It's that day again! With all that's going on...mostly moving and Elsie being sick, I nearly forgot that it was even Tuesday. But, I was checking in on Julie and her girls, and her post reminded me that today is Tuesday--time for a testimony! YAY!
Well, I've actually spent some time this past week thinking about a testimony that wouldn't bring anyone to tears. The truth is that so many of the most marvelous things God has done in my life are triumphs that rise from ashes. But, there are a few great things that have seemed to come from no great sorrow. I'm thankful for all of them.
Today, I'll share with you a little story about one of my favorite people. First, I'll tell you a little bit about a single version of Mandalynn. I was 19 when I got saved. Luckily, I hadn't married anyone yet...I hate to think who I might've chosen without the Lord's guidance. Anyway, salvation changed every aspect of my life, including my thoughts about dating. I read I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and it really changed my thoughts on dating. Actually, the dating stopped for the most part. I began to take the dating game a bit more seriously. Suddenly, it had a purpose, and I stopped wasting my time with guys that I'd never consider marrying. Marriage was something that I longed for, and anyone who knew me well then knows I wanted nothing else more than that. Instead of dating, I prayed my tail off for the guy I was going to marry. And, not unlike most girls, I had a pretty good idea of exactly what I wanted. He would hate pot roast like me, would love chic flicks, be a country boy, love the Lord with all his heart. I prayed prayers about having a husband who would draw me closer to God and challenge me, stretch me outside my comfort zone. (Some prayers should seriously come with warning labels!)
Anyway, one of my good friends, Angel, was the Youth Pastor at the church I attended. I remember sitting in her office one day with her and one of the youth, Veronica, talking about the guy I wanted to marry. Veronica was certain that I was describing Angel's nephew, Jason. She tried to get me to look at a picture, and I refused. No way did I need a face to go with all that I was obsessively dreaming about.
Fast forward a few weeks later, and Jason was coming to visit Angel for the Fourth of July. We met on July 3, 2003. I was at her house helping her clean when he walked through the door, and I can't say I ever believed in love at first sight before that day, but there was an instant attraction. From the moment we met, we just fit together. We always have a church picnic on July 4th so he was there for that, and we went swimming and hung out at Angel's. Later, I'd learn that a lot of people from church thought we had met before. I'm telling you...it's crazy the way things were right from the start. I'll also say that it was a pretty innocent weekend with just a bit of hand holding. But, he made a long trip back to Missouri, and without the other's knowledge, we both informed our parents we'd met the person we were going to marry. The weeks and months that followed were a whirlwind of phone calls, talking about hopes and dreams, work, life, the Lord, reading scriptures together, praying together, and planning. We took turns traveling the six hours that separated us until I finally made the move to Missouri over Thanksgiving weekend. I moved in with Jason's grandparents, and we married on Christmas Eve that same year.
It was definitely a whirlwind of a romance, but it's ours. I certainly didn't know everything about Jason before we married, but I didn't have to. I knew God, and I knew that this is His plan for my life. Now, I'm so blessed to have Jason as my partner in this crazy life. He's a loving husband and daddy. He's a leader in our home, and I can't imagine my life without him. Neither of us are perfect, but I'm always finding things in him that I need somehow, even if I never realized it. When you leave room for God to work in your life, dreams will come true. Mine did.