Mark E.  
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As Lyuda would say, "It's like a miracle how we met."

I used to purchase sets of tickets to the Oregon symphony each year and take friends or if I happen to be dating someone at the time, I would take them. Anyway, for some reason I could not find anyone to go to one of the concerts I had tickets to. All of my regular concert going friends had prior engagements. So, I decided to look in the personals for someone who said they liked classical music. I found an add that read:

Christian lady seeking SCM, non-smoker, 33-43, Me: 33, 5'5, 120, educated, likes classical music, hiking, camping. No games please

I called the add and left a message that I had tickets to the symphony. When Lyuda (Leslie) called back to accept, I knew I was not going to like her due to her poor English. (For some reason the use of proper English has always been extremely important to me - I must be a hypocrite.) Lyuda later said that she was also not interested in dating - she just wanted to go to a free concert. When she walked up and greeted me in front of the symphony I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the most attractive women I had ever seen. We talked some before the concert and during the intermission. For some reason the more we talked the more interested I became in Lyuda. After the concert I talked her into going out to dinner with me. After dinner I walked her to her car and as we where standing in front of her car, I knew she was the women I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. Later that year on November 13, 1999 she became Mrs Gunnison.

I know people don't understand what I am talking about when I tell them how well we got along. We didn't argue about anything! (We did have a few arguments about doctors, but very few.) We always enjoyed each other's company. It was like living a fairytale.

After reading this you may say that it is a great story but probably not a miracle. The miracle was how we really met. I had been looking for a permanent relationship for many years without much luck. I would usually pray before going to bed asking God to help me find a girlfriend. Notice that I was asking for help. I wanted to be included in the decision. I was afraid if I left the picking up to God he would bring me a sweet perfect unattractive wife. Then one night I realized how silly I had been. God wants only the best for us. I realized how foolish I had been in not trusting him completely. That night I prayed that I trusted God to find someone for me and that I know he knew better than I what would make me happy. I don't remember how much time passed from the date of the prayer to the time I met Lyuda but I know it was less than two weeks!

Throughout our marriage I always felt that God had placed us together for a reason. When something would come up in our daily lives that could lead to a problem for Lyuda and me, like the few arguments we had about doctors, I would hear God whispering in my ear telling me how to resolve the matter. I never once felt like I gave in to Lyuda and at the same time I didn't feel like she gave into me. We just always got along. As a wedding gift we received some Christian marriage tapes to help with our relationship. I loved the tapes thinking that they could help us have a long healthy relationship. Lyuda thought listening to the tapes was a waist of time, she said it was easy to have a perfect marriage. - Only with God's help -

Of course with hindsight we can all see why I thought Lyuda was one of the most attractive women on the earth. We can all see why the Lord gave me advice when I needed it. I only wish God had let me make Lyuda smile a little longer.

Last modified 6/15/02