JW and I have been discussing the faithfulness of God throughout our life together. He reminded me that He was even there in our beginning, before we got married. So, I thought I’d share how we came to be one…
JW and I are fortunate to have our roots in high school. Were we high school sweethearts? Only briefly. We were more high school buddies.
In my 10th grade year, I was dating a senior. He and I wanted to introduce our best friends. My best friend was another sophomore; his was a junior named John Wesley.
The night we met was fairly uneventful. I don’t believe in soul mates or love at first sight. Those things have no biblical basis, and actually are used by Satan to deceive people into being dissatisfied with their spouses and to pursue selfish and sinful paths. I do believe God has a plan for us though. And although neither one of us knew it at the time, God’s plan was for us to meet.
My best friend and JW did end up going on one date. To say the least, they were incompatible, and so were me and my senior boyfriend. So, after the night we met, we thought nothing more of each other. Fast forward to the beginning of our next year in school. I’m now a junior and JW is the senior.
I remember JW was walking down the breezeway of our high school one day. I don’t think he saw me, but that day he caught my eye. I asked my best friend if it would be alright to talk to him. With her blessing, I pursued him. To this day, I can’t remember how I got his phone number or how we started talking, but we did. Our first date was homecoming. We took pictures and had fun. I liked him and he liked me, so we dated. About a month into our relationship, I decided that although he was a nice young man, he and I had different goals in life. (He wanted to settle down in our hometown, have kids, and lead a simple life; while I wanted to get as far away as possible from our hometown, never have kids, and travel the world!) However, just because we had different goals didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends, so we did. He became one of my best friends. We talked all the time, did all kinds of stuff together, and he even took me to prom. We got along so well, people wondered why we weren’t dating! In our conversations, we’d talk about a future if we got married, yet we remained just friends.
Of course that changed after JW graduated and got a girlfriend who didn’t like our friendship. JW became distant and I became hurt and angry. I wanted everything to stay the same. I wanted him to play by my rules, to hold my hand when I was scared, but let me keep my distance when it got too serious. JW wanted a serious relationship that would lead to marriage. When he found that in another, we grew apart. I missed him, but we moved on. I ended up going to the same college he did, and would see him every now and then. We’d cordially speak, but we were no longer friends. Through those brief conversations, I knew he was still seeing the girlfriend. I wished him the best and kept going.
Well, I kept going for 3 years. During that time I made new friends and dated other guys. I even got my heart broken by the wrong guy, but I was on my own path following my own plans when out of the blue God tells me to call JW. I ignored it. God told me again and again. He was so persistent that I got mad and told God He was crazy if He thought I was gonna call him! Well, God wouldn’t leave me alone. I figured John Wesley had married the girlfriend that hated me, so I was gonna call to get God to leave me alone and that would be that. I didn’t even have his number anymore. I had to call his parents (who always liked me) just to get his number. They were so happy I called that they both got on the phone! They gladly shared his phone number AND where he was living, what he was doing, the truck he was driving, and the time I needed to call him! (Geez.) I thanked them and told them I’d give him a call then.
When I called later that night, I said, “Hey John Wesley, how are you doing?”
He said, “Good. Who is this?” (Really?)
I responded, “It’s Jennifer. Whatcha been doing?”
He replied, “Nothing. Jennifer who?” (Seriously??)
When I told him, I could hear the long “Ohhhh” as it dawned on him who I was. (Oh brother.)
After that difficult start to our conversation, the ice broke and we caught up from the past 3 years. He never did marry the girlfriend, was dating others, but nothing serious. That night we picked up our friendship where we left off as if we’d never stopped being friends. This time, though, we were older and had both experienced a lot of heartbreak that made us value the other more. The qualities JW possessed became what I was looking for, rather than what I wanted to avoid. God knew what He was doing, and I soon knew, too. I was to marry John Wesley.
And we did…6 months later.