Friday we celebrated our 21st anniversary! Being a bit of a hopeless romantic, I enjoy hearing love stories. Whether they are real or fictional, a good love story always grabs my attention. So, I will share mine with my husband of 20 years, Craig. I must be perfectly honest, my husband is much better at telling this story. However, I will attempt to do it justice.
Our story began when I was a senior in college at John Brown University. My husband had already graduated from Baylor University, completed an internship, and was in his 2nd year at Dallas Theological Seminary. On breaks from college, I would work at the Seminary library, shelving books, and assisting students in checking them out. It is through this circumstance, that our paths crossed. I was a 21 year old girl, freely dating multiple people, but not really attached to anyone, and not really looking for a relationship. Just enjoying life. Craig was a 25 year old man, unattached and looking for “the one”.
Craig walked through the doors of the library on a December day in 1994, and saw me standing behind the desk. In his words, he looked at me, and was immediately smitten. I have to say, I do not remember the moment very clearly. I was one of the few women, on a mostly male campus. A lot of men stopped to talk to me each day. Craig reminds me that he was memorable: dressed in Umbro shorts, a t-shirt, flannel shirt, flip flops, and blonde surfer hair, in the middle of December.
For the next week, we talked daily. Our conversations always began with Craig asking me if the book he had put on hold was available yet. To which I would reply, no. I would learn later, that he had a friend check out that particular book, then he placed a hold on it. It was a setup, so he would have a reason to initiate a conversation with me each day. During this week, I also taught Craig how to use the card catalog system. He told me that he did not know how to use it. I found this a bit strange, that he had gotten this far in his education, without using the card catalog. However, I am gullible. I went along with it, and patiently explained the system to him. Soon after, I stopped seeing him in the library, as he went home to Wyoming for Christmas. Then, I went back to Arkansas for my last semester of college.
Life continued as it was before until the beginning of March. I received a phone call in my apartment at John Brown University. My roommate answered the phone, and informed me that a “guy named Craig was on the phone for me”. My mind raced, who was this Craig? As we began talking, he told me that he was the guy at the DTS library, who I taught to use the card catalog. As he was talking, I grabbed my Seminary directory, to try to match the name with the face. When I found the picture, it all quickly came back. He asked if I was coming home for Spring break, and if so, would I go to lunch with him? I replied, “yes”, and a date was set.
Craig tells an interesting story, of how he came to call me that March day. Seems he and the Denton Bible Church college pastor were talking. The college pastor, James, asked if there were any girls he was interested in. He replied, “One, but she lives in Arkansas, and I got a D in her father’s class.” You see, my dad is a professor at Dallas Seminary. James pressured Craig to call me. Craig was concerned I would think he was a stalker, if he called out of the blue. So, a plan was suggested. They would farkle (play rock, paper, scissors) and the best 3 out of 5 would win. If James won, Craig had to call me. If Craig won, no call was necessary. Craig lost the first 3. Coincidence? I have no idea. After a quick 411 call to locate my phone number, the rest is shall we say… history.
We had our first date in mid March 1995. We went to The San Francisco Rose restaurant Greenville Avenue in Dallas. Our hour long lunch date, became 3 hours, and Craig missed his next class. After our date, I returned to school to finish and graduate. I returned to Dallas permanently in May and by October we were engaged. We were married in June of 1996.
When I think about our love story, it is so clear to me that God brought us together. The details only He could have orchestrated, and He planned them before Craig and I were even conceived. Thankful for God’s beautiful gift to me…my Craig!