In high school, I met the “first love” of my life. We got married my senior year, when I was 17yrs old and he was 19yrs old. I got married for all the wrong reasons. At my 40th high school reunion, I got to apologize to him for being so self-centered and unhappy. He was still a perfect gentleman and accepted my apology. When I told him I was a Christian and was very happy, he said, “It makes a difference doesn’t it?” He was a Christian in high school. That’s why he was such a great guy back then and was liked by everyone.
I went my own stubborn, rebellious way back then. Looking for “love” in all the wrong places as the song says. I lived in Sherman, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Cleburne for a short while before moving back to Sherman. I had been divorced twice by the age of 24 yrs old. My 2nd husband was a Vietnam veteran I met while living in Dallas and was physically abusive. He needed help and I pray that he got it. So many Vietnam Veterans didn’t get the support needed when they came home. I am thankful there were no children involved in either marriage.
Thankfully, Father God intervened and drew me to Himself by His Holy Spirit. There were many things that He did for me during this time. His angels were kept busy protecting me. He draws us by His goodness, not by His judgement. I went to church and they spoke negatively about divorce. It didn’t make me want to go to church. He worked around the “religious edifices”. His Holy Spirit was drawing me to His Son, Jesus. I had an experience in Cleburne when reading my Bible and accepted Christ as Lord in my apartment-alone. I moved to Sherman shortly after that and went to my cousin’s church. The pastor there taught love, acceptance, grace and mercy. It was my church home for years.
I met Larry Cheeks, and later his two wonderful girls, through a mutual friend. She set up a blind date. He was not the kind of guy I would have gone out with before I became a Christian. However, we can all see how well I chose. 🙂 I actually prayed about going out with Larry. Some may laugh, but at that point in my life I was praying about everything! The church had a day of fasting and prayer at the church. I skipped lunch on the day it had appointed, and went to pray instead. Ha! It was important to me! As I was driving to the church, I heard these words in my heart: “You will marry this man and raise those girls.” I almost rebuked that voice! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!
That’s how I went on my first date with Larry Cheeks. Bowling. I gutted almost every ball. I am not a bowler. We went skating the next time. I can skate. Thank you, God, for the Saturday nights at Cleburne Skating Rink! Larry Cheeks was the nicest person there ever could be. He had a cornball sense of humor, but he was good and kind. He had the character of God and the fruit of the Spirit in his life and was a wonderful example to all who knew him. He died at the age of 42 yrs old. I think of him at the most weird times and will cry. We were married almost 15 yrs. My husband, J. T. Wright, will cry with me. John Thomas (J.T.) Wright has that Godly character and fruit of the Spirit, too. (We all do, it is just manifested outwardly more in others than some!) 🙂 This September J. T. and I will be married twenty years.
God has been good to me. He has given me two Godly husbands. I don’t look at before I became a Christian very often. That is my old man. I became a new person. Old things have passed and I am a new person. This is part of my story. It’s just a quick look in the rear view mirror.
II Cor. 5:17 NLT
17) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
It started for me in 1975 in an old apartment. The journey has been interesting. I’ll share more of the journey next time.
The reason I’m telling my story you may ask? It’s because I’m being obedient. He has said …
Revelations 12:11 NLT
11) And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
Blessings to you. I’m learning to trust and obey His voice in 2014.
“The presence of God takes up residence in a person enabling them to live above human standards. That is grace.” Bill Johnson