Happy 45th Anniversary!

David and Linda, December 31, 1975. They married under the “tent” with Christ is the Answer Ministry.

What a glorious anniversary it is! I just have to shout out to our Lord and Savior for this wonderful couple, Bill’s brother, David, and his lovely wife, Linda. Linda is actually more than a sister-in-law to me. I need a blog post just on what a positive influence she’s had on my walk with the Lord. But for today, I need to share how much their marriage has helped us and SO MANY others!

I’ve talked about them several times in past blog posts. Particularly when Bill was facing heart disease as written about here. Click to read the whole blog, or at least, read this paragraph:

Thankfully, Bill’s brother and his wife are both in the health care field and are very experienced with this issue. They knew about the test, so they wanted the results. They live states away, but thankfully, only a phone call away. They began to mentor us. First, they are strong Christians and helped us in our divorce and remarriage by their prayers and counsel. So everything was bathed in prayer. They gave us some great tips and suggestions while Bill had to make a decision.” AND as in every bit of advice they have given us over these 45 years, it was rock solid. Bill today is enjoying excellent health! We also married 45 years ago, so they have been in my life for 45 years from today forward.

Or when we spent one of the most meaningful Memorial Day weekends with them, written about here. Best part of that blog post, which I would HIGHLY recommend reading, is their picture at the event:

David and Linda, Memorial Day 2015

They not only probably helped saved Bill’s life – or at least helped him enjoy a longer and healthier life – they helped restore our marriage. You can read about it here or read the most important except below. Had it not been for Linda’s fervent prayers, I’m pretty sure I would not be writing this post about my dear brother-in-law and his wife! Our lives would have been a mess and no telling where we’d be spiritually. This paragraph was after we were well into the divorce process:

I dove into God’s Word and also into a book recommended by my sister-in-lawLove Life for EVERY Married Couple: How to fall in love, stay in love, rekindle your love by Ed Wheat, MD and Gloria Perkins.  (This is the Biblical marriage manual and is the BEST book ever written for marriages, taken straight from the Bible!  In my next post, I will share the five types of love needed in every marriage!)  Linda pleaded with us to read it before our divorce was final.  Bill did and he tried to get me to read it.  But I was not ready, until we finally lived apart.”

But today, I just want to share a little about them and their marriage. Or maybe you are getting the “picture” of this happily ever after couple! I am imagining Linda cringe as she would read this. She would say, “but OH WE HAD TOUGH TIMES!” Yes, they did and they are open to share – how they got through them by God’s Grace! And how they made their marriage better and better and better! But of course, there was pain in suffering along the way. In fact, what marriage hasn’t had tough times? The secret is what do you do to get through the tough times? Not only is their pathway to the Lord but that became our pathway after we remarried!

David and Linda have been dedicated Christians, parents and health care professionals. They have enjoyed many great hobbies, have traveled to many wonderful places and have now entered into their “golden” years as retirees.

There is only one little twist to this ideal couple. And I am sharing this for you to join us in prayer! On June 2, 2020, just two months shy of their official retirement, a CT scan revealed David had stage 4, Peritoneal Carcinomatosis (PC) which originated in the appendix. This is an extremely rare form of cancer. (Actually the scan showed the doctor more testing was needed.)

PC is a late stage manifestation of several gastrointestinal malignancies including appendiceal, colorectal, and gastric cancer. In PC, tumors metastasize to and deposit on the peritoneal surface and often leave patients with only palliative treatment options.

by JRW McMullen Mar 22, 2017

David was in essence told to get his affairs in order, he only had a few months to live. WE ALL WERE DEVASTATED!!! But as people of faith, we all bowed to the Lord and prayed for His divine intervention. And to make a long story short, HE HAS DELIVERED!!! It was a miraculous surgical option and he is thriving. It had been our prayer he would live until we could see him again. It was VERY hard to travel to see them, with all the concerns over COVID and the fact we had our two grandsons living with us, to make the trip to Missouri to be with them. But here we are on Christmas Day, 2020!

Christmas Day 2020. David and Linda Lees with us.

Just a few more pictures to commemorate their 45 years together, including all their children and grandchildren! They have enjoyed a rich life and we all pray they have many more years to continue to serve our Lord and Savior. Amongst their hobbies, his are hunting, fishing and anything outdoors with family while hers are rug hooking, painting, crafts, daily Bible study and anything outdoors with family. Together they love to hike, camp, bike ride, be with their children and grandchildren and anything outdoors! Click for a slideshow:

Let me close with my favorite memory of their marriage. Just know that Linda and I are very close so we have no secrets. We know the good, the bad and the ugly! A few years ago, she shared how they had a couple over for dinner. They ministered and mentored SO MANY couples and individuals over their 45 years, they can’t be counted. Anyway, there was a couple who knew them well and saw them in both good and bad times. The wife confessed how she wished she had a marriage like theirs! She never saw them fight or be disrespectful to each other. We know they’ve had tough times behind closed doors, but no one saw them. Well, except maybe their children-and even then, I doubt they could recall any “fighting.”

They have been GREAT examples to their three adult children. All of them became Christians and serve the Lord in some way. They are proud grandparents of seven. But it’s not been all joy and happiness as there has been serious pain along the way. But they can honestly say, they will continue to Praise and Worship our Lord and Savior all the days of their lives!

From YouVersion Bible App

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

(For more information on what this verse means, here is one resource. David and Linda don’t want to waste their pain, the are praying the Lord will use his illness and their suffering for HIS Glory!)

He’s so fine!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “He’s (She’s) So Fine.”

I saw this prompt on a new blogging friend’s site. Her story of how she met her husband was interesting. I think mine is, too! I like the title of her post, “Fate” as that fits us….but I’ll stick with the prompt!

I had just completed my junior year of college. I wrote about the day my life changed when two young former prostitutes visited me. If you missed it, read here.

Part of my depression was that all my friends were in meaningful relationships and were getting married. I had a love of my life, but he cheated on me, but we were just kids. So enter my new life in a Christian street-evangelistic ministry called Christ is the Answer.

And then I saw the one, for me, the perfect man (I love the post this links too…excellent writer I met in July’s Blogging 101). And that was now 40 years ago and we still have as much love for each as we did when we started our journey with each other. And now we travel full-time in our motor home and are living happily ever after, as we enjoy as much time as possible with our grandson (and are waiting for our second one.)

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Aren’t we a couple of characters in our smashed hats?