Monday, September 18, 2023

The Summer of '88 - When God Writes Your Love Story


In the summer of 1988, God was doing a mighty work in two young people who lived 272 miles apart and had no idea the other existed. 

It was the summer that the Holy Spirit began to work in my heart and call me toward the life I always dreamed of, but had no idea how to get there. 

Simultaneously, the Lord was working in the heart of a young man who had been saved from a young age, but only saw God on Sundays. 

Neither of us knew what God was up to, but we were both on a path of wanting more of family and the good stuff and leaving behind the junk we had been living for, up until then. 

I began by leaving work every Friday, driving 2 1/2 hours to my dad and stepmom's house to spend the weekend, which happened to be just north of Corpus Christi. I would spend the weekend with my family, go to church on Sundays, wake up at 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning and drive the 2 1/2 hours back to San Antonio to go to work. This became my summer routine. 

I can't explain the pull I had toward wanting to be with family, except that my stepmom, Ruby, was praying for me.  I later would see that it was the Holy Spirit calling me toward a relationship with God, but at the time, I had no idea.

I continued to go to church on the weekends and one weekend in August of '88, I laid in bed on Sunday night and gave my life to Jesus. I was tired of being in control. I was tired of wondering what else there was to life and tired of bad relationships that went nowhere. 

I surrendered, not only my soul that night, but any desire I had for a relationship. I told the Lord that I never wanted to date again, until he brought someone into my life that would love and adore me, for real. 

At the same time, in a small, Southeast Texas town, David was making a change too. God was also working in him, pulling him away from a going-nowhere relationship, pulling him back toward family and creating a hunger in him to get back to living a better life. 

David was still going to college and working as a news photographer, but he had put in a two week's notice at the news station and was going to pursue other things. Strangely enough, he was assigned a big story to head down to the Corpus area to cover a big hurricane coming in. 

At the same time, I was working at The Hershey Hotel on Ocean Drive in Corpus and I was furious that my boss was making me come to work, knowing that a big storm was heading to the coast. I just knew I was going to die!

But, as God would orchestrate, David covered the storm farther south, then drove back to Corpus to stay the night, before heading back to Beaumont. Since The Hershey Hotel was the only one open that night, guess where he stayed? At the very hotel I happened to work in. That was September 17, 1988. The hurricane was named Gilbert. 

As he came in the front door, passed by the hotel gift shop, he looked through the window and there I was. I remember seeing him looking through the window, but the hotel was full of media people that night, so I just went about my business and didn't think anything of it. 

A little while later, he made an excuse about needing something and stood in the gift shop for a few hours, talking to me about his job and what he had been doing. We basically talked like we had known each other longer than a few hours. In fact, we were so comfortable that he asked me to go for coffee after my shift was over and I agreed, as long as I could drive, in case he was a weirdo and then I would push him out of the car and leave him on the side of the road. True story.

We went out that night, talked for hours and then I needed to head home (I had a 45 minute drive home), so I left him at the hotel and figured I would never see him again. He was a nice guy, but I didn't even know which direction Beaumont was, so what were the chances?

The next morning, when I came to work, there was a business card with his name and number on it and a note that said "talk to you soon" or something like that. I kept the card, but had zero expectations that this news photographer would ever be back, especially since we barely knew one another. 

But the very next week, he called. And within two weeks he came back. Then he kept calling and kept making trips and the next thing I knew, I made a trip to Beaumont and on and on it went, until one day in November, just 2 months later, we were engaged to be married. 

We were married 8 months later and here we are, celebrating that day, 35 years later.

Two children, 5 grandchildren, 2 beautiful daughters-in-law, and lots of stuff in between and we're still choosing each other, every single day. 

When David and I talk about the work God was doing in us, both at the same time, it still amazes us. He was calling us both out of the mess and into a life with Him, but also with one another and we had no idea.

God literally wrote our love story!

As every marriage does, we've had to go through all the many things that people go through - job loss, deaths, working out of town, moving, in-laws, fighting over stupid things and so much more. But every day we have one thing we know for sure...God wrote this story and it's the only one we want to be in. 

Did I mention we've been through a lot of hurricanes too? Uggg! Who knew that Hurricane Gilbert would just be the first of many. 

But, if I have to go through things, at least I know God gave me the best partner to ride out the storm with. 

I'll always be grateful for the summer of '88 and the God who changed my life. I'm also grateful that David went home after that first night and told his parents that he met the girl he was going to marry. I think things turned out just right. 

Until Next Time...



  1. What a beautiful story. What is to be will be!!!!!!
    Such a whirlwind romance - I love that, as I had one too.
    Was married 33 years at his passing, and would still be together had that not happened.
    Happy anniversary and many more.

    1. Thank you Cheryl! Whirlwind romances are sometimes the best :) When you know, you know!

  2. As one of my favorite authors/speakers says that makes me smile: Won't He do it?! Amen. I loved reading this story! Happy anniversary to you both! I am always blown away by God and how He works in our lives. I never want to take for granted all that He is doing in the background, that we have no idea of. This story reminds me of that. Thank you for sharing today!

    1. Thank you Jennifer! We truly never know the full extent of all that God is working on behind the scenes :)

  3. God is so good! Thanks for sharing your story and Happy Anniversary!

  4. Debbie, I loved your story! The only thing better than a great love story is one where you can look back and see God's hand in it all! What a gift! Sticky happy anniversary wishes to you both!!

  5. This is an extraordinary history, in that you are walking in divine inspiration. All is good. Thank you for your history.

  6. What a beautiful testament to God's love and providence! Happy and Blessed Anniversary, my friend.

  7. I love this love story! My husband and I met at a bar when I was sixteen...I lied about my age to get in, then my cousin and I each picked out the cutest guy. Paul certainly was cute, in his v-neck velour pullover and wild shoulder length curly cousin pointed out that his shirt tag was sticking out, and dared me to go tuck it in. (We were NOT drinking, just standing around being dorky). I tucked it in. He turned around, had two beers, handed me one, we started talking, he called me the next day...we both got converted not long after, when I was married when I was 18, almost 40 years ago now, and have 16 kids. (He was 19 and in college, and when he found out I was only sixteen, um, it was a bit rocky...but we really liked each other). Paul was the nicest, most respectful, responsible, adorable guy I had ever met, and still is. I truly believe that God brought us together, even if it was in an unconventional way. :)

    1. Congratulations on 40 years!! And what a beautiful family :)

  8. Happy Anniversary Debbie, what a beautiful story~ I have always hear let God write your story and He has truly wrote yours. Today, is my husband and mine anniversary!! We've been married 42 years today. Enjoy your evening!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Come back soon!