35 Years

It started at a wine and cheese party during opening orientation in 1978 ... my sophomore year at Oxford College. I was helping work the Coca-Cola table ... I didn't like wine or cheese! Not a lot of traffic at my table and I was getting a little lonely and perturbed watching all my friends interact with other folks, especially the cute girls who were coming in as freshmen.  Finally, when I saw Tim at a nearby table with three girls, I realized I had enough and must take some action. So I left my post at the Coke table and went over to see what was going on.  One of those girls was from the small South south Georgia town of Lyons ... her name was Anita.

So after 5 years of dating and 35 years of marriage here we are with 7 living children, 3 beautiful and gracious daughters-in-law, 2 incredibly cute grandkids, and the best church family in the world. Nobody in attendance that night in the Oxford Student Center would have ever predicted such a full and blessed life for us; I certainly couldn't have! 

Not that it's been all smooth sailing ... life is hard, marriage is hard, raising children is hard, caring for a special needs child is hard, losing a child is hard, ministry is hard, etc. ... but having Anita with me every step of the way is absolutely the best gift apart from Christ I could possibly ask for. In fact, I can't imagine my life apart from her. I thank God for her and realize I am among the most blessed of all men!

It was Sunday afternoon, 21 August 1983, at the First Baptist Church of Lyons, GA where we gathered in God's presence with family and friends to exchange marriage vows and publicly acknowledge the absolute supremacy of Christ in our lives and marriage. I reflect on the covenant God made with us and we made with one another and I realize I'm the weakest of the partners in this relationship. Truly, God has been perfectly faithful in all His promises. And though Anita hasn't been perfect, she's far exceeded me in upholding our vows. Her tireless love and support for me makes my love for her seem feeble and lackluster. Yet I rejoice in God's grace and ask that He would mold me to be more like Jesus, especially as I seek to love my wife as He has loved me.

And to the Community Presbyterian Church family ... thank you! You have cared for us, supported us, loved us, been patient with us, watched us grow, and nourished us in spirit during the overwhelming bulk of our marriage. We are blessed to be a part of this family.

So 35 years down and we're hoping for 35 more!