Once upon a time, there was a young woman (girl really) who went off to college at the ripe old age of 17. Her first semester started in January. Her mom came to pick her up from college and off they went to NC to visit family and friends. While there her mom got wind of a young man preaching his first sermon at the church she had grown up in. The mother said to the daughter “lets go hear him preach, I knew him when he was a baby!” So off they went! While the young man was preaching the mom leaned over to the daughter and said, “that is who you will marry one day!” “Whatever,” thought the daughter. The service ended and all went home, not a thing was said between the young man and young woman. A week went by and the young woman, her mom, and sister went back to said church and sang, still nothing was said between the two. The young woman and her mother left the next day to go back to their home in Texas, and all was forgotten. But not for long… that Friday the young woman got a letter in the mail from the young man. In the letter, he introduced himself, sent a picture (for a reminder), and proclaimed she was the woman he had been praying for. “Well… the young woman was quite taken aback and didn’t know what to think. Soooo, she prayed and prayed seeking the Lord’s direction in this matter. Meanwhile, all the young mans friends and family was trying to set him up with all kinds of people, he kindly refused. There was a time, or so it’s been said, he had almost given up, the young woman was taking forever getting back to him. Then, one day he got the long awaited letter he had been looking for. She didn’t think he had completely lost his mind! From there, they wrote back and forth for a couple of months. The young woman called him on his birthday, the first time they had actually spoken. Then in September, the young lady and young man, met in their hometown. For their first date, the young man took the young lady to his cousin’s house and jumped on the trampoline all day! (What a romantic!) Later, they spent some time together getting to know each other. The next weekend, the man found himself in Pensacola, visiting the young lady for her birthday. They attended a fine arts program. He met her at the door with roses! (See there was a romantic locked within!) Around Thanksgiving, they started talking of getting married. The date was set, a wedding was planned. Once again they met in their hometown. The young lady met the young man’s parents on the day of his college graduation, 3 weeks before the wedding. After a crazy three weeks, they were married on January 6th. Within six months they found out she was expecting their first child. Oh, how excited they were. A baby was on the way! They really had no idea what they were getting themselves into. In March, a baby boy joined the family! Oh, how spoiled he became, the young lady had nothing to do all day! In July, a big move was in store. Off to Maryland the family moved. The young man had surrendered his life to God and was now entering Seminary. Nine months after the first baby boy was born, they found out another baby was on the way again. By now the young couple was finding out how hard life could be, but they were still so excited about the new little one on the way. Nine months later, another little boy joined the family. How precious he was, so laid back, with never a care, but not long after he was born he started suffering from ear infections and reactive airway (asthma). Times were hard for the little family, but God always supplied their needs. Nine months later, the couple found out another little blessing was on the way. The young woman, just knew this one was her little girl, the young man had a completely different view. Another nine months and a little girl joined the family. Oh, how excited the big brothers were! Within a couple of months, the young man took over the assistant pastorate at the church they were attending. The little family then became increasingly busy. The youth, dean of men, and doing the duties of the assistant pastor kept the young man super busy, giving the young couple a taste of what life was going to be like for them. A year later, while on a missions trip, the young lady had her first miscarriage. How broken hearted they were, a little one they would have to wait till they get to Heaven to get to know. Another busy year passed, and the couple found themselves expecting another little one. Not long after the oldest went to kindergarten, the baby, another little boy was born. What a handful this little one was. Oh, soooo active! (couldn’t have been all the mountain dew the mother consumed!) The family, which isn’t really considered little any more, grew out of their dwelling place moved into a larger place. There they had lots of youth outing, college outings, birthday parties and were content to spend the rest of their lives there. They suffered another loss, another miscarriage of a little one. They could see the hand of God, had this little one lived, it would have had been terribly deformed. Still yet their hearts hurt. Another little one they would have to wait until Heaven to meet. God was working in the heart of the then, Man. He was speaking to him, telling him He had something else for them. Church planting was laid upon the heart of the Man. He began searching and searching for what God would have him do. The place God had laid upon his heart was in the Bible Belt, why start another church there. But he obeyed and now there is an Independent Baptist Church started where there were none. The couple suffered another loss not long after they moved, another little one they would have wait to meet, but God being faithful blessed again with another little girl. A little one with golden blonde hair and ole so much personality. The family busied themselves in the ministry and saw the church grow. Once again, God blessed the family with a precious little boy whose smile will light up a whole room. Fifteen years of love, laughter, and loss, fifteen years of beginnings, changes, trials, and new beginnings. It’s a time to celebrate, not all marriages last 15 years, and it’s only by God’s Grace ours has.