My giveaway to celebrate the March release of my new Hidden Springs mystery, Murder Is No Accident, is still going on. Check out all the details on my News & Events Page. For fun, I asked readers to share about their first romance. Only if they wanted to and some of you did. Love the stories. Tonight I’m sharing Erin’s story that proves the Lord does sometimes work in mysterious ways to make sure his children find the very right person to love.
So here’s Erin’s story.
Over Christmas of 1999, our associate pastor’s daughter and her family were in town visiting. Her husband was the pastor of a church in very small Kentucky town – much like Hidden Springs (one of the reasons I have loved this series). She had decided that my friend was absolutely perfect for a guy from their church. She invited her to come down to their revival services in March to sing – and to meet this perfect guy. My friend tried to tell her no, but she just wouldn’t take no for an answer, so she finally conceded as long as she could bring friends.
So, 3 of us went on a road trip to Nowheresville, KY for a weekend – to sing in a very “Point of Grace” style at a church revival service. We got into town late Friday night. Saturday, we spent much of the day hanging out at the parsonage. Saturday evening, they had planned a youth outing (ages 13-29) to go bowling. Since bowling was the ONLY thing to do anywhere nearby, the bowling alley was pretty crowded – it being a Saturday night and all. We sat in the parking lot for what seemed like forever while K. (my future husband) and J. (the guy who was supposed to be set up this weekend) argued in the front seat of the church van on whether or not we should still try to go bowling based on the crowd.
I, thinking I had nothing to lose and frustrated that they weren’t going inside to check on the timing, piped up from the back of the van – “Be a Man! Go in and ASK!!” K. decided then and there that he was NOT under any circumstances going in to check and that he didn’t care for me one iota. J. opted to go in, found out that we could get 2 lanes in about a half hour and so he reserved them for us. (I felt very vindicated.) We popped across the street to Wendy’s for dinner first and headed back in the 30 minute time frame to go bowling. Throughout the evening, my friend and J. (who were supposed to find romance that weekend, but who are both very quiet and shy individuals) avoided each other like the plague. To make up for any awkwardness, K. and I poked at each other – all night long. We harassed each other mercilessly. In the process, we fell for each other.
As the evening wore on and he bowled a 9 EVERY single frame (consistency was a trait I was seeking – the Lord reminded me), I started thinking he might be what I was looking for. I really wasn’t interested in a long distance relationship though. The next morning, we were scheduled to sing at church and got up and ready. It was raining and unbeknownst to me, the starter in my car had a hairline crack in it that meant it wouldn’t turn over when it got wet. So…. my car wouldn’t start. We called the pastor and they sent the church van to come and get us. We sang at church and had a good revival service.
We went to lunch with a group afterwards and the church’s pastor stopped by the hotel to look at my car. K. had been along for the ride and felt the need to look useful, I suppose, so he got out to assist. Since it was my car, I got out as well and the 3 of us got thoroughly drenched. Again, I harassed K. as he did absolutely nothing while we were out in the rain as he knew nothing about cars. He told me he was laying hands on it and praying (it was only later that he told me he was actually praying we wouldn’t be able to fix it so that I would have to stay awhile longer).
As it turned out, it rained ALL day long that Sunday and so we were not able to get my car started at all. Since we needed to go to work on Monday, the pastor’s wife offered to drive us home. Her sister had just adopted a baby from China and that gave her a great excuse to visit her sister and new baby niece. But we had to wait until after Sunday night services. So, we went back to church that evening and experienced another great service.
At the end of the service, the evangelist called on K. to close the service in prayer and any doubt I had about being interested in him flew out the door. The way that he talked to God was beautiful to me. I passed along a business card, so that we could keep in touch via email. He was so overwhelmed by the fact that I had my own business card that he forgot to give me his contact information…. however, I got an email from him the next day. I had to go back a week or so later to retrieve my car, which allowed us to visit again. My dad came down with me to the halfway point and K. brought my car up to the halfway point. My dad took one car home and I took the other to take K. back home and visit again. The rest, as they say, is history! When we’re asked – the short story is “we were a hook-up gone wrong”. The long story is above.
Other tidbits that make our story interesting and very God-ordained – the parsonage family that connected us had been struggling with a decision whether or not to move to another church. While we were there, the pastor was in the midst of a 40 day fast on it. After those 40 days, he felt released to leave for the new church. They were there for the purpose of connecting us, in part. Secondly, K. wasn’t actually supposed to be in town that weekend. He’d been invited to spend spring break in Florida with some friends and a week or so before they were to leave, he had a dream that the car died and they got stranded along the way. When he told his buddy about the dream, his buddy told him he was no longer invited – he knew the story of Jonah! I had also been struggling with a personal issue that had made me completely and utterly unready to meet anyone… but the week before this revival, I had gone on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. On the beach on our last day there, I fully gave the issue over to God, making my heart open to receive the good gift he had for me in K.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Erin. It’s great. I can’t help wondering about that dream though. Somebody’s car died and somebody got stranded (or almost). And as you say, the rest is history.
If you haven’t entered my giveaway yet, you still have time. The deadline is March 4 at midnight EST. You can enter by sending me an e-mail from my contact page or leaving a comment on this blog post.
As always, thanks so much for reading!!