El Señor Te Ama

By Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Monday, September 19, 2011

At several times during my life, my stress has been off the charts. One of those periods was in early adulthood, after I quit my full-time job as a secretary (or “administrative assistant” in today’s jargon) to begin taking college classes at a nearby university. In addition to carrying a class load of 12 to 14 hours, I worked 30 hours a week in the university’s law library.

A photo of law books.

My job involved unpacking new books, recording them in our records, cataloging them, typing and applying the labels, stamping them with our stamp, and shelving them. [Photo courtesy of Photobucket.com.]

About that time, a woman that my family had known for many years passed away. Not long after that, her surviving husband began courting my mother. The following summer, he persuaded Mother to marry him. In his desire to have my mother’s attentions all to himself after their marriage, my stepfather loaned me just enough money for one semester at a larger university in another town.

When I left the home I had shared with my mother to move into the dormitory, I was essentially homeless because my stepfather’s house was not my home: I no longer had one.

I also lost my job when I left the university that I had been attending. Therefore, I had to find a new job. Adjusting to a new university, a different campus, a new roommate, dorm mates, a change of majors from journalism to Spanish, and a new schedule of classes brought a new level of stress.

That first weekend, with a load of assignments demanding my attention, I decided to make time for only one of the many welcoming events directed at new students. The Christian organization hosting the event had scheduled it for Sunday evening, after church. With a number of class assignments to accomplish before the next morning, I did not attend church that evening but focused on attending the gathering for new students instead.

A photo of an open book.

This open textbook represents many from which I have studied over the years. [Photographer: Mary Hunt Webb.]

As I sat alone in my dorm room studying, I could not have anticipated the enormity of the encounter that awaited me. My only thought was surviving in college and finding the funds to remain until I graduated. However, God knew what I needed. That’s what God said in Isaiah 65:24 when he told the prophet, Isaiah, “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” (New King James Version)

When I arrived at the event, I learned that a graduate student with a missionary spirit had offered transportation to the event to several young men, including a recent arrival from Mexico. Amazingly, I was the only student there that spoke even a semblance of Spanish. When I was asked to interpret for the Mexican student, I was also introduced to the driver that had brought him to the event. That graduate student was Morris Webb.

The next day, Morris invited me to another Christian event. By the time Morris returned to his hometown and to his job with the National Weather Service the next semester, we were engaged and planning our wedding for that summer. In that era before e-mail, we wrote many letters by hand during the spring semester. With open cubbyholes for mailboxes, my dorm mates were quick to inform me of the arrival of my mail.

“Mary, you’ve got a letter with ‘SWAK’ on the back!”

That was how I learned that “SWAK” meant “Sealed With A Kiss”.

A photo of Morris and Mary with their favorite French restaurant in the background.

Morris and I recently celebrated the anniversary of the day we met. [Photographer: Our server, whose first name is Fred.]

Forty-three years later, Morris and I celebrated that introduction with lunch at our favorite French restaurant.

“I’m glad we met before there were social networks,” my husband sighed over salad. He paused and then added, “I’m glad we wrote real letters.”

I am, too, because I would never have received a letter with SWAK on the back otherwise.

Morris is a daily reminder that God cares about me and for me. My husband often looks at me and tells me what a miracle I am to be sitting across the dining table from him. We have survived many trials together, including prostate cancer that Morris overcame more than a decade ago and other bouts of serious illness for me. We have weathered rotating shift work, graduate school, transfers between states, and the sale of several houses.

God obviously has a purpose for us, and He has one for you, too. Try to think of the blessings with which He has surrounded you instead of dwelling on the stress of your workload, the loneliness of your situation, or the lack of a permanent residence. God loves you and knows your need. Even now, you may be weeks, days, or even hours away from receiving a miracle.

Try thanking Him for that miracle before you receive your blessing. You’ll be amazed to see how much He cares for you.

Isaiah 65:24 - “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” (New Kings James Version)

Isaías 65:24 - “Y antes que clamen, responderé yo; mientras aún hablan, yo habré oído.” (Reina-Valera 1960)

A wedding photo.

My new father-in-law took this snapshot during the photo session that followed our wedding. [Photographer: Morris Webb, Sr.]

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