Friday, February 17, 2012

A 'Good' Good Friday - Jo-Anne's Story

I was almost nineteen and about to begin my second year at university. During the holidays, I became friends with a girl who took me home to meet her family. She had four brothers, one of whom I vaguely remembered seeing at our Christian group on campus. And when our uni lectures began for the year, there he was in the same Classical Greek class as I was!

We chatted at times, but he did not ask me out until the end of year holidays. And it was only a matter of a few weeks then before we knew we wanted to be together for life. Both of us were very committed Christians, although I belonged to a different denomination from him. That year, however, I had agreed to travel to Lionel’s student church each Sunday to teach Sunday School. And one day, as I was getting out of the car to head into the church, I saw Lionel standing at the door greeting people. In a flash, I felt God say I would end up as Lionel’s wife—that is, as a minister’s wife.

It was gracious of God to let me know in advance, so that when Lionel took me for a drive on Good Friday of that Easter break, parked the car in a pretty spot and asked me to marry him, I had no hesitation whatsoever! I remember I had just said with a sigh, “This is so lovely. I wish I could do this every day instead of going to uni!” At which point, Lionel said something like “Would you like to do this for the rest of your life with me?” When I immediately said yes, he was so taken aback, he wondered if I had understood him correctly, so repeated the question in a different way! Needless to say, I said yes again. We were married the following January, nine days before my twenty-first birthday and nine days before my only sister also married a minister!

And now are about to celebrate our forty-third wedding anniversary. Truly, it was indeed a ‘good’ Good Friday for both of us all those years ago. 

Jo-Anne Berthelsen has published six books with Ark House Press. Most contemporary and some historicals. Her website will inform you of the titles. Visit her weekly blog at  You'll also find her at

1 comment:

Mary Hawkins said...

Wow, Jo-Anne! Lovely story and have been enjoying your blogs, Rita. We all love to reflect on special times in people's lives.