40 years sure does go by fast!
It was 40 years ago today that I asked Nona to be my wife. That decision made it possible for you to read this. If I had not asked and if she had not said yes then we would not have had 3 awesome kids and you would never have been born.
Here’s how it happened. It was Christmas Day 1980. We were both 22 years old. I had gone to Kernersville, NC to hang out with Nona and her family for the evening. Kernersville is where she grew up and the house was the same house that she had come home from the hospital to. Her mom and dad and one of her sisters were there. At some point in the evening we snuck back to her bedroom to privately exchange Christmas gifts with each other. I told her that I had written a poem for her and I gave it to her and asked her to read it out loud. It was entitled “This Poem Is A Prayer” and went like this:
This poem is a prayer
So as you read you ought to pray.
I thought it best the Lord should hear
These words I have to say.
This poem is a love song
So as you read you ought to sing.
You can praise the Lord our God
Who’s given life to you and me.
This poem is a dream
Which I have waited to come true.
I had been asleep for many years
But awoke when I found you.
This poem is an ending
To the two of us apart
And it culminates a miracle
Which brought love to my heart.
This poem is a beginning
To a never ending life
Where two can live as one
And both can live in Christ.
This poem is an answer
To a prayer prayed long ago
As it brings us both together
To a life we soon shall know.
This poem is a question
Which I cannot let you read
But if you’ll look into my eyes
I’ll ask you…
At this point I got down on one knee and finished the poem by saying “will you marry me.” I told her there was something in the toe of her stocking. She fished it out and found a box with a diamond ring. She looked up at me and answered my question by quoting from Psalm 34:3-4 which says, “O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together! I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” She said YES and told me that the Lord had given her a calm assurance about us being together despite some crazy ideas that I had at this point in my life. (Remind me sometime to tell you the story about how I never became a dairy farmer).
So that’s my story as best I remember it. I will end this epistle by saying two things: 1) It has been an awesome 40 years with Nona full of incredible memories and shared ministry, and 2) 40 years sure does go by fast!
Never ever forget that you are very loved!