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A RIDE TO REMEMBER

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

Jane M. Phinney | June 29, 2019


On June 24, Steve & I celebrated our 42nd anniversary. I am, by natural inclination, a very sentimental person. I ponder the past, sometimes tear up, & without fail end up with the question, “How did we get here so fast?” We got here because of where we began…with a 5-hour ride, in the rain, in 1976. 😊


Steve & I met once, when I was a junior in college, because we were celebrating his brother’s birthday. Our siblings were friends. I didn’t see him again until after I graduated college, 18 months later. We were both signing contracts for the position of cottage counselor at a revolutionary (at that time) facility in Iowa that offered a “normal” total life experience for adults (16+) with limitations—as opposed to life in a state institution. In our month long, 8-hour days of in-service training, no stone was left unturned in subjects related to the care of our future residents.


One Friday evening, after returning from a 2-day staff training at a sister facility across the state, Steve knocked on the door of my basement apartment I was sharing with a friend. He had a problem &, being new to the area, was trying to locate his brother. Because Pat & I were friends, I offered to ride along & check out the people (family & friends) & the 3 towns he frequented. It was raining. Five hours later we were out of options & we still hadn’t found him. But we had found each other! It was amazing! At one point, we sat in the driveway of my parent’s home & talked for 3 hours- sharing the history of our lives & of our faith. I had never experienced this kind of spiritual heart connect with any other guy. Our discussion was personal, as opposed to get-to-know-you chit chat. Steve wasn’t hesitant to share his journey to Christ & I felt like I had a new soulmate. By the end of the evening I knew that I had found a whole lot more! After Steve dropped me off, I verbally prayed out loud, “I can’t believe this Lord! I just know I’m going to marry this guy. And I wasn’t looking for this right now.” I wanted to pinch myself. “Is this for real?”


On June 24, 1977, I still wanted to pinch myself. 😊 My dream was coming true. Our life together has been far from boring. We’ve lived in 4 states, worked for 4 discipleship/counseling ministries, started one ourselves, co-pastored 2 churches & started a home church. In a blink, our baby girls grew into women & we were blessed with 10 grands the past 16 years. We’ve a storehouse of unforgettable memories, comprised of sheer fun + painful trials + unexpected physical challenges + joys-- sometimes inexpressible. We are in a life-long sanctification process, just like you. In the end, life passes quickly- no matter how long you live. And ONLY what has been done for our Lord Jesus Christ will last for eternity.


I am blessed to look back on God’s proven faithfulness every day of our marriage, even when we were ignorant (sometimes even stupid) or didn’t necessarily recognize Him at work protecting & directing us. He brought us together & He has kept us together, with the underlying conviction that we would never entertain divorce. And by His grace & mercy we choose daily to be uncompromising to the Truth of His Word, to the best we know how. I pray we will endure to the end of our earthly lives, amidst the growing opposition in the world. Secondly, I am blessed that my beloved has never given up on what he knows God has called him to do… “come hell or high water” as the saying goes. At times, he does experience his own personal torment when attacked by others. On purpose hurts the most. But God picks him up & he keeps going. Truth be known, we both can get discouraged for different reasons. Thankfully, we are most often able to rely on God’s Truth to talk “sense” to each other because we know how dependent we are on Christ’s very Life. Steve says he will die doing what he’s doing. Like Paul in the Bible, he carries the burden of the church. It burns in his soul.


When I started this blog, a line popped into my head & I scribbled out this poem. I gave it to Steve in his anniversary card. It aptly sums up what’s in my heart. I thank God for my Honey!


42ND REFLECTIONS

Copyright 2019©


You knocked on my door

Panic rose in your voice

Someone else’s poor planning

Imposed on your choice


You hopped in the car

I joined in the quest

We tried finding your brother

Thinking he would know best


We made many stops

As we rode in the rain

Memories in the making

A friendship we gained


We forgot the problem

That brought you to me

God had another plan

As we would later see


Five hours together

Birthed forty-two years

God’s love on display

Through trials, joys, & tears


I don’t take you for granted

Life has gone way too fast

I cherish each day with you

Proven love that will last


I pray to the Lord

For more rides with you

The special memories we share

Bind us together like glue


Our love is refined

With each passing year

In Jesus I’m complete

Because of you, my Dear

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