In early January 1975, I moved to Kentucky with my brand new husband Ray.
Our tiny apartment had a small bathroom and a tiny kitchen, a decent-sized living room, a small bedroom, and a storage closet off the common hallway outside our only door. Our furnishings included faux woodgrain metal shelving with plastic Mediterranean-style embellishments, a new table and four chairs we had purchased unfinished and finished ourselves, and some used furniture from my parents.
Ray was making a whopping $280 a month — for ten months of the year only — as a graduate student at the University of Kentucky. It took me three weeks to get a job and start working. We were sweating that a little, but now we know that getting a job in three weeks is amazingly fast, especially considering I had been out of college almost exactly one month on my first day on the job at Mayes, Sudderth, and Etheredge Engineers, Architects, and Planners. I was a planner.
We jumped into church and had a wonderful experience. Two couples who seemed very mature to us — they were in their thirties; Ray and I were 22 and 21 — encouraged us a great deal. We watched them and learned how Christians in their thirties should live. We became friends with single and married college students and had great fellowship.
While Ray worked on his Master’s in history and I worked on whatever assignments my superiors gave me at MSE, God worked on us.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit that church again. It’s been about four decades since we were there. Two wonderful sitters stayed with my mom.
While they took care of Mother, Ray and I enjoyed a long drive together to and from Lexington. We left Saturday morning and returned home last evening. We ate at our favorite pizza place, which was nearly brand-new in 1975 and is now a 46-year-old institution. We walked around downtown and found where Mayes, Sudderth, and Etheredge used to be (they’ve moved away from downtown). We attended a concert in the evening. We gathered with the church that taught us so much when we were newlyweds and then went out to lunch with friends from way back then.
We have had many joys and triumphs and heartaches in the 44-plus years since I joined Ray in Lexington in 1975. God has been faithful through every one of them. He will be faithful for you, too.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13
Among the many activities we enjoyed with the college-aged folks there so long ago were the Friday night devotionals where we students and spouses sang our hearts out. I am grateful for the Bible verses set to music that we learned then and through the years. One we learned in Lexington or somewhere since then is based on Psalm 40:2-3. When we sang it early in our marriage, we believed it because it was in the Bible. Now we have another reason to believe it. We have learned through experience that it is true.
Hang in there. Keep trusting. Seek Him with all your heart.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.