A Kiss Will Only Complicate Things pt 2
by Rhonda Stoppe
(Read part 1 here)
To Missy’s delight James met her weekly at the young adult group at her church where they listened to sound teaching and enjoyed outings with the group, “We were able to spend lots of time together without actually dating,” said Missy.
After six months of James attending church she watched in joyful amazement as one Sunday he walked the aisle to surrender his life to Jesus.
Although Missy was elated, she was also cautious. She wanted to be sure that James’s commitment to Christ was genuine––and not just something he did so she would date him.
Missy prayed for God’s wisdom as she observed James’s new life in Christ. Observing James’s transformed life confirmed to Missy that his salvation was genuine. It was then that Missy finally allowed her heart to fall hopelessly in love with James.
Missy remembered, “I fell in love with James at a party for my work. James was so full of fun and life. When he pulled me close and our eyes locked I literally saw fireworks in our eyes.”
From then on James and Missy were inseparable. “We were dating for real,” Missy laughed.
On the ten-month anniversary of the day they met, James took Missy out to celebrate. Missy knew something was up when James told her to dress fancy for their date. When they arrived at a very nice restaurant the hostess welcomed them quite excitedly and walked them to a private booth. On the table was a bouquet of ten red roses, “One for each month of our time together,” said James.
Over dinner, the two laughed as they shared memories of how the Lord had brought them together. If ever a girl was “hard to get” it was Missy. But James got her and now he never wanted to let her go.
After dinner, James got down on one knee as he pulled out a little jewellery box. James hardly finished asking Missy to marry him when she joyfully responded, “Yes!”
NO BABY BLUES
Six months later, James and Missy were married. After a romantic honeymoon in Hawaii, they settled into married life. Missy recalled, “Our first year was good but definitely an adjustment period! I was 27 and James was 29. We had both lived on our own for quite a while. We had to learn to be ‘we’ instead of ‘me!’”
Over the next several years Missy and James enjoyed marriage as they learned to live in unity. Although their marriage was blissful, they wrestled with disappointment when month after month Missy was unable to get pregnant.
After three years of praying and doctor appointments, God blessed them with a baby girl whom they named Jayleen. To signify how truly united the couple had become, Jayleen’s name was a combination of James’ and Missy’s middle name.
Missy was finally able to realize her dream to be a stay at home wife and mother. James was working as a private pilot for minimal pay and no health coverage, so quitting her job brought financial challenges but God provided in a miraculous way. Just two weeks after Jayleen was born, they were guaranteed a better income and health care when James got accepted into flight school with the National Guard. It was a dream come true for him.
After James’ two-year training with the Guard and two years of trying for another child, God blessed them with a baby boy, Josiah James. Although Missy and James were each living out their dreams, this also began a season of marriage struggle for them. At that time James was working through some personal issues. Missy’s lack of compassion and disrespect for James became the basis for their trouble. Even though Missy was busy caring for the children and James was preparing to deploy to Iraq, they wisely sought marriage counsel from their pastor. They continued in counselling until James’s deployment.
After 10 months of counselling, the couple was making good progress so they were disappointed when the time came for James’ deployment. But God used James’s year-long deployment to heal their marriage. As God worked to convict both their hearts, they missed each other terribly.
Missy realized she didn’t know how to be a good wife so she began daily listening to radio programs that taught a biblical perspective on marriage. “I became a student of marriage,” said Missy. As she applied God’s truth to her marital problems she began to realize how wrong she had been in blaming James for her unhappiness. (If you can relate to Missy’s plight, find help in reading my book, The Marriage Mentor.)
Once Missy realized she needed to repent for her own contribution to their marriage strife she stopped blaming James for her lack of joy. And God restored in Missy a deep love for her husband.
When James returned from Iraq, he and Missy had a new adoration and respect for each other. They recommitted to enjoying one another and determined to go out on a date at least once a month––something they had stopped doing after their second child was born.
Missy thanked God for James’ deployment because afterwards, they enjoyed some of the best years of their marriage.
When James was accepted to train with an airline he told Missy it was another dream come true. Although she knew the job would mean long seasons of James away from home, Missy applied what she had learned and kept her mouth shut. Rather than nagging James, she took her concerns to God.
Soon James quit the training when he realized he would only be home three days out of each month. “I just can’t do that!” he told Missy.
Missy was so thankful that she waited for God to lead her husband to make the right decision. She said, “When James made the choice not to follow that dream, I felt so special that he chose us over his lifelong career dream.”
Although James’s decision meant Missy had to go back to work to help provide for the family while James waited for a pilot job opportunity, Missy was happy to have him home.
LIVIN’ THE DREAM
When the Sheriff’s department hired James to pilot their small plane, he was elated. The job allowed James to be home each night, fly eight hours per shift, and help the Sheriff “chase the bad guys,” as James put it.
Life was wonderful. Each day when James left for work Missy would say, “You leavin’ now?”
James would take Missy in his arms, give her a kiss and say, “I’m never leaving!”
Then he would kiss the kids and leave to go fly his plane and catch the bad guys.
One evening while James was at work, Missy and the kids were at church. Missy had just settled the children in the class where she volunteered when the pastors’ wife came to get her.
Missy remembered, “She looked distressed.”
Missy’s concern grew when the pastors’ wife said, “Your friend is going to walk with us to the pastor’s office.”
When the friend approached she too looked distressed. As Missy was trying to figure out what was the matter, she never dreamed of what would happen next. When she approached the pastor’s office she could see the room was filled with Sheriff officers.
Missy remembered, “I began to go numb and just quietly say, no-no-no.”
The Sheriff sat Missy down and explained how James’ plane had been in a crash––and both James and his partner had not survived.
Missy recalled, “My mind raced back and forth between two thoughts. I’m a widow. What about the kids? I was in complete and utter shock. I was trembling as I heard people talking to me. They were asking who I wanted them to call. It didn’t seem real. I felt like I was up in the air looking down on someone else’s life.”
Don’t miss the final instalment of this chapter next time!
Want more Real Life Romance? Watch Steve and Rhonda share secrets to raving up your romance on Thriving Sexy Marriage Podcast. Here’s the Link.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 20 years experience of helping women build a no regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist. She’s committed to fulfill the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you’re visiting with a friend over coffee.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including FamilyTalk, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and hosts The No Regrets Hour. She speaks at women’s events, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and homeschool conventions. Sharing the gospel is her sweet spot––she’s an evangelist at heart.
Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who pastors First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and nine grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com