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How I Met (and Married) My Wife I met my wife, Shelby, when she helped me come back from a losing streak in a game of spades. We were both in college at the time, and we were both hanging out at a mutual friend’s house. A friend of mine and I were on a team together, and try as we might, we just couldn’t catch a break. Another one of my friends who was there jokingly motioned toward Shelby and said I should have her as my partner instead, since she was the only we might have had a small argument, one of our first. ONCE A TEAM, ALWAYS A TEAM
pocket while we were still
in the air. I don’t know what I would have done if I had dropped it. Luckily, I didn’t drop
Shelby turned to walk away, but I grabbed her, spun her around and pulled her in close to me. I wish I could remember exactly what I said, but I think it was in that
the ring. Even more luckily, Shelby said yes.
other person who could be on my team. We decided to go for it, and we ended up winning my money back and then some. I guess you can say we’ve remained a team ever since. I didn’t see Shelby for a while after that night. A few months later, though, I got an invite from a mutual friend to come and hang out again. Shelby was there as well. After that night, we just kind of hit it off. I was drawn to her bubbly personality and kind nature. She always tried to make the people around her feel good about themselves. In the first few months we were dating, the hours slipped by unnoticed when we would talk on the phone. It was as if the world just passed us by. I knew Shelby was the girl I wanted to marry about a month or two into our relationship. We were outside and it was drizzling. I think
moment of trying to reconcile with her that I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Fast forward another two years to November 2003. Shelby and I were on vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Everyone from my dad’s side of the family was there, so there were probably around 30–40 people. In Gatlinburg, there’s a sky lift that takes you up over the city and gives you a gorgeous view of the surrounding hills and trees. What better place to ask Shelby to marry me? The plan was to pull the ring out about 50 feet from the bottom of the lift, far enough away to give my cousin room to get some good photos of her reaction. In hindsight, I was setting myself up for a potential catastrophe by taking that ring out of my
We’ve been married for 16 years now. Even after all that time, I still think about a couple bits of advice that our pastor said when he married us. One was to never go to bed angry at each other. The other was that marriage is not a 50/50 partnership — it’s a partnership in which each person gives the other every part of themselves. Remembering those things has helped me be a better husband, and I pray that wisdom continues to help me for years to come.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
–Dr. Chris Garner
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