It was a beautiful day. I pulled up in the church parking lot with the windows down. I was there to see the College Pastor who was a friend of mine from school. He had invited me out to volunteer time. I didn’t know that those next few moments would be a pivot point in my life.

The Pastor met me out in the front of the building and together we walked back toward his office. Coming down the hall was a beautiful woman. She had blonde hair and a amazing smile. My friend introduced me to her. She politely said hello and then focused all of her attention on him. I was invisible. I remember that day clearly. It was April 1, 1998.

I didn’t know I had just met the woman who would be the best friend I would ever have. It took a few weeks of being around her and we started to talk. Later that April I went on a rappelling trip with the college group. Much to my delight, she was there. We got to hang out some. She was really cool. At one point we were both hooked up to the rappelling lines and she looked at me and said, ‘Race you down!” She may have beat me down. Maybe.

She was so interesting. I started looking for her when I went to church. I just liked being around her. It was the middle of May and I was starting to really like her. Our church had a great place for college students called the Omega House. After the service that evening I was working in the concession area. I really wanted her attention, but I was not the only one vying for it. I saw her across the way talking with another guy. Yeah, no fun. But…that was not the end.

At the end of May, I left town to be a part of a summer mission team. I was going to be gone for 2 months, singing and helping at summer camp. A couple of weeks into the trip there was a few days break from the team. I headed back to the church and set off with the college group to the Royal Gorge in Colorado.

The day before the trip I showed back up at the church and to my surprise, she was there and happy to see me. We spent time together that evening. I was on cloud nine. She was so much fun to be with.

We were both signed up for the trip and we decided to sit together on the van. As we sat there together I asked if she wanted to play 20 questions. We haven’t stopped talking in 24 and a half years.

Ask anyone on the trip and they will tell you that it was easy to see how much we liked each other. When we got back to Oklahoma, we said our goodbyes for the summer and headed our own ways. It took approximately one day for reality to set in. I REALLY liked this lady. I felt like there was a hole in my chest because I had to be away from her. This was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Come to find out she felt the same way.

The summer progressed. We got to see each other a few more times We kissed. We fell in love. The rest, as they say, is history. I love the story of our beginnings. Every time I think of it I smile.

I love that I met my wife on April Fools Day. There is an irony there that has never been lost on me. I thought I knew what I wanted in life and where I was headed. Truth was, I needed a partner. When I found her, we set off on a trail that has been full of life and adventure. There have been ups and downs, but we have done it all together.

I thank God for her daily. She is my best friend.

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