Shannon here: Historical romance author, Sherri Wilson Johnson shares the story of a fishing expedition at church that landed her a husband. Every time you comment on this post, your name goes in the drawing for a copy of Sherri’s e-book, To Dance Once More. Deadline: April 28th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Sherri:
In 1986, I reached a point in my life where I was frustrated with being alone. I wanted the man God had for me. I was a fish and wanted to get caught. The problem was: my world was very small.
I worked in the corporate world and the only male Christians in my office were already married or were clearly just friends. The others were non-believers—many of them were married creeps. My church (where my dad preached) was small and mainly consisted of older folks. My pond was pretty much dried up. So much to my father’s disappointment, I found a new pond. I decided to start attending my sister’s church, where my brother-in-law was the youth pastor. She had a friend who wanted to introduce me to her husband’s friend. Cool!
So I donned my pale yellow linen suit with the pencil skirt just above my knees, my black silk blouse with a bow tied at the neck, and my black high-heeled pumps (It was the 80s). I was dressed to go fishing—wait, I was the fish, right?
To my sister’s Sunday school class I went to check out the guy I was there to meet. Eh, he was okay, but not really my style. Then after Sunday school, I ran into an old friend. He actually grew up at my dad’s church but his family left a while before Dad became the preacher. We only saw each other at the annual Homecoming/Revival meetings. So it was good to see him again—Danny Johnson. We hugged and I noticed how great he smelled. Clearly, he had grown up since I’d seen him last.
After church, I stood outside with my sister in the Georgia heat. When HE came walking across the parking lot, I got a better look at him. He was decked out in a cotton suit (Don Johnson/Miami Vice style). He was tanned and wore a gold necklace and a ring on his pinky. He had a bright, beautiful smile and sparkling brown eyes. Ooo-wee!
So my sister yells out to him, “Hey Danny, when ya goin’ to take my sister out?” Imagine how totally embarrassed I was. I wanted to crawl under the pavement. However, he looked me square in the eye and said, “I don’t know. When do you want to go?” I don’t even remember what my response was except I’m sure a giggle escaped my lips.
In To Dance Once More, Lydia and Hamilton meet as children. He’s her twin brother’s best friend. Lydia vows to have a life different from the women in her family. She wants adventure and freedom. And then at a debutante ball she dances with Hamilton and looks into his eyes and her plans are dashed. Her heart betrays her.
I guess you could say that’s how it happened with us. I didn’t expect to get hooked by an old acquaintance. We had our first date the following week! He was so polite and attentive. He told me how pretty my blue eyes were and I think I almost passed out. We went to dinner, played goofy golf and rented a movie, which we watched at my house. When the movie was over, I didn’t want him to leave so I proceeded to take out the family photo albums and probably bored him to death. It’s been long disputed who initiated that first kiss. I say it was him and he says it was me. Normally, I wouldn’t have kissed on the first date but since we’d known each other for so long and we always hugged when we saw each other, it seemed only natural to kiss. Truthfully, it just happened and it was as quick as a butterfly and as innocent as a fawn. But it sure did send shivers up my spine! After he left, I told my mom that the looking was over and I’d marry him if he asked. Oh, and it turns out his sister is the one who had the friend to introduce me to that Sunday morning. Isn’t that funny? She’s now my sister-in-law.
On Valentine’s Day 1987, seven-and-a-half months later, he asked me to marry him at a romantic restaurant in Atlanta. Bless his heart, my mom patted his pockets looking for a ring box when he came to pick me up! He planned to put the ring inside one of the twelve roses he’d brought to me and surprise me as we sat at our private table overlooking the river. But things didn’t go as he planned. They placed us at a table near the kitchen and I’m sure more than once we almost got our heads knocked off by a waiter carrying a tray. Dan ended up asking me in the car in the parking lot. He says it wasn’t very romantic but it was perfect as far as I’m concerned.
We married in 1988 and have two awesome children. It’s clear to me that God has a plan for your life and for who you marry. Prayer and patience will result in a wonderful union!
About Sherri: Sherri Wilson Johnson is the author of To Dance Once More and Song of the Meadowlark. She is from Georgia, has been married since 1988, and is a former homeschooling mom. She loves to write, read, eat ice cream, ride roller coasters and make people laugh. She loves Jesus and hopes to spread His love to the whole world through her writing.
About the book: To Dance Once More is the story of Lydia Jane Barrington, a Victorian debutante. Lydia lives on a plantation in Florida under the watchful eye of her father. She’s quite an independent young lady who does not want to fall into the trap (as she sees it) that her mother and sisters have fallen into—marriage and motherhood. She wants to travel the world and experience life before giving her heart to a man.
One day, her eyes are opened to love and no matter what, she cannot forget the blissful feeling it causes. She begins to believe that love isn’t such a bad thing after all. Then she discovers a secret that prohibits any of her dreams from ever coming true. She begins a quest to free herself and her family from a future of bondage. Hearts are broken and lives are torn apart because of Lydia’s own selfishness. Will she surrender to a call that God placed on her life and be able to experience love after all? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Here’s a link to the sneak peek: http://sherriwilsonjohnson.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/to-dance-once-more-media1.pdf