Tuesday, April 2, 2013

7 - My Story, God's Story - My First Marriage

March was a busy month for me.  We took a week's vacation in the middle of the month and took our two granddaughters down to Myrtle Beach during their spring break.  What a great time we had!! I'm sure I will do a post with pictures sometime soon.  For now I think I better get on another post of my life story before much more time gets away from me.

After I moved back to Michigan from Florida, I was able to get a job in a Savings and Loan institution, where my father often got loans for the houses he built.  It was a small bank, only four employees, including me.  I was the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, and basically did teller work.  This was in the early 70's and when we moved from posting machines to computers, I was the one that was selected to train new employees as we grew.  I guess being the youngest one there (the others were old enough to be my parents), I had a mind that picked up on the new electronics.  How amusing that is to me today, as I have a hard time keeping up in the technical world...just ask my husband, or my sons, or my granddaughter!!

I liked my job, and Larry got back into church, and things were going pretty smoothly for us.  When he asked me to marry him, it seemed like the right thing to do.  He was going to be a youth pastor, and we were both very involved at church.  He had a lot of charisma, and the people in church liked him.  We got married in August of 1971, large wedding, rainbow colors, everything went beautifully.  We honeymooned in the Smokies and Chattanooga, TN.  (Little did I know I would one day live in that area!).

Larry and my father built our house on a one acre lot in one of my father's subdivisions.  We were both working, and I thought everything was going well.  A little after our two year anniversary Larry started acting aloof.  Then he started to convince me that he was not the right husband for me.  It didn't take long to figure out he was involved outside the marriage.  Within two months he wanted out, was going to get a divorce so I wouldn't have to.  He had the philosophy that "variety is the spice of life".  He had started drinking again, but I knew I had married for life, and even if I had to raise children in an alcoholic home, that was the choice I had made.  However, I did not have the final choice.  He took what he wanted from our material goods, left the house in my name, and he was out of there.  I told him if he left that he should never come back again.  I had taken him back way too many times, and this was the final straw.

He left.  As the door shut behind him, I crumbled on the floor in tears.  I took the Bible from the stand near by and asked God if He rejected me also, since I knew He didn't like divorce.  He led me to read Galatians 5:13, and I paraphrase:  "Carol, I have called you unto freedom.  Only do not use this freedom to please the flesh.  Rather, serve others with love."  In that moment, a miracle occurred.  The love I had felt for Larry totally dissolved and a brand new love for my heavenly Father filled my heart and soul.  I knew He cared for me deeply...He cared enough to relieve me of a marital mess, and set me free from it.  I didn't know what all the rest of the verse meant at that time...except to be careful in my future relationships, to keep them pure.

Shortly after that life changing experience, I found out that I was pregnant as I miscarried at home, alone.  Again, God sparing me from more heartache, I just accepted His will, His way, His love.  I felt so free, so clean, so full of life.  Even my co-workers commented that I was happier than they had ever seen me...that I was fun to be with.  I loved my job, I loved my church responsibilities, I was looking for where God wanted to lead me next.  I felt like I should sell my house and perhaps go back to college and get a business degree, perhaps working in the business office, or being a dorm mother.  So that became my plan.  Meanwhile, both of my parents ended up with cancer at the same time.  My house sold, but I moved back home with them to be their care taker, while I continued to work at the savings and loan.

There wasn't anyone my age at church...no one for me to hang around with.  There were the teenagers, and there were the young married couples with small children.  So I chose to hang around with the teenagers.  Our church had a softball team in a church league, and we would go out to watch the games.  There was one guy on an opposing team that was not only a great ballplayer, but very attractive to me.  I compared him to a cross between Tony Orlando (music world) and Mark Spitz (sports world)...very good looking, very well built.  So I started going out to all the ballgames just to watch him.  I noticed there was never any girlfriend waiting for him.  It was the last game of the season and I knew I wouldn't see him again, so as I drove out of the park, he happened to ride by me on his bike.  I said to him, "Nice game!"  I had a girlfriend with me who yelled out, "Carol!  I can't believe you finally talked to him!"  I was so embarrassed that I spun my tires to get out of there, and he never even saw who I was.  He just remembers the tires spitting gravel as I left.

Thus begins my introduction to Paul...the man who was to become my second husband (and last!).  That's another story.

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