Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Step Into The Time Machine

Set the dial for September 1989. (and don't laugh at our hair!) There I was walking around Montclair State University. A transfer student from MCCC, 20 years old and feeling a great sense of freedom. I must have joined every club on campus. That is how I get to know people. I was on the College Life Union Board, Photography Club, Conservation Club, Ski Club (that is a riot, because I only ever skied once and it was a horrible experience)! On this particular September morning I was walking in the student center and there was this little table in the corner with a few guys sitting at it. It was Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. I was already involved in so much...then one of the guys came up to me and handed me a tract. Oh the tract. "I am already saved...thank it for someone who needs Jesus" is what I said to him. He then proceeded to invite me to their Thursday night meeting. (Ok...I mean since I was from an Assemblies of God church down home...might as well).

Here is where I wish my husband would blog because his blog would go something like this: "I was sitting in the student center when what doth my eyes behold...the girl of my dreams." HA!! Well, maybe not exactly like that, but I did find out that the other guy at that table (my Mike Engel) did tell the guy that gave me the tract that he was going to "marry that girl someday." Yes he did say that!! (shhh..I didn't even notice him that day..well I knew he was at the table..but that was it)!

This is Mike & I at the Chi Alpha S.A.L.T. Retreat in Indiana Jan. 1990

I will fast forward now. I went to that Thursday meeting. I met Mike Engel (we called him Mike Engel because our campus pastor was Mike was just easier) he was the President of Chi Alpha..he was a skinny klutzy guy with a heart of pure gold. I ended up going to his church (it was the closest AG church near my apartment in Montclair). He was a leader in the church. He lead worship, taught Wednesday night Bible Study and preached occasionally on Sunday morning. Seriously, he was awesome. Come that January we went on a Chi Alpha Retreat to Indianapolis. It was here that I started to fall in love with this man. I fell in love with his precious heart. He told me about his call to ministry, his love for people and his love for God. He was one of the most respectful men I had ever met. He loved deeply and cared deeply. I remember going for a walk and it was snowing, he sat down on the curb and just cried when he talked about his love for God. It moved me beyond words. When I got home I told my father that I wanted to marry someone just like Mike Engel. I would never have dreamed that Mike Engel would have picked me.
One of our 500 attempts (before digital cameras) at an engagement picture! June 1990!
February came and it was Somebody Loves You Night at Chi Alpha. Mike picked me up for the meeting and gave me a rose and a card (Valentine's Day). We started dating that night. The rest as they say is history. We were engaged by June and married by December all in the same year!

December 15, 1990

Nineteen years later, he is still the most amazing man I know. We have had our growing pains like every couple, but one thing is constant...our love for each other continues to grow. People ask me what makes my marriage work. I tell them our secret (well not all of them), but this one is what we have always lived by: the Bible says "don't let the sun go down on your anger." We have never gone to bed angry. Not in 19 years. We have stayed up to see the sun rise...but we always resolve our differences before going to bed. How do we resolve our differences? We pray! I remember our first big argument. I was clearly right and he was clearly right! Hmmmm? I was mad as the mob, he was angry too! (Can't remember what was so important 18 years ago). It was a long night, finally my husband says to me, "We have to pray!" What? Pray? UGH!! He got down on his knees right there in the living room and uttered the most humble beautiful prayer! I just melted. He asked for forgiveness, and asked the Lord to bless me. He told the Lord how much he loved me! OH I was so moved I could barely get words out of my mouth. When it was my turn to pray...I already felt so much love for this man (the same man I think I was so mad at I could spit nails)...I remember crying and asking God to forgive me, then I started praying blessing over this man that I loved. Well, praying for someone, who you don't like at the moment, is the best way to resolve conflicts. It melts your heart and makes you love all over again! It is our has worked for 19 years! Now we teach our children the same thing!

Mike & Lisa Engel - 19th Wedding Anniversary!


Allison Reynolds said...

What a beautiful story. It totally blessed me and is such a testimony for your whole family! Happy Anniversary!

Kristin said...

Congratulations! That is such a great story.

Darcy said...

Lisa, that was very touching. Made me cry.