The Beginning of God’s Plan for Us

By Susan Burkepile, Contributing Writer

Next week, my husband and I will head up the fifth year of our summer music camp.  It has grown tremendously over the years and has gained a reputable place among the area string camps.  But for us, it is more than just a camp.

It represents us.

The beginning of God's Plan for our marriage

We met, as teenagers, at a summer music camp.  Mike was a violin super star whom all the teachers and students regarded as an impressively talented young man.  And with his name so well circulated, we all knew of him.  But in a slight miscommunication, my group of friends thought that someone personally knew him.

But as a result of this miscommunication, a room full of totally strange, giggling girls called him on the phone and convinced him to join us in an ensemble.

Over the next few days, my roommate and I talked, giggled, and batted our eyes at him.  After all, he was talented, cute – but most of all – he was a sincere gentlemen.  He opened doors, offered to help at any chance, made sure everyone felt included, and loved to have good, clean fun.

But it all accumulated to the last night of camp.  The Dance.  Rumor had it that he was going to ask me to be his date.

But he never did.

My roommate and I both had serious crushes on him, and so, we were both disappointed that neither of us had won his heart.

But my roommate, Donna, also had a tender heart.  She suspected that he wanted to be with me – so she approached him.  And a few moments later, she clasped my hand and his hand together.

And so, the last morning of camp, the batting eyes, giggles, and laughter only increased.  And we held hands every moment we could.

The last memory I have with him was warming up in a hot practice room.  And being the teenage boy he was, he forgot to wear deodorant.  And boy did he stink in that small in room!

But I didn’t care.  I was so in love with his heart.

And yet, I knew at only 15 years old, I would probably never see him again once we departed our separate ways. Especially since he wouldn’t give me his phone number or address because he was “moving.”

But that was very far from the truth.  We wrote  letters and talked on the phone (and those were the days of expensive long distance).   We went to college together.  We suffered family pain and loss together.  And finally, six years later – we were married.

Eleven years into our marriage, we now have had four children, 2 cats, and 2 dogs.  We have collectively earned three college degrees, moved 10 times, been penniless, been well provided for, triumphed over medical issues, and grown together in our faith.

And now, back to the present –  we are preparing for our annual music camp.  But it really isn’t just a camp.  It brings back a flood of memories relating to our beginnings.  The beginning of our love.  The beginning of our forever.

And most importantly, the beginning of God’s plan for us.

It’s amazing to look back on God’s plan for your marriage. What special memories do you have from the beginning of your courtship?


  1. Phyllis says:

    Ours is a similar story with the exception of meeting at a church camp in South Dakota 36 years ago. He came home at the age of 15 and told his mom he had met the girl he would marry. We wrote for a year, decided it was too hard to be 450 miles apart and I decided I needed to date others. I broke his heart, and yet, he continued to write. Finally my roommate convinced me to let him come visit. If I didn’t like him I could send him home. He came for a weekend and stayed 2 weeks. He bought me a diamond 2 days into his stay and here we are 33 years later!!! Not to say it’s been easy, but he’s the love of my life and it’s taken some rough patches over the last few years to see that. Most of all I thank God for bringing us together, and bringing us through!!


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