It was 33 years ago this February that I met my husband, Matt. I had recently returned to Phoenix, Arizona from Dallas, Texas, and living with my sister and her husband. Although, I had significant experience in banking, for some reason I was having a hard time getting back in to that business. Out of desperation, I decided to apply as a server for a popular restaurant and nightclub chain called, Bobby McGees. I didn’t have any experience, and honestly thought my chances were slim. I was desperate. Looking back, it is clear to see that God was closing doors and leading me to meet my future husband.
Matt had been out of his home and on his own since he was seventeen. At twenty-three, he began his walk with God. One year later, God placed a desire in his heart and he began asking God to lead him to his future wife.
Matt worked hard and long to become the Director of Entertainment and Marketing at Bobby McGees. In addition to other things, his primary job was hiring and training Disc Jockeys. As he trained Disc Jockeys at the location I worked in, we would occasionally cross paths. Quite honestly, I was so busy learning my new job, and he was so focused on his, that neither of us noticed each other, but God was working and orchestrating His plan to answer Matt’s prayer.
Matt was training a bartender named, Brad to become a Disc Jockey at my restaurant location. He looked just like John Denver. Brad was a gentle soul, a true gentleman and loved Rock-n-Roll. One evening, I saw the other bartenders coaxing him to ask me out. Little did Brad know that they were waiting to laugh at him, thinking that I would most certainly turn him down. I noticed what was going on behind the scene. Brad mustered up his courage, approached me and asked me out. Intentionally befuddling the other bartender’s plan, I politely said, “Sure Brad, I would love to!”
Shortly after that date, I started receiving flowers at work. Brad was nice, but I knew he was not “the one.” As the flowers continued to arrive, I knew that I had to talk to Brad sooner rather than later. When a huge box of candy arrived on Valentine’s Day, I made a plan. I would thank him for our date, the flowers and the candy, and let him down gently. I would do it while Brad was training and working in a different location where his scheming bartender friends couldn’t watch.
Matt was there that night, training and observing Brad as a new Disc Jockey. Deducing that I came to visit Brad, he offered to cover the Disc Jockey booth for Brad while Brad and I spoke. I was able to talk to Brad and let him know that he was a true gentleman, but I was a single mom, not looking for a relationship at the moment, and I just wanted to be friends. Little did I know that God had different plans!
After covering for Brad, Matt was ready to clock out, and I was ready to leave, too. He had an early business flight out to San Diego, California in the morning. The restaurant/ nightclub had a policy that no girls walked out to the parking lot unless they were escorted by a door host or bouncer. Matt asked Brad if he wanted another break to escort me to my car, to get one of the door hosts, or do it himself. Brad, obviously a little hurt by the recent conversation, asked Matt to do it.
Although, I didn’t know him, I felt safe. Matt seemed polite, polished and professional as he escorted me to my car. As we walked, our small talk somehow landed on the topic of Jesus. This was no random walk to my car and not a random conversation. I was seeking, and Matt had been passionately praying and studying God’s word. He answered my many questions with Scripture in ways that made practical sense. We stood by my car for at least an hour having this incredible spiritual talk.
The hour grew late and Matt had to get home. He asked if I would like to talk more when he returned from his trip. I excitedly accepted. As we both drove away that night, each of us had a thought from deep within our souls. Matt’s thought was, “This is the future bride you’ve been praying for!”
My thought was, “This is why you didn’t get hired in banking, and why you were hired with no experience at Bobby McGees. This man will be your future husband.”
When Matt returned from San Diego, California, we had our first date, and our thirty-two year journey with God began. Neither of us told each other about the thoughts we had that evening until we were married.
It hasn’t always been as blessed as it is now. As a matter of fact, our marriage almost ended in divorce. Thankfully, the same God that divinely put us together has a plan to perfect us through our marriage relationship. Our counselor told us that neither of us were perfect, but we were both God’s perfect gift to each other. God could use our spouse to mold us more into the image of Jesus Christ. The same God that uses your spouse to bring great joy and satisfaction, uses him or her like iron sharpening iron into a sword or the purification of gold by fire. When we read that all things do work for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28), we often forget that Paul was writing from a prison cell and not experiencing “good times.”
I see Jesus in Matt more and more with each passing year. He is my best friend. The older we get the more we just enjoy spending any time we can together. We get tremendous joy serving God as a team and helping others with their marriages and relationships. We encourage others to trust in a good, loving God that has a good and loving plan. I am so thankful that the divine orchestration that led us to our first meeting in a parking lot has continued to guide us through each day and will guide us till death do us part.
Author: Debra Trusela