As you can imagine coming from a divorced family and being a very insecure girl, I wasn’t sure if I would ever get married. I dated my way through a lot of guys in high school, thinking I would somehow find my worth being on their arm. Of course my world came crashing down multiple times upon learning most, if not all were cheating on me. It was a theme well into my early 20s, when the one guy I thought was the sun and moon was cheating on me. So when I broke that off after a year and a half of dating, I swore that I would just remain single and if God wanted me to be married, He’d have to married me off to someone I considered my best friend. Now typically these types of guys, you know the “best friend” types, weren’t even on my radar to fall in love with, let alone get married to. Sure I had some close guy friends throughout this period of time, but none that I considered dating material. Truth be told, my mindset was just really broken and being funneled through my history. So you can imagine my utter surprise when I’m just minding my own business and God plops this long haired hippy, guitar playing, scrawny, Jesus loving man freak in my lap. No joke, Jeff was the polar opposite of EVERYTHING I had previously been attracted to. Sure it seemed weird to me that we became friends, even weirder that this guy would prove his loyalty to me over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, we had major disagreements. He was this philosophical guy and I was this literal girl, we fought and fought about the stupidest things, but I don’t know something was being birthed in my heart, only I didn’t realize it. In the meantime, I was meeting with a lady who was teaching me about walking with Jesus and what that really meant. I was still a pretty messed up, hurting girl. I was used to manipulating people into liking me, only Jeff couldn’t be manipulated the way I wanted him to be because at this point, I was becoming more and more attracted to him (we spent pretty much every waking, non-working hour together) Through meeting with this lady and drawing closer to God, I was being delivered of past hurts, wrongs and lies I had told myself, but in this process God was whispering in my ear that Jeff was the man He had created to be my husband. I began to freak out! I didn’t want to ruin our really great friendship by starting some dead end relationship, so I took a break, told Jeff to spend a week, not spending time with me, to fast and pray and ask God if we were meant to be together. I knew that if indeed God would have us marry that He would speak it to both of us. So we didn’t spend any time together and this was really different because we were so steeped in each other’s lives. I spent that week praying and believing that Jeff was meant to be my husband and I knew that if God would do it, it would be right and He would speak to Jeff. In the meantime, Jeff had kinda forgotten to pray and one day when he remembered, he prayed, “God, what about that Angie Deal” and that somehow did it in his mind. We met up on a Thursday at my discipleship lady’s house and that’s where Jeff told me that we were meant to be married at some point. I don’t remember exactly what he said as I was crying, completely overwhelmed by God’s goodness to me. I couldn’t believe that this solid, nice, really great guy wanted to be with me! I still can’t believe it somedays. So the rest is history. On our first official “date” Jeff proposed in April 2000 and we were married on Sept. 29, 2000. Today marks 15 years of being married to this man who still makes my heart do flips when I see him. He has taught me so much in these 15 years, but mostly I’m blown away by God’s goodness to us as we walk through this crazy thing we call life together. Here’s to 30 more years of passion, love, and security! I love you Jeff Deale!