In August 2017, we loaded my Honda Accord and his Honda Civic for the long drive to Marshall, Texas and East Texas Baptist University. Our youngest was headed off to college where he would play basketball and hopefully get a degree in four years.
We stopped for lunch and had a conversation that went something like this.
Dad: “You know, I was thinking. It would probably be good for you to not have a girlfriend for a while. You know, focus on school and the Lord and basketball. You have enough adjustments without having to worry about a relationship.”
Son: “Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.”
Dad (to himself): “Praise the Lord, we actually seem to be on the same page.”
About two months later, he calls us. “Hey Carson, what’s up?”
“I’ve met a girl.”
“Well, that didn’t take long. Tell us about her.”
“No seriously, tell us about her, what’s she like?”
“She’s perfect in every way.”
I had my plans, but God had other plans, plans of common grace to our son and us! Fast forward to less than two weeks ago and I had the great joy of officiating their wedding!
I learned in the ceremony, as they read letters to one another, that she was terribly indecisive about everything but marrying him and that he had asked her six times to be his girlfriend before she agreed! Who knew our laid back, chilled out third child was so tenacious?
Several God-oriented, common-grace realities strike me from our son’s story. First, his new wife Katee is an answer to prayer. We’ve prayed for her since Carson’s birth, we just didn’t know her name. God did and God heard our pleas!
Two, God’s providence in bringing them together was powerful. Carson had originally decided not to play basketball and had enrolled at Texas A & M in Corpus Christi. We had even paid the non-refundable deposit on the apartment. Then while lying around at a Regional track meet in May, waiting to high jump, he jumped ship. He wanted to go to ETBU after all and continue his basketball career. We were delighted, the coaches agreed and plans were made. By the way, that deposit really was non-refundable!
Three, I’m struck by the growth of our family through marriage. It’s obvious but the blessing of adding our second daughter-in-law has caught me by surprise. We now have five children to love on, pray for, support and embarrass! Our two sons and one daughter have become two sons and three daughters! Amazing.
Four, how thankful and proud I am of our two sons who both married at 21. They found the one, acted like men and pursued the relationship for the express purpose of commitment in marriage. They were not hasty but neither did they drag their feet with an undefined relationship or indefinite engagement. The biggest hurdle in both cases was saving money for the ring.
The fifth bolt of gracious reality was realizing how much our son has matured in the two years since leaving home. He’s since had two hip surgeries, had to quit basketball, got a full time job and moved to Austin. It blows my mind to see the change from high school graduation in 2017 to now. All glory to God!
Kim and I are now official empty nesters but our hearts are filled with gratitude and excitement over our growing tribe. We lost out on the college basketball thing after one year, but we gained something infinitely better – a helpmeet and life-long companion for our son, a new member of our extended family. I’m glad God is God and I’m not.