New Tear’s Day

Unknown-1June woke up on New Year’s Day a very happy woman. She woke up “just married” next to the man she had loved for over thirty years. It’s a wonderful story culminating in a wedding that I was privileged to preside over along with my wife, Marti. I guess you could call it the first Catch wedding.

Thirty-three years ago, June and Paul met and fell in love. In the course of their courtship, June found out Paul was an alcoholic who twice had almost died. As much as she loved him, she did not want to be the victim of a widow-maker, so in the best interest of herself and her future, though it broke her heart, she broke it off. They drifted apart and ended up in other marriages. Almost thirty yards later, after faithfully nursing his wife through a number of years of cancer until her death two years ago, Paul started thinking of June again and wondering what had happened to her. Ten years of sobriety had made him a different man. He knew that if he found her, and she was not in a relationship, he would pursue her with everything he had. So he went looking for her on Facebook which just happened to be the first day June had experimented with social media, and there she was; and much to his joy, she had also lost a marriage and had not been in a relationship for some time.

That began a year and a half of courtship via letters, emails and phone calls, culminating in their first physical reunion on December 30, 2014, and their marriage the very next day! So convinced were they of their love for each other and the knitting of their souls together, that there was no need to waste any time. It was the easiest, most joyful wedding I’ve ever been involved with. Seven guests gathered at June’s home to witness this joyous event, and June’s granddaughter, whom she has adopted, was the ring-bearer (that’s another long redemptive story).

They told me they had their own vows to read to each other, but just in case, I had the usual ones handy. Not necessary. Paul’s vows, which contained some pretty expressive white-hot passion, barely printable, made me say: “Well, you guys, I had the traditional ‘… for richer, for poorer … ’til death do us part,’ stuff ready, but you just blew that out of the water!”

Paul’s main point was that God had used June to bring him from darkness to light. In his pursuit of her, unconditionally, he mirrored God’s pursuit of us as the “hound of heaven,” and in the humility created by his long road to sobriety, he reflected what Christ gave up to become one of us and die on a cross for our sins.

What a way to begin the new year! Happy New Year everyone, and thank you for your incredible year-end support.

I wrote what I call a Freudian typo when I entered the first sentence of this Catch. I wrote: “June woke up on New Tear’s Day a very happy woman.” Yes … well … that, too.

June is one of our faithful prayer partners.

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13 Responses to New Tear’s Day

  1. Awesome!! Congratulations!

  2. andy says:

    amazing after 15 years of sobriety I can relate god does make us in connection with the right people at the right time

  3. I know June personally and had visited with her and her daughter (during the adoption). My son Jacob knows her and June. I was truly excited for June and her news and pray that they Lord blesses this happy reunion where their cup over flows! Congrats June and Paul & W 😀

  4. Mark Seguin says:

    ill add my Congratulations to June & Paul and Happy New Year!

  5. Alma Siemens says:

    My favorite kind of story! Our heavenly Father LOVES to do this sort of thing. That you, John and Marti, and the Catch partners and associates get in on it is more than “icing on the cake.”

  6. To those of you who were kind enough to offer your congratulations and well wishes I will thank you on behalf of my bride and myself. It’s been a very long journey, fraught with the pitfalls and mistakes that we as fallible human beings have been given by our Lord God.
    Our Lord God has given us freedom of choice, and rarely are we given the opportunity for a second chance. In our particular case, He saw fit to do so and interceded on our behalf. And for this gift from God I will be eternally grateful.
    Should I be given the gift of being seated at his table in the next life, as inadequate as the words may be, I have only two. Thank you. For he knows what’s in my heart: Gratitude and Love Everlasting.
    “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

    • I pray your pray for you Paul and that you cherish my good friend June, who is a good friend to me and I love her and I know she deserves the best! Give this precious woman your best and you will find an undying, dedicate, love. She is precious in his sight! Never met you, but love you and may God bless your union 😀

    • Grace says:

      Well Said Paul

    • jwfisch says:

      Welcome, Paul. Nice to see you here! And congratulations! Thanks for letting us share in your and June’s remarkable story.

  7. Peter Leenheer says:

    Wow what an incredible story of God’s goodness when his children repent and seek Him. I have also had such an experience and what Paul writes touches me deeply. Jesus came to save us from sin, and to let us experience the abundant life ie. this life as it is meant to be. Thank you Paul and June for sharing this incredibly encouraging story.

  8. Grace says:

    Wow what a cool story. I think of the way God Wooes us with his love and open arms. This is a story of redemption and the miracle of sobriety.

  9. Lois Taylor says:

    This catch put a smile on my face that will laast all day.

  10. Lisa in Sunland says:

    I’m late getting a chance to read this – but wow. That’s so neat! What a blessing. So encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

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