Do you remember Valentine’s Day in elementary school and your hope that your friends would have special cards or candy hearts just for you? You went through your cards one by one with pride and felt the love of your friends.
\When you reached middle school and began testing the water with “going steady” and “dating,” you blushed each time you saw him/her. In high school, relationships grew more important, raising many on the status pole. You were in love and you wore his/her class ring proudly. You’d fight anyone who dared to breach your relationship yet break-ups happened.
We left high school, met new friends and made a few wrong choices as we grew into adulthood. Our desire to be loved ripped our hearts out time, and time again, yet we continued to search for the elusive.
When I met Earl, we ate supper together several times a week at the hospital where we worked. After two months, he told me he was moving back to Atlanta to complete seminary. I asked him when he would be back and he said he didn’t know if he would return to Memphis. We hugged for the first time and he left.
My heart broke. I cried rivers that evening as I remembered his strong embrace and the musk scent of his cologne. I didn’t know I loved him then, I only knew it hurt to say goodbye.
I didn’t know the Lord when I met Earl, but He knew me, and He had a plan. In the 28 year’s Earl and I’ve been married Jesus became my Lord and Savior, we’ve pastored four United Methodist churches and we’ve raised our daughter in a Christian home.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV).
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