My husband and I have now been married for 18 years. Wow, how time has flown! We’ve had 13 addresses and 2 children, bought 5 houses, earned 2 college degrees (since marriage), moved cross-country twice, been in sickness and in health, have forsaken all others, and hope to continue on for many decades to come.
I’ve written pieces of our story before on my former blog. Surprisingly (to me), this always garners a great deal of interest, and several people have asked me to write the whole story. I think that’s a pretty good idea if for no other reason than having it written down for our children to read someday.
If you’ll allow, I’m going to plagiarize myself on this first installment, since I wrote about the beginning back on the 20th anniversary of the day we met. Then I’ll pick up the rest of the story.
Twenty years ago, I was a 20-year-old co-ed at Auburn University. I had a small group of close friends including the two pictured with me below, was active in my church, and was just generally progressing through my courses. The guy I thought was going to follow me to Auburn didn’t. A couple of crushes from my freshman year had come to nothing. And while the Summer after my freshman year turned out to be the unexpected Summer of Two Boyfriends, neither one had proven to be long-term.
This was during the time when Evangelism Explosion was all the rage in Baptist churches, and Lakeview Baptist in Auburn was no different. I had attended the orientation meeting for EE a few months prior but felt that the Lord was not leading me in that direction (which was pretty surprising at the time). However, in January the classes started up again and, with a lot less on my plate for that term, I sensed the All Clear to go ahead with the training. [Side note: David had also considered starting EE in the Fall but ended up waiting until January.]
I showed up to the meeting all alone. While there, I learned that everyone would be assigned to a team of three people. My name was called out by the leader. “Laura, you’ll be with Russ and David.” I had no idea who he was talking about, so I went around the room asking, “Are you Russ? Are you David?” Eventually, I found them. (In the picture below, David is on the left, and Russ is on the right.)
After some brief introductions, the three of us headed out to Russ’s car. He had already been trained as a leader in EE, so David and I were about to get some on-the-job training in visiting some students who had recently attended a service at Lakeview. Before heading out, Russ prayed.
Now, I have to tell you that I am not one of those people who go around saying “God told me this” or “God told me that.” Gentle Spirit nudges, yes. But an actual voice, no. This was different. While Russ was praying, I heard – as clear as a bell – “Laura, I’d like you to meet your One” (because, like all good church girls, I was looking for The One, and God, being omniscient, knew the terminology that I used). I actually opened my eyes to see if anyone else had heard what I heard. Nope, just me.
There were two guys in the car with me, but it didn’t occur to me to ask God which one He was talking about. I naturally assumed that He must mean the one praying. (To date, Russ is the most awesome pray-er I know.) So when I got back to my dorm room, I told my roommate, the girls pictured above, and my mother (on the phone), that I had met my One. “What’s his name?” they asked. “Russ Lynch!” I answered.