Monday, September 14, 2009

Memorial Box Monday-The Chrysler

Most of you know my friend, Linny. She has inspired, encouraged, challenged, and changed me. You can check her site for weekly Memorial Box Monday posts. Below, you'll see what she says about them.

"The purpose of each Memorial Box Monday post is to remind myself and others of God's great faithfulness, His powerful provision and His Unexpected Gifts in each of our lives.
It is not a sign of super spirituality to have a Memorial Box. It is something that anyone who has seen God work in their lives can do. There are no rules....just sharing the story of something recent or long ago about how God showed up in your family (or just to you if you are single) to meet a need, rescue, protect, heal, or even give a surprise you didn't expect!"

Well, this week, I'm killing two birds with one stone. Our senior pastor at church challenged us last week to find the person who had a big influence on our spiritual walk and thank them. He said to seek out the person who answered your questions, and maybe even helped you ask Jesus to be your Savior. What a challenge! AND, what a great MBM post too!

Over the course of my life, many people have been instrumental in helping me form a relationship with Jesus. When I was a child, my brother and sister-in-love had me go to church with them all the time. And I could always count on my grandmother to be at church (I can even remember EXACTLY where she sat in our old sanctuary). And my youth group leader (now mother-in-love), and friends, and my parents...many people were vital to my early learning about Jesus.

But when Pastor Dave asked us to find and thank this person...I immediately thought of someone else. My husband, Tony. Oh, how I love this man.

Many moons ago (um, 19 years for those who are curious) Tony and I started dating. I first met him at youth group (thanks to a friend who invited me) and thought he was cute. Little did I know, he was checking me out too! *GASP* an upperclassman! WHOO HOO!

Fast forward a few months and Tony and I started dating. (Met him in May, started dating in late August). One night stands out in my mind more than any though. We were cruising through town in his mom's burgundy Chrysler equipped with an 8-track and everything. (SWEET!) We were planning on going to the movies, I think. Anyway, I knew Tony was different, and I knew church had to do something with it. So I started asking questions while we were driving.

Let me back track a second. I was a freshman, and he a sophomore. He had been in church since toddler hood, and I had just started going regularly. I had him duped! He thought I was a Christian already. He later told me, had he known I wasn't a Christian, he would have never asked me out! HA! Thank you, Jesus for not shedding light on that!

Anyway, we had gotten closer and formed a friendship/relationship. So when I started asking questions about God, church, being "saved", etc. he was more than happy to answer me. I remember the conversation getting pretty deep. I also remember my heart thumping out of my chest. So the closer we got to my house, the more emotional I was. I knew I was a sinner, and I knew I wanted what Tony had. That peace. That joy.

We ended the night sitting in my driveway talking. I asked Tony what I had to do I pray. And, bless his heart, he gave me the steps to salvation. He told me I needed to acknowledge who God was. I needed to admit I was a sinner and ask for forgiveness. And I needed to ask Him to come into my heart so that I could live for Him. (Rough high school version). So there, in that Chrysler, in my driveway, with my boyfriend (now husband) as a freshman in high school, I prayed and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. (I'm crying now, thinking about it!)

Friends, the feeling I had. Oh, the joy that BURST out of me. I was sobbing...but elated and scared all at the same time. The release was overwhelming. We hugged and cried (at least I think he did) and I felt simply amazing.

I remember bounding in the house to announce my joy to my parents. I won't go into detail, but my news wasn't well-received. My parents thought I should have been older before I made this big decision. My spirit was crushed a little, but right then, I began to lean on Jesus. (If you ask my parents now (and maybe they'll respond here) I think they are proud that I made that decision and that I have since tried to live a life pleasing to God.)

So during that date night in August, a young man led this young woman to God. And I want to take this opportunity to thank him publicly.

Tony, love, you mean the world to me. Because of you, I am proud daughter of Christ. A child of God. Because you were not afraid or embarrassed to witness to me, even in high school, I became a Christian. I would not be the person I am today, spiritually or otherwise, if it weren't for you. Because you cared enough about me and my relationship with God, others in my family have come to Him as well. You are a man of integrity and passion. You are steady and hold fast to your convictions. You challenge me, inspire me, and make me joyful. You are a wonderful spiritual leader of our home, and for our children. A model of the type of person I would want them to marry. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can never repay you for what you did. Just know, that I love Jesus. And I love you.

So the symbol I'm choosing for the Memorial Box in my mind, is a Hot Wheel. It's a little red Chrysler, with comfy leather seats, and an 8-track.

I am blessed and so thankful.



Anonymous said...

Wow-nice post. I remember that night too and am glad everything has turned out the way it has. Thank you for the nice post, I love you!


P.S. - the old Chrylser is rumored to still be alive and residing in Randolph County.

Chris and Sarah said...

OK, Tony you need to find that car and buy it!

Rett, you have me in tears reading that.

Anonymous said...

THE CHRYSLER! I had many, many fun times in that car during my FCWC Youth Group days! So it's still a-kickin' in Randolph County, huh? Is it near the 'Blue Goose' aka the FCWC church bus? But what a neat post. When will we get the memorial box post on the first kiss?!?! heeheehee Oh, and a post on the Turd? hahaha

Anonymous said...

Oh I started crying when I saw the picture of the Chyrsler! Great great memories! Thank you for sharing this special memory.
The Chyrsler is somewhere in Randolph County.

IzzyBeth said...

Awesome story. :-)

From East Texas to the Far East said...

Okay, I don't know you and I really don't know how I found your blog, but I love it and read it often. I have nieces that are twins and their names are Abby and Laney, which I found interesting(and kept me reading) and my husband and I are in the process of adopting from China (and just found out we are pregnant as well!). Anyway, I have never left a comment before, but I couldn't help but leave one after your story. What a great way to come to know the Lord and what an awesome testimony to your girls about your love/marriage relationship. I got chills as I was sitting here and reading this knowing that God had His hand on your relationship from the start and knew that you would be so good for one another. It was an amazing story to read. Blessings to you and thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm a little behind on reading your blog but thought I must comment on this! I've never heard that story and it is an awesome story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us and thank you for loving the Lord and constantly serving him. You guys are an inspiration to us (and I'm sure many more) I thank God that we remain friends to this day! Thank you for forever friends! Love you guys!
Christy Z.(I couldn't remember my blogger account so I went anonymous!)

Krissy said...

What a beautiful memorial box story!