We met when we were both 16 back in 1974 at a local supermarket where we both had after school jobs. Wayne had already been working there for several months when I started, so he was immediately interested in the new girl in the fridge section, which I wasn’t aware of at the time. He showed his initial interest in me by offering me Fantales from the ‘broken stock’ box. I thought that was sweet.
I fell desperately in love with this handsome young man who was mature beyond his years and who treated me like a real lady. The following year Wayne went on to do an Electrical apprenticeship and the year after that I went to Teachers College. As we were both still living at home while establishing our careers, we saw very little of each other during the week which was hard to bear. Weekends involved drives in the country, trips to the beach, going to restaurants with friends, picnics and family get-togethers.
We had a wonderful blossoming relationship filled with love and laughter. As with all relationships, I recall a period where we were not getting along so well. The pressures of work and study were taking their toll and our relationship became a little strained for a while. I unwisely suggested that maybe we should have a break away from each other for a short while to allow a cooling off period and a testing of our true devotion to each other. Wayne said an emphatic “No” to my suggestion stating that when two people are married they can’t have “a break away” from each other. So he gave me an ultimatum. He said that we either weathered the storm or we split permanently!
Well I was not about to allow this handsome young man to walk out of my life, so we ‘got over it’ and ‘got on with it’. I look back now and appreciate his wisdom as these times come and go in every relationship and it’s certainly not time to bail out. With perseverance and devotion the dry times pass and the warmth and fun returns.
We dated for 5 years saving ourselves chastely for our married life. We had discussed marriage many times and were determined to tie the knot but my college study had to be finished first before trying to juggle a new marriage with study. That’s why we dated for 5 years; waiting until I graduated.
We had not bargained on me being appointed to a school in the country as we were desperately in love and keen to be married. We had assumed that I would get a posting nearby my home but this was not the case. I was sent to a country town named Kandos, 3 hours’ drive away and I was devastated. I reluctantly moved to the country taking up my teaching post and spent only a few minutes each day talking to Wayne from a pay phone down the street. I had no telephone in my teacher housing flat and there were no mobile phones in those days. I found this very difficult and just wanted to be close to the man I loved. We were engaged three months later and planned to marry the following January. Then, after I had settled into one country school I was given a transfer to Bathurst and my heart broke all over again. I had found my feet in Kandos and was enjoying the school if not the distance from my fiancée. So I reluctantly moved again but this time Wayne obtained a job in the country and moved out closer to where I was living
We were married on 5th January 1980 which was the beginning of a wonderfully blessed and happy marriage. In November of that same year, we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour which began another new journey – as a Christian family. The Lord blessed us with 4 adorable children over the next few years and we chose for me to put my teaching career on hold while I stayed at home raising our babies. This was a difficult time with one income and four little children but the Lord provided and we managed to feed and clothe them until they were all in school when I went back to teaching. I have never regretted the time I spent staying home raising those children. They don’t come trained and training children is a difficult job but they have all grown up to become sensible, mature, well adjusted, devoted Christian adults who are all married now, with beautiful Christian spouses and have given us 5 wonderful grandchildren.
We have been married 35 years now and it’s 40 years since we first became an item and what a wonderful 40 years that has been. We are still very much in love and are inseparable companions and the best of friends. There is no-one else in this world we would rather spend our time with as we are happy in each other’s company. The problem is that we still don’t get enough time together with work commitments and family responsibilities. Even children with children need time and attention, as do aging parents.
We thank God for each other, for our wonderful marriage, for our exceptionally beautiful children and our wonderful grandchildren. He has provided everything we have needed when we have needed it, and has answered our prayers along the way too numerable times to count. We have been able to serve Him in our home, running bible studies and fellowship meetings for lots of children and adults, teaching Sunday school for over 20 years and Wayne serving as a director at the Orange Christian School for many years while I was a teacher there also. So we have had many opportunities to share the love of Jesus with those the Lord has brought across our paths and the greatest joy of all was seeing our four beautiful children all come to saving faith in Jesus Christ and go on to love Him and serve Him and marry Christian partners. What a great joy!
What a blessed and happy 40 years we have had. We trust the Lord for the days to come and anticipate many more wonderful blessings from Him who loved us enough to die for our sins and save us for eternity. He wrapped His loving arms around us, gave us salvation in 1980 and has carried us lovingly through the last 35 years. We thank God for this testimony and give Him the glory.
Thanks Evelyn for such a heartwarming testimony of God's blessing in your lives.