For those of you who don’t follow my blog the theme is basically how the gospel of Jesus Christ intersects our lives at different points than we expect. We see it intersect in our culture in many different ways. It intersects our lives at certain points as well. For me, one such day was October 25, 1980.
I was a whole whopping four months old that day; or more exactly, I was 139 days old. But it’s not about me.
On October 25, 1980 around 3:30 a.m. Jenny Beth McKelroy was born. She was beautiful, healthy and born into a family that spoke about God everyday. She was born in Tennessee but would soon after move to Jonesboro, Arkansas where she has lived ever since. And I am so thankful for that day.
My Wife: The Crazy-Amazing Catch of a Lifetime
Jenny Beth was a godly young girl, a godly young woman who turned into a godly wife. My godly wife! And I couldn’t be more thankful! I still remember the first time I laid eyes on her in August of 1999 at “Order of the Tribe” at Arkansas State University. WOW! She was stunning. Funny how I immediately found out she had a serious boyfriend. No surprise. A man would be a fool not to pursue this girl. Lucky for me; the man she was with ended up being that fool. 🙂 Nonetheless, our paths crossed soon after but nothing more than being acquaintances blossomed over the next couple of years. But only time would tell how we would reconnect 8 years later.
Jenny Beth is amazing! While she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, with her beautiful green eyes and her smile that lights up the room–and more importantly lights up my life–those things are just the beginning of why she is so special. The real attraction to my wife is this: Jenny Beth exudes Christ-likeness in so many ways. Her heart of compassion for people is truly a gift from God. She feels for people…really feels. When someone is hurting she is hurting too. When someone is joyous she is too. When someone is in pain, Jenny Beth is right there with them. She has a way of feeling for people that is a miracle because people just don’t naturally care about others the way Jenny Beth cares about others. It’s inspiring to me.
She also loves mentoring young women. She has spent time over the years with young teenagers, high-school girls and college students encouraging them to stand for Christ in a culture that makes that all the more difficult. Channeling her Cheerleader heart and experience she cheers those women on to loving God with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength. Let me tell you, gentlemen, if you find a woman like that you better pursue her hard. She will be worth your very life. I promise you because I can tell you that my Jenny Beth is worth that to me.
Intersections: My wife, the woman of Grace
My past is not perfect. I made some sinful decisions in my college years that were life-altering. By the time I was a Junior at Thanksgiving I told my parents that I was going to be a father…out of wedlock. A little over 5 years later I was divorced with two kids and felt that any woman I would desire–a woman who loved Jesus more than anything, a woman who would seek first Christ’s Kingdom and righteousness, a woman who looked at me as a gift from God to her and not a burden–would never desire a guy like me.
But for some odd reason, God chose Jenny Beth for me. Not only is she all of those things but she is so much more. She is beyond my wildest dreams when I began to list out everything I wanted in a mate. Is she perfect? Of course not. But that’s the beautiful thing. She is perfect for me because she is a picture of God’s grace to me everyday. She is perfect for me because she loves God with all of her heart. She is perfect for me because challenges me to a more faithful walk with Christ. She is perfect for me because when I tend to look at a half-empty glass she is telling me I’m looking at it the wrong way. She is perfect for me in the way she loves my children; children that aren’t her own but you’d never know by the way she prays for them, supports them and cares for them. She is perfect for me in the way she prays over me and encourages me in my pursuit of Christ. She is perfect for me because she is a picture of the gospel to me: a prize that I don’t deserve but I received nontheless by shear grace.
So thank you Jenny Beth for being my wife. Thank you for loving others and having compassion for people. Thank you for forgiving me when I fail. Thank you , my love, for being you.
October 25th, 1980 changed my life. And by God’s grace, it is changing other’s lives as well as Jenny Beth pursues the God who made her and who loves his creation. She is telling that story making sure that October 25, 1980 is a day that God looks at knowing He is being made much of by her life. I know that he knit her in her mother’s womb with a smile on his face. I’m sure when I was four months old, I was smiling too!
Happy Birthday to my dearest love and my best friend.