Doug and I’s story is one of us dancing back and forth in and out of each other’s lives until finally reconnecting and getting married. I’m thankful for God’s providence and His knowledge that our story could only start at a specific time and how He allowed various circumstances to help us fade into the background of the other’s story until it was time for us each to start being key players.
One thing, however, has been true the entire time I’ve known Doug: I find him extremely compelling. He’s always pointed me in the right direction and always brought clarity into my life.
When I was in high school, Doug got me my first job. We had gone to church together as young kids and when I waltzed into the bookstore where he worked, he marched back to his manager and said she should hire me. He had no real reason other than he thought I was pretty and hoped he’d get a date (so he says). I naively thought he was the most gallant man ever and did this with no ulterior motive (don’t judge I was in high school and that’s what all high school girls think!). Although we never dated at the time, we did start the beginning of a friendship. And I’m happy to say that I knew him then when he had a huge afro and also equally as happy that I’m married to him now and he doesn’t.
When we worked together, Doug introduced me to C.S. Lewis. He read him voraciously, quoted him endlessly and recommended him wholeheartedly. I, without his knowing, bought five of Lewis’ books that summer. Reading Lewis was like flipping on a light switch. It was easier to see, and make sense of Jesus and how we should live in light of the story of truth. It also showed me that Christian Literature can be beautiful and should be. Doug didn’t know it at the time, but he introduced me to a favorite author.
Years later, on our first date, Doug asked me what I wanted to do with my life. At the time I was conflicted, I wanted to do mission work, have and adopt a bunch of kids and study English and write and at the time date him. With the utmost ulterior motive, but the clearest presentation he explained God’s will to me. He flipped on the light switch. I had been fumbling around in the dark trying to figure out which path was best, terrified that I would choose the wrong one. Then he showed me the freedom that we have in God’s will. We are here to show Christ and make him known and we can do that in many ways. Now, I’m married to Doug, I teach English online, raise two kids with the hope of adopting one down the road and try to share Jesus with our neighbors and friends in Richmond. It’s a synthesis of all of the desires that God has given me and they aren’t at odds. Doug showed me the truth in that dark, transitional time and I am so thankful.
Before our second date I asked him a few questions about how to read the Bible. I always struggled with how to see the bigger narrative and really see how the New Testament and the Old Testament were connected. I expected a quick chat over coffee on our second date about the ideas. Doug brought worksheets and 3 hours of talking points! Ha. At one point I said at the end because my brain was so tired, “I need food now.” While he was definitely overzealous then and we laugh about it now, Doug sat with me and showed me how to find Jesus in the Bible. I’m not talking about a weird Bible code, but SHOWED me story by story how all things point to Him. How Jesus is the culmination of all of the failed Old Testament heroes and the our true and saving hope. Before I had been reading the Bible as a rule book with stories, but he showed me how it all points to Jesus. I can’t explain the light that has shone into the dark places of my heart because the truth of the Scripture has now been illuminated for me. The Holy Spirit, through Doug flipped that light switch for me.
And now daily when I feel bogged down and discouraged or just everyday life and emotionalism get the best of me, Doug encourages me, bears the torch for me to get back on the right path. We are thankful for our church and he pastors many. But I am proud to say that first and foremost, he is my pastor and he shepherds me well. The quality that I’ve always found the most attractive for him is the way he kindly and consistently brings clarity to confusion. Lest you misunderstand me, I’m not saying that Doug is my light or the light of our church, but instead I’m saying that he points me to the light and does so with others. I love him and I’m thankful for that. As a wife, I cannot ask for anything else.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”