Something happened while I was engaged to Alan that infuriated me and caused me to wonder that if I married him, would I end up living on the street. I almost broke up with him. Was it worth being homeless to be married to Alan? My heart said yes, that I didn’t care, come what may, yes, yes, yes. But I was not stupid. During my engagement, the British guy told me to break up with Alan and marry him instead. I wrote a letter to the wisest woman on earth (the woman I rented a room from in college). I told her my head told me to go with the British guy, but my heart told me to go with Alan. Both men knew that I wanted 8 kids. Who could actually provide for my children?
The wisest woman on earth wrote me back and said, “My advice to you is to go with your heart.” I’ve never regretted it.
(As a parenthetical statement, the thing that infuriated me was the fact that Alan bought a used luxury car for $10,000 without paying cash. Right now, looking back, this seems reasonable. But back then I didn’t believe in going into debt to buy things. I didn’t want to start my marriage off in debt, because I knew this was one area that would always be rocky. To counteract this impending catastrophe, I saved up every penny I earned that year. I only made $14,000, and I managed to save $10,000. I rationed food and took every extra job I could, including babysitting teenagers in a rich mansion when they tried to throw a party behind my back. Anyway, instead of waiting for the wedding, Alan wanted me to wire him the money right away. I had a decision to make: would I trust Alan with my income before we were even married? It was worth more to me to have him know that I believed in him, so I wired him the money.)
I flew in ten days before the wedding, staying with my best friend Christie. I baked breads for the reception and froze them. We were on a low budget. My friend Christie decorated the reception hall. Alan had chosen a small chapel with stained-glass windows that reminded me of England. He definitely scored points there. But he had no minister. No minister?!?!? He said it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Having grown up as a missionary kid, the father of almost every friend I had was a minister. My own dad could have done it. But I didn’t want him to. I wanted him to walk me down the aisle. I asked my best friend’s dad. He refused. I wanted to scream. Finally the husband of my former piano teacher said he was willing, but that he had to interview us first. Great, I thought. I always hated the two years of piano; I used to pound on the piano with frustration. She probably remembered me as an immature teenager who shouldn’t get married, even though I was now almost 27 years old. And please don’t ask Alan if he’s ever held down a job. Gulp.
Thankfully, the minister was only interested in the spiritual side, making sure Alan was saved so that we weren’t unequally yoked. There was no premarital counseling. Nope. Just talking about Scripture, which is something Alan loved more than life, which first attracted me to his soul, with the inextricable bond of soul mates. Thank God I married him and not someone else. It wouldn’t have been fair to the other guy. I would have always wondered what it would have been like to be married to Alan.
So there I was, on a sweltering Texas day in July, with no air conditioning in the chapel. I stood outside the chapel, dripping, in a long-sleeved Victorian gown with a million pearly buttons. But I was happy. I was so happy I felt dizzy. As I walked down the aisle, I saw Alan in a tuxedo, looking mighty fine. I had wanted him for eight years. I had shed many tears for him though the years, pining away for him. And now he was mine…
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As a side note, I must say that my husband Alan has been at his current computer programming job for over ten years. Yes, go ahead and clap. I’ve got everything I ever wanted and more. I kiss the ground at my husband’s feet, and I’m forever grateful to God for giving me exactly what I wanted. But it wasn’t always easy. There’s a big, fat, juicy story about us almost crashing and burning. Just a year ago we almost went bankrupt. If you want to hear our finance story from our marriage, the one-hour audio is only six bucks, and I still need the money. You can buy it here.Tweet