This weekend Joel and I celebrated our 17th year of marriage. We were fortunate enough to sneak off for the weekend together. Over the course of 24 hours we discussed our courtship, the proposal and the 17 years that followed. 18 years ago I was preparing to leave for Cambodia and Joel was headed to YWAM. We decided that we should not continue to date. I left for Cambodia with a broken heart knowing that God had a plan for me which may or may not include Joel. Fast forward 7 month and Joel proposed (we still weren’t dating at the time of the proposal). 6 months after that we said I do.
This weekend we were discussing what in the world our parents were thinking of us two getting married. I often think how God knew what I needed in a man, and how even in my ignorance He had a plan. Because really how can an 18 year old know how to pick a husband? I made the comment that my parents probably knew we would get married with or without their blessing. Now mind you, Joel and I were not dating at the time he proposed and had not discussed marriage at all. Joel stopped me and said “NO! I would have not married you without your parents blessing. I would have honored your dad, and waited for his blessing or trusted that God had someone else for me… And I would not have told you anything” I sat in the car thinking about how that would have played out. Somewhat like a movie I imagine, a really romantic movie where years later I would learn of his sacrifice.
His statement to me about honoring my dad and being respectful of my dad’s wishes, in spite of his own desires and/or wishes left me with a simple reminder of who Joel truly is. Joel is a man who has faced adversity, been lied about and to, stole from and dismissed. Yet he has always strived to be respectful and honoring. He hasn’t always succeeded; nonetheless he consistently tried and tried again to always do the right thing. His character and integrity have shown through his commitment to strive to always do the right thing! Because of his commitment he has consistently found favor, and our family has been blessed because of his commitment.
In moments like these I am reminded that he is the one for me. He was then and he is still today. I love him so very much. I am so honored to be the wife of a man of integrity, honor and respect. To have a man that is committed to pursuing the right thing no matter what! I pray that I never lose sight of who Joel is and the man of God he was created to be!