His name was Jeff. I knew his name. I knew that his uncle was a preacher well known to me and my family and I knew that he and my cousin were best friends. Although I knew of him, I didn’t know him personally as he was older than me by 7 years. Jeff had come to my home church for our annual campmeeting. He played the piano and the organ beautifully. Once he was done playing the organ, he stood up and walked across the platform. Jeff is a tall man and he holds himself erect. He was dressed well and he carried himself like a gentleman. As I watched him, my heart skipped a beat. Everything about him, intrigued me and drew me to him. He was unlike any of the guys I knew. He was gorgeous, talented and sophisticated and I instantly fell for him. I sighed and turned to one of my best friends, Vonda.
“I’m going to marry him,” I said.
Without skipping a beat, Vonda looked at Jeff and then at me and snorted.
“He wouldn’t have you!” she said.
I was determined to prove her wrong. I began flirting with him and trying to capture his attention. At first, I didn’t think he was taking any notice of me. Then he smiled at me and I thought I had died and went to heaven! My cousin, David Lee accidently nearly ruined it for me. Jeff had asked David Lee my age and he had told him that I was 17. Since Jeff was 25, that made him decide to steer clear of me. Then he found out I was 18 and he began to talk to me. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him. Then, David Lee became my hero because he asked me if I would be interested in going out on a date with Jeff if were he to ask me out. I squealed out my answer! Of course I would love to date Jeff! David Lee promptly told this to Jeff giving him the confidence to ask me out. Before I could agree to go out on a date with Jeff, I had to ask my Daddy’s permission. I was extremely nervous but I gathered my courage and went to him. I told him that Jeff Wyatt had asked me to go get a coke with him and could I please go. He asked me to point out for him which boy was Jeff Wyatt. I complied and pointed out Jeff to him.
“That’s not a boy,” Daddy exclaimed. “He is a man!”
After obtaining permission, I agreed to go out with Jeff. We had planned to go get a coke but a lady came up to Jeff and told him she had been asked to sing in the evening service. She asked if he would play the piano for her. He agreed to be her accompanist. Thus our first date was spent with me sitting on a couch watching and listening to Jeff and the lady practice. He was wonderful. Jeff is one of those rare and talented individuals who can play the piano by ear. The lady couldn’t tell him what key she needed to be in and he didn’t know the song. She began to sing and within a few seconds, he figured out what key she was in. As she sang, he followed along and by the time she had sung one verse and the chorus, he was playing the song like he had known it all of his life. Jeff played the piano beautifully. I couldn’t help but stare at his lovely hands as his fingers glided across the keys effortlessly. He was amazing and perfect and by the time our first date was over, my heart was completely his. In January, we will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary and he still makes my heart skip a beat.
We write what we know and our life experience influences the stories we tell and the words we use to tell them. My husband, Jeff is the love of my life. He is my husband, my lover, my boyfriend, my best friend, my babies’ Daddy and my everything. Naturally, when I wrote the book John the Beloved, my husband Jeff inspired the character of John who also has a talent for music. If I had not been deeply loved by Jeff everyday for the past 27 years, I would not have been able to write John the Beloved. Because God first loved me, I love Him and desire to share His saving, all consuming love with the world. That is why I write.