Almost a year ago, I was writing about the early years of Terrie’s and my marriage (The Early Years Part 3). I had described the advances made in my career and how Terrie’s art business began to grow. I wrote about not having children and how people perceived us as “odd” or “not normal”. I could agree with the “not normal” because most married people have children, but there is a percentage of married people that God chose not to bless with children. That is His business and unless He does it, it doesn’t happen.
While we had troubles getting along, we continued with our unstable marriage, not knowing how much longer it would last. We bought a house and worked at improving our lives. I got a new and better job, financially things were improving. My association with co-workers was not helping my attitude and my ways.
“But God” had a change in store for us. Through a medical event in my life (What Happened To Steve Elkins?) I became a Christian. My life was changed radically. I gave myself to the Lord Jesus and through the process, I became a better husband. God replaced my interior rage with the most wonderful peace. I had peace with God and the peace of God.
Terrie and I started going to her parent’s church. It was a small Baptist church where we were welcomed and accepted. Terrie, having been raised in church, become a 1st grade Sunday school teacher in our new church. She seemed to know all of the Bible stories and many Bible verses. I knew very few stories and no verses, but I did seem to comprehend what I was reading in the Bible and understanding the principles and applications.
A couple of years passed, Terrie and I were doing better, but there still seemed to be something wrong. Terrie saw that I was changing, but still didn’t totally trust what she was seeing.
In 1980, our church hired a new pastor. He then hired a new youth pastor, who had been in the pastor’s youth group he previously led. The church could only pay $75.00 a week. On that salary, he could not rent an apartment or anything else. We were asked if we would let him stay in our spare bedroom for a time until he could afford his own place.
We all became friends and Terrie and I enjoyed having Greg in our home. But Terrie and Greg would stay up and argue over spiritual points. Nothing vicious, but at times heated. Most of the times, I had already gone to bed and was asleep while they discussed things in the den.
After a few months, Greg got his own place that was close to the church. In February 1982, the Lord was working in Greg’s heart about his salvation. The church was having revival services and at the beginning of the week, Greg gave his heart to the Lord Jesus. We were all excited for him, but it had a great impact on Terrie. She was questioning her own salvation throughout the week. She said she thought she was saved and a few minutes later, she was convinced she was not saved.
Friday night was the last night of the revival services. The last invitation came and Terrie stepped out to give her life to the Lord. She told me she realized the Lord would not cause the back and forth doubts if her salvation was real. God is not a God of confusion. Terrie confessed her sins to Jesus and accepted His lordship in her life.
Now, Terrie was very mindful of her appearance: her make-up, her hair, etc. She wanted to be baptized that very night, she didn’t want to worry about waiting until Sunday. So the church authorized her baptism and she was baptized that same night.
Both Brother Greg and Terrie changed remarkably. The things they would argue over were resolved from the inside out. They took on a new brother and sister relationship.
I received a new wife, a new marriage, and a new beginning. Our lives were now centered on worshiping the Lord and serving Him. After being married for six years, Terrie was able to give herself totally to me; body, soul, and heart. The internal things that had hindered her were gone. She did her very best to please me.
Our love soared and my “Precious” was just that, precious, each and every day. I know many say it, but we truly did have a special love. Each of our lives was focused on the needs of the other. She was my world and I was hers. We didn’t seem to need anyone else, we enjoyed each other every day.
Eight months ago today, the Lord took her to Heaven. I’m so happy for her, but I miss her wit, her friendship, her wonderful smile, her touch, her voice, and being loved by her.
She was a tremendous gift from the Lord to me. Thank you, O Lord, for bringing that brown eyed girl into my life. You are the Potter and I am the clay. You made me as you pleased and you used Terrie Elkins to make me the man I am today. I am forever grateful.