Transcription (unedited)

Narrator:  Debi played a prank on Mike that made him think he would lose his helper that was when he started to see her differently.

Debi Pearl:  Every Sunday after church we’d loaded up a huge school bus with servicemen and took them to a lodge in a local forest, this by coincidence was the very lodge where I first saw him when I was only 13 years old.

Anyway on this particular Sunday I asked a young serviceman who was a cool guy and a good friend of Mike’s, if he would help me play a trick on my pastor. With my arm tightly linked with this young man’s arm, we walked up giggling to where brother Pearl sat talking with some other men.

I sweetly looked up at this guy’s face and then down to Michael and said “Brother Pearl, I’m getting married”. I don’t know what I expected him to say, he’s expression immediately sobered me making me wish I had not played the trick. He looks aghast, horrified. Of course I tried to laugh it off saying it as a joke but I knew at that moment something had changed.

He did not think my trick was funny. After we married Michael told me that, that moment he suddenly saw me in a whole different light. He said that he has always taken for granted that I would be there as his buddy, his friend, his helper.

Now he knew that I had grown up and would soon be gone. I would be another man’s wife, another man’s buddy and another man’s helper. He decided he didn’t like that idea. Can you believe how thick headed this guy was, all those years I was his right hand man and he just never noticed.

So he still didn’t give me the time of day but I know he’s different. I often caught him looking at me like he was contemplating. When I looked back at him he continued to stare as he were trying to read my soul.

Several weeks after my trick, he called me at work and asked if I would go with him that evening to a gospel meeting. He said he had been invited to give the gospel to a bunch of lost hippies, this was the early 70’s.

Over the years he had often called on me to be his female assistant. He needed to have a female helper because he had always been very careful not to allow himself to be in a compromising or tempting position with females.

He always avoided any one on one counseling with the opposite sex even to give the gospel. He has maintained this rule all his life. He even told me where to meet him. He always made a point to never give me the courtesy of going to my house to pick me up like a man would to his date. It was his way of keeping our outing strictly ministry focused.

I drove my little VW bug into the church parking lot where I was to meet him. I thought that this evening was no different than any other, it was ministry plain and simple, and at least that’s what I thought.

That evening we crowded into a small upstairs apartment. There was about 40 young hippies all intent on what Michael had to say. It was different back then, at least for a small window of time.

The spirit of God moved heavily upon people. God use most anyone willing to show the gospel. Nowadays the average Christian will witness once or twice a year, back then Christian’s witnessed with boldness because lost people were so open. Prayer warriors had prayed open the flood gates of Heaven.

For that brief few years we saw miracle after miracle. It was so common place to see hundreds of people weeping asking God for mercy, that we took it for granted. Oh that people would pray. Anyway back to love.

That evening Michael preached a simple message. All present were in their 20’s including us, at the end of the message we sang. Many wrapped their arms around their bodies and rocked back and forth almost as if they were in pain, some wept.

Michael called for prayer and then all wet on their knees. I softly talked to one girl after another, answering their questions and praying with them. Several people prayed out loud asking God to save them. After a time only soft murmurs were heard, I was still on my knees with my hands laid on the chair in front of me when I felt someone slip in beside me and then a large hand grasp mine.

I opened my eyes startled. It was Michael. He stared into my eyes then dropped his head in prayer. I confess at that moment I ceased praying.

Michael was well known for not touching ladies, not even old ladies that wanted to shake his hand after a church service, now he held my hand while he prayed. He never spoke on that long hour trip home, we even stopped to have something to eat and yet he remained embarrassingly silent.

I was so rattled I talked none stop. When we pulled in to the church parking lot I moved to get out and he reached and grabbed my hand again, yet he still remained totally silent. It was late. I was exhausted. I had been up for almost 24 hours. My emotions were spent. I wasn’t even keyed up I was so tired. I sat now silent and unmoving then my entire tongue softly spoke my thoughts.

I reminded him about the young boy he had baptized that previous Sunday evening. I talked about how the boy kept jumping up in the water so he see his parents.

Then I said the unthinkable “you know someday, I would love to give you a son” to my memory I had never ever thought such a thing. But what’s said is said.

Michael reacted like a rocket, out of the car he shot and into the dark around the building he ran. I laughed. I was too tired to really be concerned. He came tearing back around by the time I had climbed out of his car and gathered all my gear.

I was almost to my VW when he came around the house again, this time he came streaking across the lighting parking lot like a long legged spider.

I had to put all my stuff in my car and turned around to watch him, he came running straight to me and grabbed me around my waist and threw me in the air while shouting, “Let’s get married”.

We did just eight days later on a Sunday evening. As you can imagine it was a simple wedding. I made my wedding dress with white satin in the style of a peasant dress. There was no time for flowers or any extra finery or even invitations.

The church to overflowing as everyone came out to see the famous preacher man marry the hillbilly girl. I guess that they needed to see for themselves if it was really true. It’s a doozy of a fairy tale, I had been his wild cat, bare footed princess for 40 years.

How good can it get, real, real good. You might think this can’t happen to me, it’s too different. Every love story is unique, full of wonder and romance. Yours will be too.

My goal is not a packaged romance but to let you see that Gods ways are bigger and better than our greatest dreams and hopes.

Narrator:  Thank you for listening to this excerpt from preparing to be a helpmeet, as always remember to check for specials on this and other audio books on our website.

 

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