Sheila's Reflections

Once In A Lifetime Journey
October 2005

Once upon a time there was a young minister, named Donny, who lived in the beautiful city of Gardendale, and a young lady, named Sheila who lived in the lovely town of Hackleburg. Both of them had received Christ at an early age and were very dedicated to serving the Lord. Autumn’s splendor was ablaze everywhere. Unknown to them, that even though they lived miles apart, it was time for their paths to cross. God had a divine plan for these two and was about to shake their world’s upside down to accomplish it. They had no idea how much their lives were about to be changed or how many adventures awaited them, on their journey to a “once in a lifetime” love.

Through a job lay off and a move to find employment God set up their meeting. It took place on a Wednesday night, at a prayer meeting, in Fultondale. They were introduced and by the end of the service it was evident they had a common bond in their faith. Later, they shared a desire to get to know each other better and to forge a friendship.

On a clear cold, autumn night, in October of 1974, the air was laced with excitement and anticipation of what the night would reveal. As they gazed out over Birmingham from Vulcan Park, the scene below was breathtaking. Everywhere there were beacons of light dancing in the night. Up above them the moon and stars were putting on their own production of a “heavenly” light show. They had certainly had a successful first date, getting to know one another better. You could say without a doubt it was definitely a fine start, to a beautiful friendship.

The more they went out together the more they enjoyed each other’s company. As their friendship grew deeper it didn’t take long before they were dating only each other. Their days and nights were filled with deep conversations, attending revivals, visiting hospitals, playing tennis, dinner dates, picnics, and backyard badminton. During this time their beautiful friendship kept growing until they both realized it had turned into something more serious. All the joy, happiness, and excitement of that realization were only the beginning of a deepening love, putting their relationship on a whole knew level.

Soon they were engaged and dreaming about their future. It was a time of joy filled with anticipation of the day they would become husband and wife… one flesh.

It was a hot, rainy, summer night that they were joined in the “holy bonds” of marriage. They vowed before God to take each other for a lifetime mate and pledged to love, honor, and cherish one another no matter what came their way. That night they entered into a “covenant” with God and started a “Once in a Lifetime Journey” of married love.

Thirty-one years have just passed since the beginning of our story and on the twenty eighth of July we celebrated thirty years of marriage.

In all honesty, as I reflect back over the years, I can say it’s been and continues to be an adventurous journey. One I’m so thankful to be traveling and serving alongside Donny… my dearest friend, confidant, husband, and the love of my life.

Until next time


This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalms 118:23

2006, Search The Word Ministry