When I met Jan I was dating someone else. I was working at the YMCA in the evening, manning the front desk, handing out locker keys, towels, etc. and locking the place up at the close of the day. Jan was helping with a swim team. I took my little 13″ TV with me and Jan began to linger after her practice was done. We’d watch Dance Fever and The Dukes of Hazard (what were we thinking?). On Saturdays, Jan would bring homemade pizza to me. All this time, I was still dating someone else.
Obviously there was an attraction and when I broke up with my girlfriend, I asked Jan on a date—roller skating with all my other Christian friends. Mistake. Jan skated with almost everyone but me whilst I was read the riot act by my friends (it didn’t help that two ex-girlfriends were there that night). We survived that and a few days later I asked Jan to come over to watch the BeeGees TV special with me (I didn’t, at the time, really like the BeeGees), but asked her to come early because I wanted to talk to her. We went for a walk and I shared the gospel. Jan, in typical Jan fashion, ripped my illustrations to pieces, but it became apparent that she was hungry for the good news. I lead her in prayer and Jan became a child of God that night.
That was November 1979. We got engaged on February 14, 1980 and married on August 16, 1980. Not the model I’d recommend, but as these 34 years tell, it worked.
This is the woman that I love and our love has grown deeper in the past eight months as we deal with current circumstances. I marvel sometimes at her. She has more physical aliments than any one person should have, yet she hardly ever complains about those. This season has been rough on her and has tested both of our faiths. Her faith, while shaken, has grown deeper.
We’ve been on an adventure and what God has in store for us is still too hard to see. But this I know: Nothing will separate us from the love of God and nothing will separate us from the love we have for each other.