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I WAKE UP WITH THE GOOD NEWS, LITERALLY!


I say that because of the privilege of waking each morning to watch the progressive transformation in the life of the one to whom I am married.


She is grace personified.


I know, you are already thinking, grace would surely be needed to live with me! If so you missed my point.


This once 9th grade English teacher (not sure English should be capitalized) who married the mad scientist teacher across the hall, truly is an on-going story of spiritual transformation.


For the first few years of our relationship we were simply peers, friends of course, but from my side, it was quite the Jeckyl Hyde scenario.


I can't speak for her, but my life was a mess. I had gone from happy go lucky high schooler, through two years of a reckless college experience, then fell head over heels in love with a young girl on campus. We both likely married too quickly, then after two more wonderful years in my eyes, I found myself blindsided by an in-law's suicide, then soon afterwards, an unexpected divorce.


By then I had begun my career as a high school teacher and found respite during the day with kids hungry to learn, though my nights were laden with opportunities for a full blown life in crisis!


LaDonna and I would often play tennis in the afternoons, though I must admit it was more about companionship than athletic competition. We were once beaten by a couple with one partner six months pregnant! (We are now however into Pickle Ball at the local Y!)


Fortunately, before sufficient water under the bridge had provided opportunity for receiving a life sentence in the penitentiary, my dad prayed me back into the Kingdom of God!


Just in case you are wondering, I have never murdered anyone, nor robbed banks, otherwise I have stories!


To this day, I will never understand how a late night visit to my dad delivered upon his prayers, and by no intent of my own. Nor, given his loving parenting, how I so blindly walked away from my early childhood experience with God.


Amazingly so, those early childhood memories and God promises were retained, almost as if my eight years of spiritual hiatus had never occurred.


On the front end of my epiphany, it was awkward for me, trying to explain what had happened to friends, many who remained in the dark places that I had navigated. If my teacher friends knew of my shadowy life, they were kind, though I'm sure some were suspect.


I could always cleanup well after a night on the town, though later on in life, LaDonna would help me dress a little better!


It wasn’t until LaDonna shared with me

shortly after our return from Christmas break in 1973, and only a couple days after my visit to Dad's, that I sensed another moment of potential loss. It seems the young man she had been dating for a while had asked for her hand in marriage.


Now, suddenly this girlfriend I had known for two years, and frankly somehow took for granted, was moving on with her life. By March of that year, I had finally gotten up the courage to share with her the life change that had occurred back on January 3, 1973. I even agreed to go to church with her, if I could take her out to lunch afterwards.


Somehow, the epiphany that occurred in my dad's living room had never registered as a church-like experience.

I literally had no clue of my future engagement with church people, until our principal sensed something different about the two of us and invited us to attend an interdenomenational prayer breakfast that was held early on Friday mornings at a local Holiday Inn!


Had the now late, Doug Elmore invited me to his church, I would likely have turned him down. That was a major shift in my journey!


At lunch that Sunday, I shared my experience with Christ, but ran a little over with the time budgeted by LaDonna. Her fiance, who was also a nonattender was to pick her up from church at 3:00.


My bad!!


Though there was no intent on her part, her day did not end well and the marriage proposal fell through. She was devastated!


Honestly, I had no idea that this would be the way the Lord would begin our union, but that evening she called a teacher friend, Carla Robbins, who unbeknownst to us, had also recently had a similar experience as my own. Frankly, this corraling of all three of our lives, even later her husband Ronnie, was a little erry!


Carla shared her experience with LaDonna, who then immediately headed to my dad's house, where I had recently returned as an escape from my near-reprobate lifestyle.


When she rang my dad's doorbell, he called up to my room to say that a girl named LaDonna had arrived.


I asked her up to my room where she with tears shared her experience, all occurring in the short window since I had left the church parking lot. I then ask if we might begin to "date," and also that I thought she was the answer to a couple months of prayer.


I married her on the same date as her mom had been planning for since the previous Christmas break. Our wedding date was December 23, 1973. One can only imagine the family's shock when we shared our story!


To watch the transformation in the life of this girl, given her rural farm roots, being well "Catechised" as a Missouri Synod Lutheran, now learning to cope with a once maverick, fourth generation Pentecostal, out of the box thinker.


BTW, both of us are now well-tamed though charismatic Presbyterians...still, you can only imagine!


She has become grace personified!


Just yesterday taking fresh brownies to a young stranger who works at WalMart. It seems he had helped her find brownie mix on shelves now in disarray, as the store in our hometown of Clemmons is being reorganized.


He mentioned his love for brownies, so the next day, she showed him how real love responds!


Her life exemplifies the impact of the Good News, which we for 50 years have tried to share!


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John Bost
John Bost
Mar 23
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

You memory is awesome!

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

You’re a lucky man teacher. By the way the teacher down the hall on the right not across the hall.

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