“Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” – Philippians 3:12
June 10, 1969 – our second wedding anniversary. It was a time of great tumult in our country with antiwar sentiment running strong. I was a Navy wife, and my husband was in Vietnam. Needless to say, I keenly felt the conflict that was going on in our country and I missed my husband!
We had been fortunate that he received a deferral to finish his master’s degree, so we spent our first married year living, studying, and in my case, teaching, in Norman, Oklahoma where we had met and married. Now, I was in Florida, and he was hal
f a world away. Unlike today, when communication can be instantaneous, letters took weeks to arrive. And yet, it was well with my soul.
Jesus had truly made me His own as, shortly after our arrival in November of 1968, I was hired by Jacksonville Public Schools as a traveling music teacher. I was responsible for three schools, one on the base where I saw the students once every two weeks, one in Neptune Beach where I was the token white teacher in an all-black school and saw the students weekly, and one in an inner-city Jacksonville mixed neighborhood that had been split by the freeway and I saw the students weekly. From the standpoint of teaching the students music, it was not an ideal situation, but it kept me busy and involved. In addition, the principal at the inner-city school recruited me to teach GED math and English to a delightful group of adults who made me a part of their learning community.
I truly felt that all was well with my soul on Sunday mornings at St. Paul’s by the Sea in Jacksonville Beach. Every Sunday, the service concluded with the sung prayer, Eternal Father, Strong to Save. A whole community was praying for my husband.
Jesus, thank you for helping us move forward with our goals and for making us your own. Thank you for blessing our marriage and helping us to share your love with the world. Amen.