Every day, my daughter, Kimberly or Real Talk Kim as the world knows her, and I go online at 6 pm and talk to thousands of men and women about the solutions to the challenges of life. Of course, we talk from our own pain and misjudgments, misfortunes and even failures while letting thousands into our own private world.
One day, we will talk about the power of weakness or understanding the enemy that you’re facing. Another day, we will just chat together about life situations and allow others to see what we are facing at 2 or 3 in the morning. The whole concept to our online presence is to allow people to experience our vulnerability and realize that we are never alone. We know that the Bible is true, and we have too many promises to ever disbelieve.
You see, when Kimberly’s dad and I married, we were full of dreams and visions. In fact, we have dozens of love letters throughout our very short dating period. Because Henry was a traveling evangelist, he was normally out of the state preaching at least three weeks a month. Sometimes even more. So, we each received a letter a day for many months.
When we first met, I realized there were dozens of future Mrs. Henry Joneses out there who were dreaming, plotting and praying for the day they would walk down the aisle with this gorgeous musician who was also a preacher. I had been somewhat happily dating and eventually engaged to one special guy for three years, so I had my significant other, I thought. The problem was that we would have spats that would keep us apart for days; however, we knew we would always work it out.
During one of those off times is when I met Henry, and I thought this man is truly a player or has fallen hard for me. I was amazed. You know how young girls (I was nineteen at the time) daydream about their Romeo. When their Romeo doesn’t fulfill their expectations, they begin to just accept the norm. I think I had done that. Even though my fiancée (at the time) was thoughtful (most of the time), there were times when I felt like I was last on his call list. Remember, we did not have cell phones at that time. I would just wait in my bedroom at night for that phone call. My parents had taught me that good girls never run after the guy. The guy must come to them. Must ask them for a date. Must make that call. So, it was one of those times when I ended up at a youth convention with my parents and, guess what, Henry was there.
He asked to drive me back to my parents’ house, two hundred miles away, and, when I told my dad, he was so accepting of the idea. For two hundred miles, this man who was so full of visions and dreams began pulling me into that maze of wonder. If you marry me (remember that this was our first time out), we will travel the world. I will take you to places you have never been (that wouldn’t have been hard since I had never been anywhere). We will serve God and His people together and I will love you until I die. One thing, when I marry, I cannot have fussing and fighting in my home. That was Henry telling me that he always was awakened with screaming and yelling. He wanted a home of peace. Hey, so did I. He knew I was a musician and, at that time in history, if you were going to be a preacher’s wife, you needed to know how to play the piano. However, he was an excellent musician on the keys, strings and B3 Hammond organ.
Of course, eventually, we married and started our life out together serving God’s people. Then when my kids came along, I still had those same beliefs that my parents had taught me. However, I learned through many challenges, with my kids, to become pliable in all situations. I realized I could not parent them with the same standards that my parents had taught me. Life situations change as we mature. Life has taught me that, even in my failures, I can succeed. I am responsible for what I allow. God has given me the opportunity to choose my way. So, I can tell you that the greatest gift given me by God is to accept those things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference (Serenity Prayer).