Forty-five years ago today, August 27, 1966, God began working a miracle that would someday prove what a sense of humor God has. You could not find two people who were more opposite in every way than Sandra Groves and Earl Timmons, yet God brought them together to be married on that day. He must have been looking down from Heaven chuckling, knowing how naïve we both were about all we would have to battle because of our differences. In fact, we were so different that as we stood in the receiving line after the wedding, a family friend of many years came by to congratulate us; he looked at us, shook his head, and said (and I quote!), “It will never last.” He knew us well! Needless to say, we called him on our 25th anniversary to inform him that, so far, he was wrong!
People often are curious about how I ended up marrying Earl, and I tell them that I was just “young and dumb.” In fact, we were both too young and dumb to be getting married, especially by today’s standards: I was 19 ½ , and he was an “older guy”—21 ½ . Very often, we have been asked how we have made it work, and while I would love to give a deeply spiritual answer, the only honest thing that I can say is that we were both too stubborn to admit defeat.
Besides, my dad, even though he loved me, told me that once I was married, I wouldn’t be living at his house again: when there were differences between Earl and me, we were to work them out. And we have! I now understand why numerous people gave us the Scripture Ephesians 4:26 as advice on how to keep a marriage going. …let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Earl likes to tell people that sometimes we have stayed up for days without sleep just to keep that Scripture true.
I would love to say that it has been a wonderful 45-year run with no problems. First of all, you would know that I was lying, and, second, I would be denying the many miracles God has done for us and through us. There have been some tough times—some really tough times; but we have hung on and survived. Many years later in retrospect, I know that if we had realized 45 years ago that we had so many things going against us, we probably wouldn’t have gotten married. What a horrible thought! Thank you, God, for my ignorance at that age. I can’t imagine my life without William Earl Timmons! I am a very blessed woman!