Proverbs 24:3-4

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Our Story, God's Providence

THE SCENE....

And the Lord said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper..."
God brought us together on July 19, 1997 on the Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas. Eric was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He had just finished basic training and was on an outing with the chapel he was attending. God brought many rainy days leading up to that hot July day, thus flooding the Guadalupe River where Eric's group was originally scheduled to go tubing down. They had been detoured to the Comal River where my family and I frequently floated down, again God's providence. There was a record number of thousands of people on the river that day.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT...
As I was floating with a girlfriend of mine we ventured away from my family, since there is only one way the river flows, it's impossible to get "lost". It was half way down the river when one of guys in Eric's group started talking to my friend. Just a few words into the conversation I was unimpressed and set my eyes upon another group of guys jumping off of a bank.

It's amazing how clear I remember the first time I laid eyes on Eric. In watching this other group of guys, I was not paying attention to one particular guy who jumped in and soaked me. (For those of you who don't know about rivers, especially the Comal, it's a cool 65 degrees). I was not happy and can remember thinking "what a jerk" as I wiped water from my face. I turned to see the biggest green eyes (hazel is his color, but that day they were green), coming my way. I can still remember being fascinated by how the water beaded up on his eyelashes. I boldly "scoped him out." He had the darkest shade of brown hair and the biggest freckles covering the bridge of his nose. I can still remember knowing instantly he was NOT local, since his feet where bare. (Again, for those of you non-tubing people, the ground can get pretty hot in Texas when you have to walk to get to the river, get your tube, and get out of the river to wait for your shuttle. Plus there's an abundance of glass on the banks. Locals wear shoes).
As we floated down the rest of river I flirted and smiled like I'd never done before. There was something different about this guy. As we neared the end, he asked to meet my family. "This guy is NUTS and he has no idea what he's getting into." I introduced him and just as I was finished, he asked for my phone number...in front of my family. All eyes on me, waited for my answer.... "ok" .... no pen (remember we're on the river)... he'll never memorize it. Only God could match me up with an Engineer that day. Numbers were his specialty, or rather, God's providence.

It's amazing how one look can change your whole life.


GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER....
Eric played it cool and waited a day to call, almost two if I remember correct. Since he wasn't allowed of base until the weekend, we spent every day until then talking on the phone. I asked him every question I could think of. LITERALLY, every single thing that popped into my head, I asked. Surprisingly he answered..... all of them.
Even that didn't scare him off and he asked me out.

"Something was different". This is how I described it to all my girlfriends as I shared the recount of how we met and our conversations. They made fun of me, of course. There was one friend who KNEW I was serious about this guy. My dearest friend, Tabitha, listened to every word and still asked for more.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER....


Here's a picture from our first date. It is astonishing that we have this picture!
Our first date was on July 26, 1997. He took me to one of my favorite spots, The Riverwalk in San Antonio. At the end of the night, I asked h im on our second date.....for the next day....to attend my church. (Yeah, I was bold back then). The conversation was somewhat awkward as I muddled my way through the question, "How should I introduce you?" And with his answer, "Your boyfriend," we became exclusive.

OUR MOTTO....
"Whatever happens, happens"

Throughout our dating relationship, God graciously gave us challenges to help unite us and prepare us for marriage. Just weeks after meetin g Eric I went to Europe for two weeks to play volleyball on a league representing Texas. We wrote each other everyday.
Then Eric was sent to Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas. This was a three to four hour drive my house. Eric drove it every weekend to see me......

Finally, Eric wanted to introduce me to his parents. The Bibby's flew us to Indiana for Christmas in December of 1997. Mom and Dad still laugh about the moment I stepped off the plane, hiding behind Eric..... boy how times have changed. I'll never forget that day. When the question was posed, "How should I address you?" Their answer was immediate, "Mom & Dad."

ONE KNEE...
.


It was during our visit to The Bibby's that we were "allowed" :-) to have a date just the two of us. Eric took me to a local resteraunt where his friend worked. Ruby Tuesday's was somewhat busy that Christmas Eve Night. When I look back, kn owing Eric was going to propose, I have a good laugh every time I think about it. Eric kept leaving the table and he ate so fast that I felt much like the turtle trying to catch the hare. When we stood to leave he JUMPED out of his side of the booth and yelled "Can I have your attention please" and proceeded to get down on one knee. I wonder if he remembers what he said.....

This was one of the most memorable times in my life where I had that fairy tale feeling of pure joy. By the grace of God, I've been able to experience that same feeling when the doctor placed each of my three children i nto my arms for the first time.

Just as a side note: I later found the receipt when we insured my ring, dated just two months after he met me.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER.....

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, eve as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be subject to their own husband in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also love the church and gave Himself for it: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So out men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife, loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord loves the church. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the tow shall become ONE flesh.


We were married 10 years ago today, February 7. God has been merciful and patient with us during these past 10 years, and I thank Him daily for His divine and perfect way.

9 comments:

Jared said...

Yeah, the freckles on Eric's nose bridge get me all the time.

But seriously. Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Diane said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! You guys are an inspiration.

Love ya!

Aubs said...

Wow Jean.....Happiest Anniversary to you and Eric!! 10 Years??? I actually just came across a picture not too long ago from Mrs. Cooper's house of you and Eric!! Must have been some sort of dance team event....=)....I am so glad to be in touch with you again. I am loving getting to know you again! May you and Eric be blessed with many many more years together!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for telling your story, and Happy Anniversary! May God Bless you with Many More Years Together in His Service!!! :)

Jess said...

Wow, so reading that left tears in my eyes!! What a great story, a lot of which I'd never heard before! How wonderful is the love of our husbands!! Hope you guys had a great anniversary!

mom said...

I am so thrilled that you documented your story. It will be great to have to show the kids down the road.

I hope you had a good day yesterday, but a GREAT evening tonight.

We are so delighted to have you in our family.

Love, mom

Heather said...

Happy Anniversary!

Tracy said...

I hope that you had a wonderful anniversary! (tears in my eyes!) Great story-telling!

Rebecca said...

Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful story! Ten years seems like such a big accomplishment and it is sweet to think that Eric knew after just two months that you were the one for him. Hope your day was wonderful and may the Lord abundantly bless you in the NEXT ten years as He has done in the last ten!

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