Her name was Ethelyn, but her husband called her Et for short. From the first day that I met her, if her son Tony, was in a room, she’d turn to me with a bright smile and twinkles in her eyes and say, ”There’s Tony. That’s my baby.” Her delight in him was obvious – even when he was forty years of age! She had a right. He was the last of four siblings, born after the others were grown and moved away. Many have told me that he was a spoiled brat. While it’s possible, there may have been some cause.
His birth was traumatic – born with the umbilical cord around his neck, and all the near-death complications that comes with that. Every time that Mother saw her son alive, well, and in his right mind, she probably remembered all the intense prayers for God to save her baby, and how He answered them! His life was a miracle!
Et and her hubby of [at that time] 50 years marriage
I met his parents before I met Tony. My girlfriend had been trying to set us up. “She told me, “You’ll like him. He’s smart, and you two would be as happy as two bugs in a rug.” No, no, no. I was done with guys. I had so many bad relationships and was ready to live a contented single life. But when I needed a ride to his church, my friend said she’d get me one. I was suspicious.
When the ride arrived, an older gentleman was at the wheel. I thought my friend was setting me up with and old guy, until I saw the older lady in the passenger seat. A delightful couple. When we arrived at church the most astounding thing happened. I have to take you back many years so you can grasp this.
On a Wednesday evening in October 1987, God let me know that He had my husband for me. Amazing! But I believed Him. I’d heard His voice many times before, and knew He was interested in everything in my life [and yours too]. I’d been asking Him for a husband, since my track record with choosing dates was a mess. I could look on a guy’s appearance, listen to his words, and watch his actions. But my low self-esteem made it easy to believe their lies. But God looked past the fakeness and saw the true heart of a guy [or a gal]. No baloney got past Him. So, I was happy to have a certified heavenly promise. But that was 1987.
Many years passed and no husband showed up. After one really disastrous relationship I asked God how I could have got into such a mess. He told me that guy was a counterfeit. One of my mentors told me to do a study on counterfeits. I did and learned two outstanding things: 1- Every counterfeit has a reality. And 2- Whenever God or man has anything good to help us and improve life, there is always a counterfeit of that good thing. So be careful who and what you believe.
Also during that time I learned that, emotionally, I was not ready for a healthy relationship. I had so much baggage that had to be cleaned up first. And that happened from December 1998 to December 1999, when my counselor helped me mend my emotional broken wing. Then in 2000 I met Tony!
So, fast speed back to arriving at the church with this older couple. While waiting in the foyer to go in, I looked through the window and saw a young man up front talking. God said to me firmly, “That’s your reality.” But I responded, “No, Lord. No more guys.”
Many details have to be lift out, but I did give into the idea that this young man was heaven’s choice for my husband. We talked and dated, and one evening he asked “How long is a courtship?” Shortly after followed the proposal, and then all the wedding plans. Get a good wedding planner when able!
To Be continued In Part 2
Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence.