During that first week at Southwestern College, we had a night to welcome the Freshman Class. As a newby, I was part of a trio. (Terry usually inserts a bunch of hyperbole here, but I have to say, I did a better job singing than that crooner I had seen in Tucson!) When the evening was over, the Freshmen lined up and upper classmen were to come and welcome the youngsters to the college. I vividly recall a young man approaching me. I could not forget…it was the crooner…and I remembered my prayer! I thought, “I got to get rid of this guy. I want to go to the mission field and he wants to be a youth pastor. This is one of the non-negotiables on my list!” He came straight up to me and said, “Hi, my name is Terry Dalrymple. What do you want to do with your life?”
When I heard these words, I knew something must be done…something drastic! So I answered with confidence, “I want to be a missionary!” I thought for sure that this would throw water on any plans that he might get to know me! Little did I know, this just confirmed in his heart that he needed to pursue a relationship with me!
Since I had seen him four years earlier, much had changed. Just three weeks earlier, he had returned from a summer mission trip to the Philippines. During his three months in the Philippines, he had decided to return as a church planting missionary once he finished his education. Terry says that he did not have much money and did not want to waste it dating girls who did not have the same interest in missions, so my words were like an answer from God!
We dated for 18 months before he proposed to me. When he did so, I then told him I had prayed to marry him five years earlier, but I had never said hello! There are many things I learn about God from our story:
- God hears our hearts cry, even when we don’t know what to say. He picked up a little girl, longing to ride and church bus and brought her into His family in a miraculous way.
- God’s timing is best. Terry and I realized there were many times in our high school years when we so very close to crossing paths, but we did not meet.
- His family tried to visit our home in California when I was 13, but we were not home.
- We were both at the same youth meeting in Estes Park, Colorado when I was 16. He was the president of the Arizona State Youth, loved every minute of the meeting and made all kinds of friends! I went to the meetings for one day and asked if I could stay home from the conference for the rest of the week. I wanted to be alone in Fort Collins! I write this as opposites do attract! God brought us together at the exact right time.
- God is in control and can be trusted. I see this in every step of my youth and think back on these times when life doesn’t make sense. I know He is in control
Now you know a bit more about Terry and I. I would love to hear your story! Glad God led us together 40 years ago!