I always wanted to get married and have a family. However, when I was young, I never really could see it happening for me. There were times when I thought maybe it would, but I’m not sure I would have put the word ‘happily’ in front of the word ‘married.’ The only way I pictured it was settling for someone and leading a quiet, normal life.
When I told my grandmother that, she told me to pray that God would send the man that I would want to marry and that I would be happy with..not settling. She told me to pray with specificity about the kind of man I wanted God to send. I did. It’s funny when I think back to what the characteristics were that I prayed for, but I remember: liked to play baseball, wore a baseball hat, loved God, loved me, was a good provider and a good father to the two kids we would have, preferably a boy and a girl 2 years apart.
Sound familiar? If you know me, you know that I married a man who played baseball in high school, occasionally wears baseball hats, loves God, loves me, is a great provider and a fabulous father to our two kids who just happen to be a boy and a girl born two years and 4 months apart.
I never had a serious relationship until I met my husband, Jason. I went out with guys and “dated” a few, but each time I thought about marrying that person, I knew I would have been settling. I was one of those people who always considered if the person I was dating was marriage-material or not. I had a lot of friends who told me that was crazy, and just to have fun, but I always thought the purpose of dating was to find a husband, and if that person wasn’t it, why are we wasting time?
I had just ended a rather unhealthy “relationship” (that might be stretching it) in college, when I felt God tugging on me and reminding me to look to Him for guidance, so I did. I made some promises to Him about changing some things in my life, which I still keep 24 years later, and very soon, things started to come into motion.
I was sitting in my room of the Alpha Chi house with several girls discussing guys and how there weren’t any good ones in the world, when my friend Shawna said, “We just need to fix you up with someone nice. Hmmm.” Then she, Jodi, and Tammy all said “Jason McClure” at the same time. I had heard his name before. He was friends with all three of them. I had driven Jodi to his apartment for tutoring in Accounting 215, he had called our room before to talk to Shawna, and Tammy had lived in his dorm freshman year. Shawna set it up, and on January 20, 1990, I went on a blind date that went very right.
We got married in 1992 after graduating from college, and he wanted to move to Cincinnati. I refused to move. We had our first child in 1994, and then our daughter in 1996.
In 2001, the company he worked for was sold. We were told we could move to New Jersey with the parent company, or he could take a severance package. I refused to move to New Jersey!
The job market in WV wasn’t great, so he found an opening for Controller at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC. He applied and got the job. The VP Finance who was looking at hundreds of resumes said that his stuck out because he went to Marshall University. She was engaged to a man was from the town where we went to college. That’s the reason his got pulled from the huge stack she’d received.
So, we took a leap of faith and moved to Charlotte, and had an awesome 3 ½ years there, and then we moved to Cincinnati.
Yep, the same place I refused to go to at the beginning of our marriage. Jason was then working at Kings Island. We had a great 3 ½ years there, when he was offered the position of General Manager of Dorney Park in Allentown, PA.
It was a great opportunity for his career, and the advantages it would provide financially for our kids’ education and future couldn’t be denied. We didn’t even know where Allentown was. The Billy Joel song as all we knew (and it really isn’t even about Allentown, it’s about Bethlehem, but Allentown sounded better in he song), but we again took a leap of faith.
He got into the truck headed to Allentown with a map. We’d never been there. I know it sounds crazy, but we’ve had a great 6 years here. The craziest part? I live 30 minutes from New Jersey.
Yup again, the second place I refused to move to earlier in our marriage. The truth is, no matter where we live, love anchors us and holds us steady.
When I have chosen to trust God, He has always provided.
· My husband is the love of my life. I did not settle, and I can easily put the word ‘happily’ in front of the word ‘married.’
· I still hold those three girls, Shawna, Jodi, and Tammy, as three of my dearest friends.
· It was God that made Jason’s resume stand out in that stack that started our moving journey.
· I’ve met amazing people through our various locations and jobs, with each bringing growth and
I’m thankful that God has a plan for me and that He waited patiently until I was ready to let Him work in my life.
My daily prayer is that my children find the spouse that God has chosen for them, and that they will allow God to work in their lives too. My youngest is graduating from high school in June, and my empty nest awaits. It makes me cry occasionally (okay, maybe a lot), but I’m also excited for some one on one time with my hubby in yet another new location. It’s not the quiet, normal life that I was afraid I would have to settle for; it’s so much more.