I am going to share with you the story of how God brought my husband Gary and I together.

Our story actually began about 5 YEARS before we even met.

I will list the steps involved and them I will give details about each.


Step one:  Gary prayed about which church he should join.  He had been attending a small church.  But after his divorce, he felt like he needed one that would allow him the opportunity to meet new people.  At this time he was very much into hiking.  He decided to hike up to the top of Blood Mountain and spend some quality time with God.  As he was praying and asking God to lead him to a new church, he heard a noise.  Someone was approaching the summit of Blood Mountain. ...  Gary looked up and saw a man.  This is where GOD comes in.... The man was wearing a 12 Stone Church t-shirt!!!!!   Gary laughed to himself.  He had just prayed for God to lead him to a new church and here was a church t-shirt....  this  particular church in a few years would actually be very close to Gary's home.

So....  Gary began attending 12 Stone.

The 12 Stone campus that was open at this time was not convenient for Gary.  He began looking elsewhere and visiting other churches closer to his home. After attending another church for a short while God instructed Gary to open his Bible to a particular book.  He was told to read Joshua chapter 4.  As he began reading he noticed that the words 12 Stone appear 3 times in the first 9 verses!!!!  Gary needed NO MORE VALIDATION from God- he decided to make 12 Stone his new church home. Within weeks of making that decision, 12 Stone announced that they would be opening a location in Sugarloaf- which is where Gary LIVED!!!!

Step 2, Gary met a friend through his new church.  12 Stone had small groups available for people to join and study God's word together.  Gary decided to join one. During this first group he met a man named J.R.  It is important to note that J.R. only came to one of these meetings.  I think God directed him there so that he could meet Gary.  Gary and JR met on that first night of the study and are still friends to this day! (J.R. comes back into the story later)

Step 3, (YEARS LATER) God prompted me to start a co-ed Bible study. I was now divorced and hated the whole dating scene.  I was lonely.  I needed friends!  I LOVED to read and study so I decided to find a Christian Singles Book Club in my area to join.  There weren't any, so God prompted me to start one!   The group was AMAZING!!!  At one time we had over 150 members!  I met some incredible people through this group- some of which are still my close friends today.  BUT....  the person I met in that group that relates to THIS God story is .....  you guessed it...  J.R.!!!!!!!!!!

Step 4, Gary's friend joined my co-ed group.  The co-ed group had been meeting for a little while when J.R. started coming.  Because I was the leader, I made it a point to NOT date within the group.  This was actually a GOOD thing! I had never really had "guy" friends before this group, but now I did!  I felt comfortable sharing my stories and weaknesses with the group because there was no "sexual" tension.  J.R. and I became friends.  I remember asking him one night where all the good guys were...  because I sure couldn't find any.

Step 5, God tells me I will find love in MAY.  This took place sometime around November or December.  I know this because I remember crying on the floor like a big old baby and looking up at my Christmas tree.  I was feeling very down.  It was the holidays....  I was all alone.... I had pretty much given up on dating....  and I was coming to realize that I would probably be single forever.  I remember CRYING so hard on this particular night!  SNOT BUBBLES were coming out of my nostrils!  I was making weird gasping sounds....  I was a MESS!!!!!  I remember praying to God....  asking Him if I would ALWAYS be alone!!! SCREAMING out to Him that I felt so LONELY!!!  It was not too long after my prayer that I heard His voice!  God said, "May,  Leslie, Not before May and not after May, but May"...  He repeated this to me several times that night and the next morning.

Step 6,  I go on with my life.  I continue my Bible Study and give myself time to heal and grow.  Over the next few months I feel myself getting SO much stronger, both emotionally and spiritually.  I do not feel desperate anymore.  I feel FULL!  I am now at a place where if I don't find love again in my life that I KNOW I will still be alright.

Step 7, I move into an apartment. At the time I was trying to purchase a very small and kind of scary townhouse about 20 miles away.  It fell though.  I had a friend from the Co-ed Book club who had just moved into an apartment complex in Duluth.  She loved it,  so I decided I would move there too.  I did not know this at the time, BUT Gary was moving into his apartment the same exact month that I was....   he moved in roughly 2 weeks before I moved in!!! His apartment was in Suwanee, which is about 6 miles from my apartment in Duluth.  We STILL had not met, NOR had we even HEARD about each other!!! God was still working on our introduction...  it would occur SOON...  but not until MAY!

Step 8, J.R. introduced me to Gary.  This occurred on May 5.  I remember the date because the Co-ed group was getting together to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  J.R. called me and asked me if it was ok if he brought his friend Gary. He wanted me to meet him.  He thought we might hit it off.....  SURE, I said!!  :)  We met that night and began dating exclusively that same week!

Step 9, We fell in love.  On the very last day in May Gary's car broke down.  He called and asked me if I could pick him up from the shop.  I did and we ended up spending the day together.  I remember we talked, cooked frozen lasagna, and watched some TV,........... BUT the most important thing that happened on that very last day of MAY- Gary told me he loved me for the VERY FIRST TIME!!!!!  God TOLD me that it would happen in MAY!!!!  AND It DID!!!!!!! We even joke and say that GOD helped it happen on that last day of MAY by having Gary's car break down!  If his car wouldn't have needed repairs, we wouldn't have spent the day together and Gary may not have told me that he LOVED ME!!!!