The first time I saw Carol was in February 1963. It happened when a friend of mine and I drove through the parking area of a drive-in restaurant. The drive-in was a popular place, not only for its great burgers, malts and its carhops, but it was also a gathering spot where guys would go to show off their cool muscle cars.
As we were slowly cruising through the large parking area, we spotted a car parked there with two gals inside - eating their restaurant snacks while watching the neat cars go by. The parking stall next to them was empty, so we pulled in beside them hoping to chat for a while.
Since all of us were being cautious, conversation was initially difficult at best. Although my eyes were focused on Carol, she didn't contribute much of anything except her first name. I found out later she didn't like us. However, Carol's friend did give me her own name and phone number.
A few times over the next couple of weeks, I dated Carol's friend. Through her and with the help of another friend, plus some skillful planning, I was successful in finding out Carol's full name and phone number. Although that was good news, I also learned the bad news that she had a steady boyfriend. It would take some work to solve that little problem.
The guy Carol was dating had a cool '61 Chevrolet convertible - jet black, white top, red interior, etc. My car was certainly no match for that. They had a medallion thingy that had been purchased at the State Fair hanging from the rear view mirror of his car. I also found out they had a pact between them that if either one ever wanted to break up, that person would remove the hanging thingy from the mirror and they would split up with no questions asked.
Well...I found out where the guy would hang out on Friday evenings. So, I set up an alibi for myself and paid someone $20 to go find the Chevy, then, remove (steal?) the medallion from the car. I know...it was a devilish thing to do, but serious situations often require drastic actions. However, it all came off like clockwork. No one saw the "crime", I was in the clear, and Carol thought her boyfriend had called it quits.
I saw Carol a few days later and asked her out. She said, "Sure, why not? I'm free as a bird now." That was in May 1963, and we've been together ever since. However, I think at least twenty years went by before I dared to tell her about my devious deed.
Years before, I had spent much time on my knees before God - discussing with Him the nasty thing I had done to gain Carol's attention. I now know that God forgave and forgot, for He truly blessed us with a marriage made in heaven.
On Saturday evening, October 19, 1963, Carol became my bride. Only five months after we first met, we made a promise and commitment to each other before God and a church full of witnesses that we would love, cherish, honor, and care for one another as long as we have life and breath.
We are told in Scripture that our journey through life will not always be smooth. The road we travel will have bumps, twists and turns along the way. We must realize that we are all just lumps of clay in the Master Potter's hands - clay that He will shape into the vessels He would have us be according to His purpose for our lives.
Over the years we've had some good and bad, some richer and poorer, some sickness and health, some joy and sadness, and some laughter and tears, but our commitment today is stronger than ever and continues to grow each day. Would we do it all over again? The answer is yes...in a heartbeat!
We must be thankful for each new morning, and thank God for allowing us to be a part of it so we can live our days for His honor and glory. Each day we must count the many blessings He has so richly poured out on us.
On October 19, 2010 we will celebrate 47 years together. Each one becomes more precious as the years go by, especially with the serious health concerns we both have had the past few years. The prayer from each of us has been, and always will be, "I trust in You, O Lord...My times are in Your hand." (Psalm 31:14,15)
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!
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