The book was perhaps my fastest read – one week. However, my wife read the 184 pages in one day. The book was an easy read, full of humor and real life engagement. The book gently, but confidently story’s their spiritual commitment that propels them through difficulty and doorways of blessing.
It was spring 2003. My business was starting to do decent and I had a good bit of residual income. I was also doing ministry full time as well with Raffa Front-Line Ministries. We had formed a discipleship school that was growing.
The purpose of Raffa was to help people to know and hear God. We had several different locations throughout Georgia. We had a school campus in Dalton, Blairsville, and Dacula. Our home campus was in Dacula at our home church Cornerstone Fellowship.
The school was experienced tremendous momentum.
Karen and I just enjoyed our first Christmas as a married couple. We were excited for the New year as any newly wed would be. Karen was now working a stable job. She decided to forego going back to school for a while (at least during our first year).
I began to think about what Brother Larry prophesied a few months back. I was thinking through the process and the word that was spoken: “In three days, the Lord will show you what you are to do next.”
After a few months of marriage, the financial burden of making rent weighed heavily on me. Each day, I went to the mailbox with less and less expectancy. No one was “miraculously” hearing from God to send us money.
The spiral was set in motion when we were late with rent. I called the leasing office and asked for some grace, explaining the situation and using the “ministry” card. No grace was extended.
Two weeks later we received notice that we had two weeks before eviction proceedings would begin.
After the honeymoon, the struggle of managing our life together began.
From the very beginning, Karen and I agreed to be a team. No matter what. We were together in everything.
Karen had taken a break from school and I was still serving and traveling with a ministry that gave honorariums as it could afford to. So, there was not an abundance of money coming through.
Despite the financial struggle, our marriage was strong.
It was a beautiful September day. The sun was shining, the grass was super green, and flowers were at their peak.
Our venue was a small traditional church in Lawrenceville.
The wedding had come together with the assistance of many friends.
We had little money and what we had went to securing the church venue. We had nothing left for flowers or musicians let alone a reception. Nearly every facet of our wedding ceremony (from flowers to music) was performed with excellence and grace by the generosity of friends that pitched in and utilized their individual talents to help pull off an amazing wedding event.
I was now convinced more than ever that I needed to ask Karen to marry me. So, I arranged for a time when I could meet alone with Karen’s parents. We decided on a morning that Karen was away from the house. I went over and presented my case for her hand in marriage. Karen’s dad was tough on me – the typical toughness a dad would bring to any fellow suitor.
I thought things were going great between Karen and I. Her parents however were not as thrilled or excited about our relationship. When they found out that Karen and I were talking about the future together, they decided it was too soon and they went to their church youth group pastor to discuss how to stop this before it went too far.
On the road, Larry and I were returning from an out of town meeting. We were just talking when out of the blue he began to prophesy me. He simply said, “The Lord is bring your wife to you.” Believe it or not, I was interested in getting married. I wanted to be in ministry and serve the Lord. However, there was a girl at church I had my eyes on.