Posted by: The Simple Guy | July 4, 2012

Pausing To Look Back

I will never forget that Friday evening in April.  The year was 1990.  I was 18 years old.  It was a difficult time for me, as it was my first year out of high school.  Most of my friends were still in school, and had sports, tests, assignments, their own lives were still going on in their comfortable routines.   Our church did not allow people to attend youth group after high school.  I understood, but that was where my friends were that night.  So alone . .

Not like they didn’t want me to be around anymore, but I was a spectator at games now instead of on the court or field.  I didn’t understand any of the inside jokes anymore.  I just didn’t fit in anymore.

I had a job, working in a local tire shop and was developing new relationships; but I didn’t want to get involved in what those guys were up to Friday night either . . .  Besides they were grown up and as badly as I wanted to think of myself as a man, they made it clear I was “the kid.”

A friend had invited me to her church’s high school/college age youth group and I was sort of interested in being around her but not sure she thought much of me.  Nothing else going on that night though . . . besides, the church was just down the road from the tire shop.  I could clean up after work and go right over.

So I showed up at the church on time.  Not too sure what to expect.  Her car wasn’t there.  Cleared up what she thought of me.  I chuckled to myself about the irony of  inviting someone to an event and then not being there yourself.  That’s one way to make sure I don’t turn up where she actually is.  Well it didn’t matter much, but I had a choice to make.  Turn off my truck and go on in, or drive away.  Like I said, nothing else going on, so I decided to try to have a good time.  I remember thinking to myself that since I didn’t know anyone, I had nothing to lose.  Have fun, and if I didn’t fit in, I didn’t need to ever come back.

So I walked into the room and looked around.  It was the church sanctuary, but the chairs were all missing, and a volleyball net was up.  Some young people were hitting the ball around, but no organized game yet.  A man, probably 30 years old introduced himself as Bill Harriman and welcomed me.  Said they would get started soon, go ahead and have a good time.

The first person to catch my eye was this pretty girl sitting on the steps of the platform where the pulpit stood.  She was watching what was going on, and was chatting with a couple of other girls.  I went and introduced myself to her, and she was polite, but not too interested in me.  She seemed pretty uncomfortable with me standing there, so I went over and got involved in the volleyball “game”

As I walked away I told myself she was out of my league anyway.  Probably already spoken for. . .

I had fun anyway, and decided to come back the next week.  That next week, several people I knew were there. Apparently they were regulars, and just hadn’t been there my first week.  At that point it was pretty much a done deal.  I had found a place to belong.  I became a regular, too.  Started attending that church on Sunday’s too.

Well, in July that pretty girl and I started dating.  Her family was really fun, and I started spending most Sunday afternoons a their house.

Two years later on July 4th, I walked down the same steps I met her on.  Holding her hand.  Pastor Knepper had just pronounced us man and wife and introduced everyone present to Mr and Mrs Craig and Heather Jensen.  Since that moment I have never been alone.

Today marks 20 years since she vowed to be my helper and I vowed to be her man.

Hopefully we are not quite half way through our journey in this life together, and my heart’s desire is to one day present her to her eternal Groom better for our time together.  I am so grateful for the time He has given us to grow up together in Him.

Thank you Heather, my dearest love and friend.



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