I’ve been saving this story for a special occasion. The release of my book, White Roses to stores, fits the bill. I’m having two drawings this week. A copy of White Roses and a Special Drawing: if you’ve never won any of my books anywhere, I’ll give one lucky commenter a copy of White Roses and White Doves. Don’t try to cheat, I have a list :). Comment on any post dated Nov 8 – 12 for a chance to be entered in the drawings. Just to help me out, if you’ve never won, say so in your comment. Deadline Nov 13, 8:00 PM Central.
God’s Awesome Handiwork
When I was fifteen, my father, a school board member, received a call from a desperate mother. Her son had gotten into trouble and quit school. Now, he wanted to come back and finish. This dropout, two years my senior, would be in my class. Drifting off to sleep that night, I wondered what he would be like.
The next day, I saw him and he was beautiful. Most guys are handsome, this guy was more than that. All of the boys at my school wore buzz or bowl cuts. Neither was popular back then. This boy had black, naturally wavy hair to his shoulders, and the greenest eyes I’d ever seen. I decided on the spot, though quite shallowly based on looks alone, to marry him. Several other girls made the same vow and he was soon the most popular guy in school.
As the months passed, the new guy finally noticed me and we began going together. We didn’t go anywhere together, since I couldn’t date until I turned sixteen. As my birthday neared, rumors began to circulate that my boyfriend drank heavily and smoked pot. Raised in church, I never tasted alcohol or tried smoking cigarettes, much less marijuana. Of course, when asked about such things, my guy denied the rumors. I refused to believe the gossip and gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Finally, after months of waiting, my birthday came and my parents allowed me to date. The rumors continued and a strange aroma surrounded me whenever my guy was near. When I mustered the courage to ask about it, he told me the kid sitting behind us in class smoked a joint that morning.
I think I knew, but didn’t want to know. As the school year came to a close, the truth could no longer be denied. We hashed it out, no pun intended. Given an ultimatum, drugs and alcohol or me, he didn’t pick me. I spent the summer in tears and prayerfully placed the relationship in God’s hands.
The week before school started again, my ex-boyfriend came to my house. Claiming to have quit drinking and drugs, he could no longer live without me. Though cautious, I could soon tell the difference in him. Once back together, he even started attending church with me. We dated throughout high school and graduated together.
Fast-forward. My husband and I entered into parenthood later than most couples. After sixteen years of marriage, our lives changed for the better with the birth of our son.
Shortly afterward, I began attending monthly writer’s group meetings. As a stay-at-home-mom, the excursions served as my Mom’s night out. While I learned to write, my guys hung out at a local bookstore and Wal-Mart.
On a typical night, they dropped me off, then went to eat supper at their favorite restaurant before visiting their regular haunts. As usual, my meeting ran late. By the time I strolled across the parking lot, they’d been waiting thirty minutes. Once in the truck, hubby told me of his evening. At the restaurant, secured in the highchair, our little guy threw up. Not just a little, but apparently everything he’d eaten, all day long.
My husband wiped our son down, detected no fever, and ordered their food. Both ate, then raided our emergency clothing stash, and went on their way. Though he’s always a very hands-on father, I would have expected him to grab our child, pick me up early, and head home. I would have.
That night, thoughts of my high school boyfriend made me wonder if he would have coped so well with the events of the evening. You see, that long ago pothead and my incredible husband are one and the same.
During the intervening years, he recommitted his life to Jesus. That pothead I dated all those years ago is now a Baptist pastor. Though, he still has the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen, his hair is almost gone and he keeps what’s left buzzed. He wears it well. In fact, he’s even more beautiful to me now. Not only does the heart of a father beat within him, but the heart of a man of God.
Come back Nov 10 for a romantic interview with me and hubby both answering questions.