When I was ten years old, at Trinity Church, in Bridgeton, Missouri, I developed a crush on a cute brown-eyed girl named Debbie Mounts. She was pretty, kind, and outgoing. But of course, I was ten and didn’t tell anybody what I thought about her at the time. Just a few months after we started attending the church, Debbie’s family relocated to Marietta, Georgia, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever see her again.
But about five years later, Trinity Church had a twenty-fifth anniversary celebration, and Debbie’s family returned to St. Louis for the festivities. And I thought Debbie was just as pretty, kind, and outgoing as I had remembered her. A couple of months later, we ran into each other at the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Birmingham, Alabama, and spent part of an afternoon together. Shortly after, we started writing letters to each other. That’s how we really got to know each other.
A couple of years later, we both ended up going to Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee (now Welch College). I was a shy, quiet type, though, and we didn’t start dating until our sophomore year. (If you ever have the chance, you’ll have to ask Debbie about the moment of truth that came on choir tour at a church in Michigan. She tells the story much better than I do.)
About a year after we started dating, I took Debbie to the town square in Marietta, Georgia, on a beautiful spring evening and asked her to marry me. And twenty years ago today, at Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church in Marietta, we promised our lives to one another. For more reasons than you could imagine, it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Earlier this year, Debbie and I were able to return to Trinity Church for its fiftieth anniversary celebration and to take with us our children—Courtney (17), Lauren (13), and Micah (8). I could not be more grateful to God for the family he has given us.
And I can’t let this day pass without mentioning that ten years ago today, at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri, Debbie and I welcomed into the world our third child, Ethan Ray. Ethan remained with us for only about seventy-five minutes before he went to rest in the arms of Jesus. During his brief life, he was held and loved by his mom and dad, his older sisters, and his grandparents. We still miss him deeply, and his absence continues to impact our family, probably in more ways than we can understand. We are grateful, too, for the short time that we had him in our lives.
And if you’re still reading at this point, thank you for taking a brief moment today to share in both the joy and the sorrow December 19 represents for the Scott family. We continue to be overwhelmed by God’s grace and blessing in our lives.