Today was the day I said, “I do!” Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Rhonda and I have been married for 32 years. I still remember the day when I saw her for the first time. She was gorgeous. She was the one I had been praying for . . . the woman God had prepared just for me to share life with. After meeting her in January 1979 at Brewton Parker College, I asked her to marry me in April 1979. For the next few weeks she sought God’s will about whether or not to marry me. She said, “Yes!”

Most of our family and friends thought we were crazy. We were advised to wait until we finished college. Some told us we would never make it. At the time we were college students without jobs that paid a lot (I worked 20 hours in the library at the school). But, we were convinced that God had brought us together and wanted us to get married when we did.

We stepped out in faith and trusted God. I remember looking for a house. The average rent at that time in Mt. Vernon was around $100 per month. God provided us with a house that only cost $10 a month. God provided me with a job over the Christmas break. When funds got low, we prayed. Without fail I got a phone call to speak at a church. God always provided in those early years and has since.

Rhonda and I have experienced a lot in the past 32 years . . . three beautiful girls, two great son-in-laws, and one awesome grandson. All of our children are Christ-followers. We have had tons of happy joyful moments and a few heartaches as well. There have been moments when our love was tested.

Some people we have talked to through the years have been amazed at our story. Some could not believe we made it as long as we have. Some have asked how or wanted to know our secret. For us, the secret to real happiness has been simple: we are best friends; we do things together; we laugh a lot; we communicate (rather than just talking); we take our marriage vow seriously; we love each other unconditionally (most of the time); and we put our relationship with God first.

I don’t know what the next 32 years will bring. I don’t know what challenges we will face. All I know is that I look forward to spending time with Rhonda every day. Whatever life throws our way we will face it together in faith, hand in hand. We will look up and thank God for all things. We will continue to serve him. So, to my bride of 32 years, SHMILY!