There were many aspects about Roosevelt Church that interested me as a young twenty-something with a fresh new desire to follow the Lord. There was the strong sense of community, the rigorous adherence to Scripture and doctrine, the emphasis on creativity and the Arts. These were all compelling reasons for sure. But apart from all of those, there were also eligible single ladies! I felt that I was just as likely to grow in the Lord as I was to meet a nice, godly woman (after all, the lead pastor met his wife here).
Love was certainly in the air at RCC when my future brother-in-law wed. The building was bustling with excitement on his wedding day. The sanctuary was filled to overflow capacity. While most members of the still-small congregation were amazed to see how the sanctuary looked with so many people, there was only one person who caught my eye. One bridesmaid stole my attention. She mesmerized me so much that I could scarcely remind myself that she was the sister of the pastor who had just recently hired me as the worship leader! I went to bed that night with the strongest impression from God that I’ve ever had: Melissa was the woman I would marry.
I knew this was a matter I needed to handle with precision. I couldn’t afford to be careless. Church members would often ask me if any of RCC’s eligible bachelorettes interested me (and by “members,” I mean Vermon…persistently). When it became clear that I could no longer hide my intentions, I confessed to my pastor that his sister was indeed the object of my affections.
Surprisingly, I didn’t lose my job!
Our courtship would be a slow, gradual, and often perplexing process. We were both very different. She was extroverted, athletic, and a believer for as long as she could remember. I was an introvert, creative, and had spent most of my life trying to get as far away from God as I could. But God doesn’t use marriage to give us a spouse that’s a mirror image of ourselves. Rather, God uses marriage to bring two broken sinners into a relationship that will refine them both to be more like His Son. Gradually, through serving together, having fellowship together with others, and conducting many long and sometimes painful conversations, it became clear to us that it was God’s plan to bring us together.
It wasn’t a candle-lit dinner that sparked the romance. It wasn’t long hikes illuminated by sunset (although I tried those, huffing and puffing most of the way—Melissa was gracious and didn’t let me get too far behind). But what “sealed the deal” for both of us was spending two weeks in the hot, windy, dusty, African wilderness serving on a mission trip. Despite jet lag and days without showering, Melissa only seemed more beautiful to me. We began dating shortly after our return, and God has been working on our lives ever since.
Turns out I was right about my assumptions of RCC all those years ago. I certainly have grown in the Lord, and I most certainly have found an amazing, godly woman. March will be our 7th wedding anniversary. Or, as I prefer to think of it, the day God brought two completely different people together and began the long process of making them more like His Son.