The Perfect Husband Pt 2
By Rhonda Stoppe
You’ve Got Mail
Julie and Josh began to keep in touch through email. At first their emails were friendly updates of what each was doing from time to time. But as their friendship grew through their correspondence, so did their affection for each other.
After months of emailing and occasional phone calls, Josh told Julie he had feelings for her, and Julie admitted she too had fallen for Josh. As their friendship grew into a long-distance romance, every day Julie could hardly wait to find out if Josh had written her another email. She longed to hear her computer say, “You’ve got mail.” After she carefully poured over each word in the letter, Julie would then re-read it several times to bask in Josh’s sweet words.
Julie remembered, “These were fun times. And all I could think about every day was Josh. And getting an email from him was daily what I longed for.”
When Julie had completed her internship with the production company, she moved back home to live with her parents in Georgia. Soon Josh and Julie were taking turns driving back and forth between Nashville and Atlanta to see each other. Josh’s romantic, thoughtful gestures served to capture Julie’s heart.
On one of Julie’s visits to Nashville, Josh led her to an old oak tree in his backyard where he had hung a porch swing––just for her. As the two sat together enjoying the sway of the swing, Josh leaned over to kiss Julie. She said, “My heart skipped a beat. This was our first kiss—and not only that…
…it was my first kiss ever! Josh is my first love.
That kiss was everything!”
Instantly Julie knew Josh was the one she had hoped for so many years ago when she had made the list of the type of man she wanted to marry. From then on, Julie’s mind was captivated by thoughts of marriage to Josh while she secretly began planning the wedding of her dreams.
“Josh is definitely a man with a plan,” Julie shared. So while she was privately planning their dream wedding, Josh was secretly plotting the romantic way in which he would ask Julie to be his bride.
Early on in their dating relationship Josh usually held Julie by her left hand, and while he held her hand he developed a habit of moving her purity ring on and off of her ring finger. Julie said, “I got so used to that funny little habit that the day he proposed I was oblivious that he had switched my promise ring with an engagement ring.”
On the day Josh proposed, he invited Julie to come with him to the church where he had just been hired to work as a sound and media technician. While the two were seated on the front pew in the auditorium, the song “I Wanna Grow Old With You” began to play over the sound system.
When Julie heard the lyrics she turned to look into Josh’s eyes. When his gaze met hers, a smile came across his face. Josh quietly asked, “Will you marry me?”He squeezed her left hand gently into his.
“Yes!” Julie laughed joyfully. She then jokingly added, “But you have to kneel down and give me a ring.”
Immediately Josh was down on one knee, and then lifting her hand so she could see it he showed Julie that she was already wearing the engagement ring upon her finger!
“How’d you do that?” Julie squealed.
Julie recalled, “Josh blew my mind with his thoughtfulness and attention to every romantic detail.”
But Julie was even more amazed when Josh explained to her how from the time he knew she was “the one” he had started playing with the promise ring on her left-hand ring finger, knowing one day he would surprise her with an engagement ring in the manner he had done.
Everything Was Perfect–Until…
Once the couple was engaged they began planning the wedding Julie had always hoped for. The idea of their long-distance relationship finally being over and the two of them never having to say goodbye again was something they both longed for.
During their engagement whenever Josh and Julie made the long drive to be together they thought it would be all right to spend more and more time alone as a couple. Knowing they would soon be married, the two began to go physically farther than they had ever intended before their wedding day. And one day Julie faced the painful realization that she had become pregnant with Josh’s baby.
Josh and Julie’s parents did their best to support them when they learned of the unexpected pregnancy. Julie’s heart was broken when she agreed to change their wedding plans from her life-long dream wedding to a rushed ceremony in a little country church. Julie recalled, “All the stress of a shotgun wedding, and all the disappointment we had caused our families put an unbelievable strain on me mentally, emotionally and physically.”
A month and a half later Julie miscarried their baby. The doctor could give them no clear reason as to why they lost their baby, but Julie believed it was because of all the stress she had been under in the early months of pregnancy.
The First Year
Their first year of marriage was difficult. Julie remembered, “We struggled to find our identities. We had to learn how to forgive each other for surrendering to our passions before marriage, and we needed to accept God’s forgiveness for ourselves.”
As they did not want to pretend to their family and friends that everything was all right at home, they reached out for help by confiding in close friends for support and counsel. And they plugged into a church where they would hear teaching from God’s Word and develop relationships with other believers who would encourage them as well.
Julie said, “Our families prayed for us, and we surrendered ourselves and our marriage to the Lord. We held onto Christ and we clung to one another. Through our struggle we learned so much about ourselves and each other.”
Living Their Dream
Things settled as the couple began making loving Christ their life’s priority. Soon they decided it was time to move to Nashville, where Josh had lived for many years before they wed. Josh had business contacts, friends, and a good community of support in Nashville so he was certain that moving there was a good idea for his family.
Life was good for Josh and Julie in Nashville––it became their home. Soon the couple bought their first house, and God blessed them with two sons, Conrad and Emmitt.
“Living the dream life” is how Josh and Julie described those early years. The couple had learned to love and support one another, and raising two sons together seemed to make their life complete.
God blessed Josh’s career in the Christian music industry in ways he never could have imagined. Traveling with well-known music artists and launching a production company that produced their shows was a wonderful way for Josh to use his talent for the Kingdom of God. Julie was incredibly proud of Josh and prayed for him as he worked to keep serving Christ and his family as his primary focus––amidst an extremely busy schedule on the road.
Josh wisely sought counsel from pastors and others in ministry who had raised their families well amidst the pull of a busy schedule. Balancing his passion for his profession and his adoration for his family was something Josh was committed to learn and resolved to achieve.
An Unexpected Adventure
“We were right in the thick of kindergarten and potty training when life threw us an unexpected adventure,” said Julie.
When Julie began having episodes where her entire let side would go numb and seize up she knew something was seriously wrong. When she could ignore her symptoms no longer, Josh drove her to the hospital after she had a serious episode. All the way to the hospital Julie imagined the worst possible diagnosis for her worsening condition.
Tune in next time for the conclusion of the story!
True Love Waits is a conference dedicated to training teens and young adults to commit to wait to have sex until marriage. TrueLoveWaits.com
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