40th Anniversary for David and Pat Raley
June 16, 1973-2013
I heard a thought or sermon one time about the dash between the dates on a gravestone. That dash represented the greatest part of the deceased persons life. It is what they did in that dash that validates the birth and gives value to the life of the corpse. Well today Pat and I are not crawling up into any caskets. We have a whole lot more to do and life to live before the end. But the dash for us represents a whole lot of struggles, growth, fun and adventures. Today we are celebrating the validation of our marriage and the value of its love.
Let me rehearse a few of those events
1973 Wedding in Cullman, Alabama
In that ten years I worked at a steel mill, pulp wood Yard, hardware store, and a insurance company. Pat worked at sewing factories.
We lived in rental homes and struggled to pay our $55.00 a month rent.
We bought our first home, a trailer.
I committed myself to the call of ministry.
We were pastors of Grace Chapel. Assembly of God.
We were new parents of Jonathan (1985)
We became pastors of New Life Assembly
We bought two new homes and built a new home
Pat got her Associates degree and became a x-Ray technologist.
We were elected District Youth Directors of Alabama.
We lived in Montgomery, Alabama
We started Capital Christian Center
We built a Church building
We left to serve the national office of the Assemblies of God
We live in Springfield, Missouri
Pat got her Bachelors degree at Evangel University.
We have lived in two homes and one of those I built.
We helped start a new ministry with a friend and we are presently doing such.
We have traveled the world together, built homes together, raised a family together and dreamed together. Life has been an adventure and it has been a struggle. We have had our ups and we have had our downs. There were days that we did not have the money for what we needed and there were days that we had enough money to share. We have had some defeats and failures but we also have won and succeeded at some things. We made a few enemies along The way, for which I am sad, but wow have we made some friends. We were never poor because we did not have any wealth or money. We never considered that being without was because of who we were. Our minds were set to move forward and do the best we could with the little we had. We felt that if we gave it all we had the results would be better than letting life push down. We never thought about giving up, letting up, but moving up. We never felt like we had to have more than we could afford or be bigger than who we were. We have always been amazed at how good, kind and gracious people have been to us.
We have never been anywhere close to perfect. We started out as two teenagers who had nothing but each other. I mean really nobody gave us a a chance that we could or would succeed. We have failed on so many levels in so many ways. But we have succeeded in enough places to be here today after forty years of marriage, healed, happy, healthy, and hopeful for the future that is in front of us. If the dash in these last forty years means anything it means that nothing in our future can stop us from having a future. The Lord has shined His face upon us. He has put His hand on us to bless us. He has given us His favor and His loving kindness for life.
David and Pat