Today I chose to deviate from Paul’s life, and the lessons we learn from those who fail to listen to the gospel story, to honor Shelli. Today we celebrate our 35th anniversary of being married to each other. It is so hard to believe all that has happened in our lives since that day we pledged our vows to each other in Fairfield, California on August 8, 1987.
We have lived in Durham, NC; San Pablo, CA; Greenville, SC; Spartanburg, SC; Winston Salem, NC; Rural Hall, NC; Roanoke, VA; Troutman, NC; Trinity, NC; Salt Lake City, UT; Atlanta, GA; Anderson, SC; and Tucson, AZ. I was gone for one year traveling to Memphis, TN; Kansas City, MO; Charlotte, NC; and Miami, FL. Just this is enough to put a strain on a marriage; yet, Shelli treated each move as an adventure for our family. She even navigated my cancer and two bike wrecks.
Shelli went through one of the greatest transitions any wife could face. Her husband left the security and prosperity of a successful business career to go into the ministry. This was a drastic change in a marriage. There were strains and adjustments, but Shelli faced this challenge with grace, courage and dignity.
She has been an amazing mother to our three children and a doting grandmother to our eight grandchildren. She has graciously endured the long hours of a pastor’s life; encouraged when members were less than kind; cheered every message (even when many have not been great) as if they were a homerun; and loved even when I have been unlovable, stressed or made less than wise decisions.
I just want to write, Happy Anniversary! I love you and thank God for you!