Chapter One: The Reluctant Preacher’s Wife
When Kevin and I were dating, I imagined marriage to a preacher as one big Bible Study, with meals in between. I would come home from work at night and we’d sit for hours talking about the Lord, never disagreeing, blissfully discussing spiritual matters. If Kevin ever got discouraged about things at church, I’d build him up and send him back out to the battle with renewed self-confidence and determination. Give me a break; I was only five when we got married!
After thirty-four years of being a preacher’s wife, I admit we have done more battling than Bible studies. And I have needed as much or more encouragement as Kevin. But, more of that later in the book. You may want to hear the zany story of how a spunky L.A. redhead got together with a conservative preacher from Portland…
When in my first year of college, I was close friends with a young man named Brad. He had asked to accompany me home over Easter weekend to meet my parents. Encouraged by his interest in me, I agreed. Another friend of Brad’s, Kevin Levellie, lived in the same town as my parents. Kevin was pastoring a small church across town, his first ministry out of Bible College. Brad and I stopped by his house Sunday evening and visited for several hours. On the way back to school the next morning, Brad asked if we could pray for Kevin. Seems he was really lonesome, and Brad thought a wife would cure that.
“Sure!” I chirped, always willing to pray. Wanting to impress Brad, I launched into one the most heartfelt, if not dramatic prayers of my young life:
“Dear Lord, please lead a woman into Kevin’s life who is just right for him; someone who will stand beside him in ministry and be an encouragement to him , who will help him pastor your sheep in a loving way and compliment him, bringing out the best in him.”
Shortly after my show-offy prayer, Brad lost interest in me for no apparent reason. Kevin and I started writing, and when I went home for the summer, we became the closest of friends. By the end of the summer, my ring finger was dancing in the Fresno sun, clad in a diamond bikini.
Do you ever wonder why God chooses some of the methods He does to answer our prayers? Although I am a fairly creative person, I did not have ME in mind when I asked God to send Kevin a wife! In fact, I had always said I would never marry a preacher, because I wanted a to be rich, and that definitely left preachers out! I wonder if God guffawed as He said “You asked for it!”
To make life more interesting, I am not your stereotypical preacher’s wife. I don’t play the piano. If I did, it would be too loud for most older people, and I’d make up my own rhythm. I have been known to argue with my husband in the middle of a sermon, shock everyone with my choice of Easter attire (more about this in a later chapter), and not keep my house very clean. I love to dance, I spoiled my kids, and I let weeds grow in my garden (not on purpose!).
I trust all of these facts give you hope for yourself. Because if God can turn me into a preacher’s wife and use me to change lives, He can do anything at all! Do you hear me? Anything!