Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Toni

At this point, the story of my faith journey would be incomplete without introducing Toni. I knew Toni in High School through her sister Dena, whom I met in Sophomore World History class. Toni was a year ahead of me in school, and I had occasional contact with her at their house, at Band activities, and in a Physics class my Junior year.

After Toni graduated, she went to the local community college. When I graduated a year later, I went to Texas A&M, but during my Sophomore year, Toni transferred to A&M. My roommate Greg and I made it a point to welcome her to the campus. Her dorm was near ours, and we all ate at the same dining hall, so we often had meals together. Toni didn't have a car, so I would give her a ride when I went home to Mesquite.

Toni's family was not religious. I had my conversion from atheism to Christianity after I had become friends with Dena, and I had tried to talk to Dena about it. She was very nice about the subject, and was glad it was helpful for me, but was not interested in the gospel for herself.

During one of my trips to Mesquite with Toni, I thought I should talk to Toni about the gospel. I heard talks and read books about sharing your faith, but I was very nervous. The times I had tried before with other people had either been politely refused, as with Dena, or had made the other person angry, as happened with an old friend. However, I believed it was important, so I was going to try again.

I was unable to work up the courage to bring up the subject on the way to Mesquite. It was not until half-way back to College Station, traveling on I-45, that I finally got up the courage to use an opening line I had read in a book: "Do you ever think about spiritual things?" Toni's response surprised me; she said that she had been wanting to talk to me about the subject for a long time. We ended up talking so much that I missed my exit at Madisonville, and did not realize it until the surroundings looked unfamiliar, and I realized we were in Huntsville, 25 miles past the exit.

I turned around, and we made it to College Station fine, just a little bit later than planned. Toni and I had many more conversations, and she soon become a Christian herself, receiving baptism at Mesquite Bible Church, the same church that had been instrumental in my conversion. Toni and I formed a strong bond of friendship in the process, and a few years after our college graduation, we got married, also at Mesquite Bible Church. Next month we will celebrate 21 years of marriage. I am thankful that God used me in the early stages of Toni's journey of faith, and that he has allowed us to continue to travel that road together.

3 comments:

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

I hadn't known about this particular part of y'all's relationship. Cool, and thanks for sharing it.
We're thinking of visiting MBC when we come back to Texas this summer for the NMHS reunion. It will be odd, though, since so many folks close to us have moved on to other places. I wonder how much "there" will be there?

Gregory said...

Last time we visited MBC, a lot was different - new pastor, extensive remodling - but there were still several people we knew.

kkollwitz said...

"a few years after our college graduation, we got married"

That was unexpected.