There once sat a tall oak tree on the very top of the property owned by my family. I distinctly remember it as a child. It was tall and majestic — one of those things you could never forget. My grandparents had farmed the land and kept it up, so while there for the summers, I spent many days around that tree. 

To be honest, as a child, I never thought much of it. It was big and beautiful, but other than that, it was just a tree. As I grew older and many years had passed, the land changed and my grandparents became older and the farming slowed down. The one constant that never changed was the tree. 

At one point, my uncle began to raise cattle on the land, and I didn’t visit it as often. I started to forget about the tree — after all, it was just a tree, and I didn’t think at the time it would be very significant in my life. 

As time passed on, I grew older and began to date. In those dating years, I met a few bad apples. I learned some hard lessons and matured. The older I got, the more my “list” changed. I remember writing down all the things that I wanted in a future husband. Tall, dark, handsome, maybe a doctor … and the list goes on. 

In the spring of 2001, I was introduced to a fella. I didn’t think much of it at the time. He checked off the boxes, except for being a doctor, though he was in college and working towards a degree in the medical field. It didn’t take long until I was falling for him. 

We had gone on dates and talked for hours on the phone. We talked about life and plans and all the normal things. I knew at the time there was something different about him. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. It was like we were meant to be together. God had strategically planned this. The way we met, the things we went through together. It was all a part of a greater plan. 

I, like any other young lady, needed some type of confirmation. I remember one day he took me to visit his parents. They had a beautiful piece of property, and his mom loved to get out and walk it, so we did just that. She showed me everything, and we talked and walked until we stopped at the top of the property. I remember looking up and seeing this tall oak tree on the property that joined at the back. 

I looked over at them and told them how familiar that tree looked to me. It reminded me so much of the one from my family's property I had spent so much time around as a child. I knew my family’s property was close by, but there was no way that could be it. I asked his mom who owned the property, and she told me that the gentleman had at one time had cattle on it and she would actually feed them. 

I began to ask more questions until it finally hit me. This was my family’s property, and that was the tree. There was just one thing left to do. I still had an aunt that lived on the property, so over the fence we went, and the journey began there. 

I was looking for a sign, and I got it. Not only had God divinely planned our meeting, but He had already joined our families together before we had even met. We actually spent the first few years of our marriage living right by the oak tree and raising two little kids.

Now after 21 years of marriage filled with a few hard times, sleepless nights, busy lives and lots of love and forgiveness, our marriage, much like that tall oak tree, is still standing. 

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