Monday, November 10, 2008

Music Memory Monday Exta Long Post WARNING!!!!

A lot of you know our story, but some of you do not. I am the luckiest, most blessed girl in the world. Thanks to Jori over here for coming up with this Music Memory Monday idea. What a great way to share.

Doug and I were married 6 years ago after being 'fixed up' by my bishop who happened to be an old friend of Doug's. At the time, I was a single mom. Life was hard and even though I had the church, great friends and two wonderful kids, I knew I needed to find an eternal mate. Not such an easy thing to do. As I just mentioned, I was 30 something with two kids, a recent convert to the church and as you all well know, it is not like there is an abundance of unattached Moronis out there.
About being a convert (this is an important part of the story). When Joey and Millie were young my husband and I were very friendly with our LDS neighbors. As such, these neighbors and friends regularly sent the missionaries our way. Set after set, they would come, we would feed em and they would try to share the message with us. We loved them all, but there was one, one elder, that shared his message with us, and when he spoke, I felt the spirit confirm to me that the Gospel was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. Alas, my husband had not felt that and even though I knew it was true, I held all of it in my heart. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months and a year or so after this elder left, my husband and I divorced. The missionaries kept coming and I kept listening, but that feeling from long before was buried in my heart. Over the course of the years I had become very close with three families. All of these wonderful families made room for me and my children in their homes. In short, I was not with out MARVELOUS examples of the way to happiness, yet, it was not their example that finally helped me to decide to be baptized, instead when I finally did decide to get baptized, I knew that the message was brought me by that missionary years before. He carried the holy spirit to my heart that day. I joined the church and never looked back. MEANWHILE... Doug was living across town. After having served a mission and returning to BYU, he married in the temple. His marriage lasted several years, but deteriorated. He struggled greatly with the prospect of being apart from his children, even for just one day. But in the end, there was nothing he could do. Decisions were made and regardless of his desire to remain married he found himself a single father. Spending half of his time alone and the other half left to raise his toddlers. He sought the advice of his priesthood leaders who told him that while he could not change the course of action of another, he had to hold to the rod no matter what the circumstance. He did. He kept attending the temple and serving in the ward in which he resided. He was quickly called to be the elders' quorum president and then a few years later to be the ward mission leader. During these years, friends set him up on countless dates, but he never found a suitable match. In January of 2002, Doug got a call from an old friend wondering if he would like to go out on a date. "A date with who?" Well, it was me. This same family had tried to fix us up the summer before but Doug had told them he wasn't interested because I was not yet a member. When he heard I had been baptized he agreed. The rest is history.
Now about that missionary:
A few months after we were married, Doug asked me how I came to join the church. He laughed saying, I mean you were hanging around with these great people for years, yet you never joined the church. What did it? What was it that finally compelled you to be baptized? That night I told him about Elder Beatty. My missionary. The one that was able to bear witness to me of the truthfulness of the Gospel and the one that carried the spirit of the Lord to my heart.
Doug sat up in bed. "This Elder Beatty", he asked me, "where was he from?" I told him he was from Georgia. Doug started to cry. Not just cry a little, but really cry. When he was able, he told me this story:
When he was single, he had served as the Ward Mission leader. because he was single, the missionaries were particularly fond of him. He gained the title of , Brother Mecham, the only true and living ward mission leader. It was a joke in the zone and one that the elders made every time they met with him. On a winter night after he put Jenna and Bret to bed he heard a knock at the door. Two men stood in the doorway, one an elder, the other a man Doug did not recognize. The elder assured Doug that he had permission to be out late this night and the mission president was aware of his whereabouts. Doug invited the two men in. The missionary asked Doug if he was Doug Mecham from Marietta Georgia. Doug said he was the same. The missionary then went on to tell Doug that as a young boy he had been in and out of activity. One Sunday he had spent the night at a member friend's house and the deal was, that he would go to church with him the next day. That day, That very same day, Doug, a young returned missionary, was speaking in that ward giving what was his 'homecoming talk'. The young boy, inactive at the time, felt the overwhelming desire to serve a mission. He made a promise to himself that day, that no matter what he had to do he would live worthy to serve the Lord by serving a mission for the church. That young missionary took Doug's hand and shook it. "I want to thank you, Brother Mecham," he said. "It is because of your willingness to serve that I am here serving this day."
Well, you guessed it. That missionary was MY missionary. Elder Eric Beatty.
I never tire of sharing this story. I never tire of pondering it and its importance to my family, but further, its importance to all of us. Heavenly Father is always mindful of us. All those years ago when Doug was doing what he SHOULD be doing, the Lord was blessing him. Little did he know that even in his darkest hour through his divorce, the Lord was mindful of him because he was doing what he SHOULD be doing. As Doug kept his covenants, the Lord blessed him. The way was prepared for him, I was prepared for him. By the same token, I too was prepared. Upon accepting the Gospel, and doing what I SHOULD do, the Lord was mindful of me and He blessed me.
Heavenly Father doesn't have to open these windows for us. He does not have to let us see how He works. But every once in a while He does. He lets us know that He blesses the road we travel on.
So every time I hear this song, I think about our story and the fact that God truly blessed the broken road that led me to Doug.

Doug isn't much of a lyrics guy. When he likes a song it has a lot more to do with the music than the words, but this one is special to both of us. Our favorite verse:

I think about the years I spent, just passing through.
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you.
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan
That is coming true

Broken Road= US


Scott, Lyric, and Co. said...

What a great story! I could listen to it anytime you wanted to tell it! I love your Music Memory Mondays.

The VIPs said...

Oh wow Christine. That is so amazing.

The VIPs said...

I just read your story to Justin. Still blown away. How great to know that you two are literally meant to be together. Wow. Wow.

jori-o said...

How did I not know this story???? Really! GREAT post!! I am wiping tears away, you really got me on this one! I'll never hear that song again without thinking of you and your Prince Charming!

theriosduo said...

What a great story. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. We love you both!

Chuck said...

I love to see the times were all the dots connect for us. I have heard you tell this before but it remains just as touching time and time again. Awesome. Tif

mandmstrong said...

LOVED this post! Made me cry it was so sweet, full of the spirit and love.


Images from Camp 2008