Since it was our 45th Wedding Anniversary yesterday I wanted to repost the Memorial Box Monday story of how Joel and I were brought together by the prayers of others.
Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity started Memorial Box Mondays to help remind us of God's love and faithfulness. The stories written share those times in our lives where we have experienced God creating miracles, blessings, and provision just when we needed it.
When I was eighteen I left home to attend Bible college. The Lutheran Bible Institute, later known as Golden Valley Lutheran College, was a small 2 year college with around 250 students enrolled. It was nestled down in a valley of a suburb of Minneapolis, MN. The students came mostly from the Midwest and I was no different. It was a great atmosphere to live in and I enjoyed my two years there very much as we studied the Bible and grew in our faith.
On parents weekend, during my first semester, my older sister who helped raise me, and her good friend came for a visit. They looked over the campus while I was studying, and then met me on the second floor of the commons building, near the chapel after their campus tour. We visited for a short while before they announced that they had "found the guy I was going to marry".
I was more than a bit stunned, but listened quietly as they went on about how nice the young man was that they had met, and that he wanted to be a missionary in Africa just like his cousin David Simonson. They told me that they could "just see us married, living in Africa and working for God as missionaries". Of course, I had been thinking about mission work for years, but I was not so sure about them picking out my husband! I finally asked who this guy was and just when they were going to tell me, my sister said, "Oh, there he is! He just walked in the door!!"
I had already met Joel and my first impression of him had not been very good, so when I looked down to see who it was I was shocked, and said in a loud voice, "You have got to be kidding! He is loud, obnoxious, AND he wears BOOTS! (I was a city girl and he was a country boy after all...). My sister and her friend just smiled, and said, "We will pray about it."
Six months later we started dating and just 18 months from the day of our first date we were married with my sister's friend singing The Lord's Prayer at our wedding service! We have been married 45 years now and Joel still wears his cowboy boots. No matter where we have lived ~ in the West, Midwest, or across the ocean in The Philippine Islands~ whether he is at home, in the pulpit, or performing a wedding ceremony~ his boots are on his feet or nearby. I have come to love those boots along with his western hat, jeans, and denim shirts. And I would much rather be a country girl that a city girl any day. I have come to know how very blessed I am to have this man in my life.
When people ask how we met, we love to say we were prayed together, AND those who are prayed together stay together! God had a plan for our lives that included marriage vows which joined us together for quite an adventure in faithful living. Because of that plan, and of course my sweet Joel, cowboy boots will always hold a special place in my heart.
I am looking for a miniature pair of cowboy boots to put in my Memorial Box to remind us of God's faithfulness and perfect plan for our lives. I hope God blesses you with our story in some small way.