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Monday, July 1, 2013

What God Has Joined Together, Let No Man Separate...

I was 17, a senior in high school and very much unavailable.

He was not 17, not in high school anymore and way too mature for me.

We shared a tiny office where they sold insurance.

I had big red 80's hair and a tiny waist…

He was handsome, dressed nice, smelled nice and always called me Sunshine.

We met in September 1988 but we would soon find out our lives were connected many years before.

Me at 17
There was this elderly lady who took an interest in my fathers preaching when I was just a little girl.  She attended our church with her husband and brought us kids, butterscotch candies every Wednesday Night.  She loved to hear my father preach and tried to make sure he had what he needed to do the work of the LORD.  Sometimes, Mom and Dad would pack up all four of the kids and head to Pennsylvania (which seemed so very far away to a child) to visit this couple.  We would walk into her home and I being a small child would try and hold my breath because it had a strong strong odor.  Found out later, it was moth balls…YUCK!!!  I would try not to inhale but because I am human and need air, I always failed and suffered.

 The life of a Pastors child was not always pleasant.

The lady would offer us something sweet to eat and she always had honey in the honey comb in a jar on her counter…this I thought was way cool.  I loved this couple.  She was a little bossy and he was sweet and quiet.  He had a wig that I think was for church and they lived in a white house with black shutters.  It seemed to me that we stayed for hours and hours but then again, I was just a kid.  Her name was Inez Jones and she was married to Sam Jones.  Before we left, we always held hands in a circle and had prayer.  Then all six of us would pile back into the car for the long drive home…like a whole hour…lol.

Bo right before we got married…not 17
Back to 1988, Rising Sun, Maryland, Wilson Road, Haines Insurance Agency…

Young Kimi Estep and young Bo VanDyke meet. 

Bo starts asking me questions about my church and family.

I am getting  a little annoyed and I think he is making fun of me and my father…not a good idea by the way.

But a friendship blossoms and we find that we really get along.

One day we are talking and he tells me that his Great Aunt used to talk about a little girl that she called, Little Kimi Estep.  I was stunned and asked who is Aunt was.  He said her name was Inez.  Well, being a child when I knew her, I had no idea what her first name was.  So I asked what her last name was.  He replied, "Jones.  She was married to my Uncle Sam."  Well you could have knocked me over with a feather.  I was stunned.  "Sister Jones was your Aunt?", I said.  "Yes, she was my mothers Aunt.  My Granny Pritchard's older sister." Talk about a small world.  This man was related to the people who influenced my father, he was related to the people who prayed for us and had a smelly but clean house.

Granny Pritchard…the one in the jacket…Inez's younger sister
Connections that we had no idea were there.  God weaving his threads into two lives that would become one many years later.  The church and family that this lady, Inez Jones poured prayer on, her great nephew that she prayed over and anointed with oil, would become joined years after her death.  Can you see the workings of the Lord here?  Now not only her prayers are in the house, but her blood, her family and generations to follow.  She planted a seed in this house and her legacy lives on.  AMAZING.
My Parents…Bishop Ronald Estep & Pastor Lorraine Estep

Bo's Parents…Inez's niece, Joan VanDyke & Jake VanDyke

On July 1, 1989, Bo and I were married at the altar in the church where Inez Jones prayed.  Little Kimi Estep and her great nephew Bo VanDyke became one.  Yup, I was young…wayyyyyy young but God helped us through the rough spots of my immaturity and today we have been married 24 years!!!!

No longer 17, no longer have big red 80's hair, Haines Insurance has turned into VanDyke Insurance Group, we have had many cars, three children, owned two homes, have a grandson, we have gone to many countries and prayed many prayers.  He still calls me Sunshine (sometimes) and I still like his car.  Our lives are full of love, God, family and friends.  We laugh, we fuss, we like to hold hands and we still pick at each other.  He challenges me and I challenge him.  He is my safe place, his arms still make me feel protected.  His eyes still sparkle and his kiss still sends chills all over me.  I love to hear him preach and I love his giving spirit.

Yes, Bo as Joe Dirt.  He still makes me laugh.
I wonder if Inez Jones had a little talk with God and put things in motion…hmmm?

Bo & I while we were dating.  Daddy and Ronald being crazy.
BTW…lovin Ronald's muscle shirt…lol
I wonder if she sees the fruits of her labor?

I wonder if she knows what an impact she had on so many lives that were once disconnected but GOD?
Esteps & VanDyke's at Juliana & Aarons Wedding

I wonder what He has planned next?

Our first Easter…1989

I am thankful for the past 24 years and I am looking forward to many many many more being married to my Prince Charming.  I love you Bo VanDyke!!!  Happy Anniversary!!

So Happy Together!!


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