marriage. There was a time I thought we would probably divorce each other but we made it through. I'm so glad we did. I'll discuss some more in another post.
A few months after we were married, I took Jon up to meet my aunt and grandmother. While we were in Perry, I went through some old journals I had saved for years. In one on December 7, 1983, I wrote a prayer to God for my husband -to -be. It was a freezing cold day and due to our water pipes being frozen, we didn't go to church that morning, a very rare occasion. So I spent the time joureling. I wrote and asked God to save my husband -to -be and call him into the ministry.
Well for some time in 1984, Jon had been searching. He'd been raised in a Methodist church and had a reverence for God but not a real relationship. He saw a news article in the Lakeland Ledger about old First Assembly on Main Street that Karl Strafer pastored at the time. The article caught his attention so he decided to go that Sunday December 7, 1983. He was challenged in that service and gave his heart to the Lord.
Now you can call that a coincidence but we saw God's hand in that situation! It shook us up in a good way and showed us although we had no big sign that we were to marry each other prior to our marriage, we certainly had confirmation after our marriage!!!! To us it was an amazing sign that we were in God's will for our lives. What are the chances of my prayer being written at the very same time that Jon is in a service being challenge for the first time in his life to begin a relationship with God? Pretty neat huh?
The pictures are from about a month after we got married and we had a ceremony including his family at his parents house. Were we skinny or what?? Steve looked at these pictures and asked who those people were! I don't know why these pictures are saving so small. They are scans from old pictures but if you clink on them you can enlarge them.
See ya soon