Thursday, July 25, 2019

Pride and Prejudice Part 3



Part Three in the story of How I Became Mrs. Martin

The next year, 2000, was a very busy one for me. I did a lot of traveling and kept my parents busy shuttling me to the airport. I was twenty-four-years-old and single life was rich and fulfilling. It was a year of a lot of personal growth and I learned valuable lessons about myself and relationships. I saw Ed rarely that year, but he continued to be in the background of my thoughts. Toward the end of the year, I told a friend about Ed and I realized that I was peering past my Mennonite prejudice and focusing on Ed's godly qualities.

In October I saw Ed at a wedding reception. As people rushed around us, for the first time ever, I allowed myself to have an extended conversation with Ed. My busy schedule was clearing out and I admitted to Ed that I didn't know what I was supposed to do next with my life. Later I wasn't sure whether I was glad or sad to give him encouragement. Or even if he would take it as encouragement. (He did.)

Unknown to me, Ed was looking for the right time to ask me to begin a relationship. Besides waiting for me to finish globetrotting, his church had difficulties that year and he wanted to wait until things settled down. After Christmas Ed had foot surgery and he didn't want to be in a foot cast on our first date. But when the doctor check-up revealed that he would be in the cast for another six weeks, he decided to chuck his pride and quit delaying.

It was a Thursday evening in February, 2001 and my family was in the kitchen with a tableful of guests when the phone rang. Dad told him to call back the next evening since we had company. Poor Ed. After the agony of making the first call, he had to muster up the nerve a second time. But Dad gave Ed the permission he requested and he didn't waste time asking me. By this time, I was ready to say “yes” and we began dating. In only took a few weeks I knew that if Ed asked, I was willing to be his wife.

Our Mennonite/Brethren church differences didn't dissolve. We spent endless hours discussing church and our personal beliefs. I'm embarrassed to remember how many conversations ended with me in tears. I often wished that we could just have fun dating like normal couples, not dredge up intense issues. Sometimes I'm still surprised that Ed didn't give up on me. I'm sure he wished many times that I wasn't so strong-willed, opinionated, and intense.

But when we married we looked back on those conversations and saw the blessings. We were forced to learn to communicate and work through differences immediately. Our marriage benefited by the skills forged in that training ground.

Sometimes I am still shocked that a stubborn Brethren girl could became a Mennonite minister's wife. I had no idea when we were dating that we’d face brain cancer and our marriage would be cut short in less than seventeen years. But God gave me much more than I ever expected or deserved in marriage, and I'd marry Ed a dozen times over.

And I'm glad my pride and prejudice didn't keep me from accepting God’s gift for me.

31 comments :

  1. Love this story!! Thanks for sharing it Gina.

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  2. Dear Gina,
    Thanks for sharing. I hope this helped you to get through the first anniversary without Ed without suffocating. It's a good story. And yours isn't finished yet. Sarah Sauder

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  3. Such as lovely story, Gina!!! Thanks for sharing! We were married in 2000 . . . And I was twenty-three . . . Now we have eleven children and very busy lives . . . But I wouldn't want to go back in time . . . God does have good plans for our lives . . . I have been memorizing the faith verses in Hebrews and am reminded that these all died in faith not having received the promises, but we're assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims . . .

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!

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  5. Wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! God bless you!

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  6. Thanks Gina. This moves me to tears. And I think of Holly making the comment of not marrying a Mennonite AND no Martin!! LOL. I too had said I'd never marry a Martin but I'm glad I married one and am so glad that Holly did too. God is so good, isn't He? Hugs.

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    1. I can hear Holly saying this, and have to chuckle...God certainly has a sense of humor doesn't He? :-) And Gina....thank you so much for sharing this part of your story as well! I knew some of it, and other bits I was glad to learn. We're continuing to pray for you and your family, and I'm praying this was a bit healing for you in celebrating this first wedding anniversary without your dear Ed by your side. Continuing to pray that you sense God's unendless storehouse of grace....Eunice & Randy

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  7. I have been blessed by reading your story and I know it's not over. You are an example to all who have read it.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  8. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. You are an incredible woman and an inspiration.

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  9. Oh how lovely to read this, Gina. Big hugs to you.

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story, Gina. God give you the strength for today...

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  11. deseo con todo mi corazon que mis hijos tengan una historia tan maravillosa como la de ustedes. un abrazo lleno de amor desde argentina. karin.

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  12. Beautiful, thank you for sharing, made my heart happy...
    Roxy

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  13. WOW Gina, what an awesome love story and how God work you two through the differences.Glad you got past it and you got the 17 years but sure wish you could have had many more. He knows what He is doing I can say that but so sorry for you!!

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  14. Such a beautiful story to read. Thank you for sharing this Gina :)

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  15. Bonnie BurkholderJuly 26, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    So sweet (and sad), Gina. I thought of you much last weekend on your anniversary. You and Ed's marriage has been a blessing and inspiration to us many times. Love and Prayers!!

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  16. Another thing - I've never read the book, "Pride and Predjudice" but my husband and I started last night because of your story . . . The beginning is hilarious, we laughed and laughed! Thanks for piquing our interest! . . . And God be with you, dear Gina, thanks for continuing to be open and transparent . . . The story about learning how to communicate during your dating days and how this was good, but didn't feel good at the time was good for me to hear . . .

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  17. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

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  18. Beautiful story and encouraging! Thanks for sharing. And the same God who brought you and Ed together continue blessing you.

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  19. Dear Gina,
    What an amazing story of how God puts people together and blesses them. You both have shown such amazing strength and faith over the years. Ed would be so proud of your strength you continue to show, and the love for your family. May you be greatly blessed, and filled with God's peace.
    Blessings
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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  20. What a lovely story. God blessed you both so beautifully. Thank you for sharing - I am smiling through tears. God is good, and He has more in store for you and your children.

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  21. All of your story I'm sure sorry that it got cut short but just think of the beauty did Ed gets to see. I know it doesn't ease the grief process cuz I'm still going through my own grief losing my mom and it's hard to accept others words of encouragement even almost three years later your wedding photos were absolutely beautiful and you guys look like babies I'm so blessed to know you you're such a sweet soul and I think of you daily and pray for you always God bless

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  22. What a beautiful story. I can’t imagine the pain of not having your best friend by your side. Thank you for your ministry and please know you’re thought about and prayed for often.

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  23. Thank you for sharing this lovely story. How precious for your children and what an example for them that the spiritual issues are the first priority in courtship. Learning to discuss differences and reach good conclusions are definitely the building blocks of a good relationship between husband and wife.
    Continuing to pray for you and the children as you navigate this next chapter of life.

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  24. When I read your story I think of the quote -- It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I think this quote is by Elizabeth Browning.

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  25. Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing.

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  26. Love hearing the story of your relationship! What kinds of differences do Mennonite and Brethren churches generally have? I'm glad you were able to overcome and forge ahead together.

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    1. That is a really hard question since there are many different kinds of Mennonite churches and many kinds of Brethren churches. (Just like there are many kinds of Baptists.) Most of the differences are cultural and not doctrinal and I probably made a few mountains out of mole hills!
      Gina

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  27. Beautiful trilogy, I'm reaching for a box of Kleenex now....

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  28. I love this. Can't beat a true love story by someone I "know." Hugs.

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  29. You have such a beautiful love story, Gina. This was almost as fun to read as it was to hear you tell it to a number of us ladies years ago. =) Your happy years together are an inspiration to all who know you. Yet the brevity of your years together tears at ones very soul. Wishing you rest,peace, and healing as you allow yourself to journey through the memories. Nola

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