This is us

Marriage is in trouble today.

The very foundation of it is in trouble.

The reason why is simply because one of simple thing–we’ve lost the essence of the gift that your spouse is to you. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve learned how much of a gift Crystal has become to me. She is literally the very treasure of my life. When our paths crossed at our early days in college, I realized that I was finding a precious treasure that I needed to protect and honor with my very life.

Crystal and I met the day before school started in August of 2001. She was an incoming freshman at Trinity Baptist College and I was an incoming sophomore. We were both brand new to the school so we had to go through orientation together along with all the other new students.

When I first saw her, she was intriguing to me. She portrayed an attitude of complete confidence, which was very peculiar, given her situation. She was actually being told during those moments that there was little chance she was going to be able to start school because financial aid had not yet gone through for her and she was going be paying for her entire college education on her own. Yet still, there she was with some sort of extreme confidence that was tremendously attractive to me. Tell me confidence is not attractive!

Little did I know, but she had noticed me too and over the next few days we would conveniently bump into each other periodically throughout the week. That was pretty easy to do in a school of just 400 students. We took some of the same classes but for the most part, our paths crossed between classes and at chapel services. One Sunday, we were sitting in church during as evening service, back when Sunday night church was still a thing, and I just happened to be sitting behind her. She had gone to the beach that day and was beat red, which was sort of funny to me at the time. During that service, she asked me to borrow my pen, which I gave her. She wrote me a thank you note and gave it right back. That seemed funny to me at the time, but whatever, it gave us a chance to officially “meet”.

Crystal had to work incredibly hard during those first days at school. She was learning an element of faith about God’s provision that would seriously alter her life as God taught her dependence on him. Another super attractive element, dependence in God more than anything else.

I officially asked her out on September 11. Probably not my finest moment but I was convinced, this was the girl I needed to be with. Planes were crashing, the world around us was changing but I was completely enthralled by this young woman and could not break away from her.

Our story weaved and bobbed over the next months. There was a time in the months that followed that I had trouble shifting gears in our relationship and, I actually broke up with her. She teases me incessantly about this all the time, but the reality was that God was driving our relationship to a level I had never been and it was taking my breath away. I didn’t know what to do with it. Thankfully, Crystal and I stayed close and she portrayed a lot of grace and patience for me. By Christmas of that year, our relationship was locked and we were on track to be engaged just months later.

Our story takes so many turns, twists, and terrifying moments, it’s more than a blog post can contain but what I continue to be is enthralled with this amazing woman that God has allowed me to spend my life with.

Ironically, I found out later on that I was simply thinking of this woman the same way God thinks of her also. I discovered this verse later on and it has become an anthem of my view of her.

Psalm 41:11 NIV, “Let the king be enthralled by your beauty, for he is your Lord.”

How does your story begin? What revolved around the joining of your life with your spouse?

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