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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Thirty years ago today I took a walk. A long walk. I was living in Mainz, Germany, home of Herr Gutenberg. I was on a summer missions trip, living with a Canadian family with four children. It seemed like a huge family. And I had made up my mind to walk. I think better when my legs are moving.

On the walk I made up my mind to ask a girl I knew to marry me. She was four years older than me, but I decided that really didn't matter.

I went to a little German jewelry shop and bought a gold heart and had him inscribe, "Ich Liebe Dich" on it. Maybe that was not on this walk, it was probably a later one, because it would have taken a lot of faith to believe she would say "yes" to me.

It was clear to me that day that I was to do this thing. I heard God telling me, "This is the one." The Proverb that morning, chapter 18, had a telling verse. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing..." I was sure. There was no doubt. The walk confirmed it. So I went back to the family's home, calculated the time difference, and called her at her parent's house in Columbus, Ohio. I knew she was visiting there because she had written a letter saying such. (For those who don't know, letters are things you write and send in the mail that take a long time to get to the other person.)

No one told me it's bad form to propose over the phone from Germany. I'm not proud of that decision, but I was 21. I knew very little about life. I did know I should talk with her father and ask his permission, which I eventually did. But why go through that talk with George if she said no, right? Looking back, it feels a little selfish, a little self-protected to propose over the phone. It's something a boy does, not a man. But admitting that shows I've grown a little. It is what it is.

The phone had a counter with numbers on it. I am not making this up. On local calls it moved at a snail's pace. On long distance it moved faster. An overseas call was like watching fruit on a slot machine. So I got up the nerve and dialed and watched the numbers click click click as I talked.

Even while proposing I was counting the cost. I just realized that. This money thing, spending anything, has haunted me my whole life. If funeral homes ever have casket sales, I will probably time my death to coincide. But I digress.

I can't remember what I said or how I said it. I think I wrote it down and told her I took a walk that day and made a decision. I also remember the butterflies and fear, but also the resolve. And I remember her laugh and surprise and, dare I say, joy when she heard the question. I like to think I got down on one knee, but I don't think I could see the counter on the phone from down there. In my heart I was kneeling.

And then I remember hearing her tell me she would think about it and call me back.

I am not making this up.

Seriously, she said she'd call me back. Which, now that I think about it, was a considerate thing since the numbers were churning so quickly.

I thought it was over. I figured I'd hear her say, "Well, this is very nice of you. I'm honored. Why don't we talk about it when you get back? When you're a little older?" I wondered what my mother would look like with an "I Love You" gold heart around her neck.


Then the phone rang.

She said yes. I'll be your wife.

July 18, 1982.

Thirty years ago today.

9 comments:

debbyrose said...

VERY romantic! And wonderful that you remember the date.

Louis Zezza said...

Happy Anniversary! I think momma Fabry needs a vacation!

Meg said...

She couldn't have chosen anyone better daddy!

Mrs Tracy Koehn said...

Very sweet story! My husband and I had a long distance relationship too. He was in WA State and I was in OK. Might as well have been Germany! The first time he said I love you was over Yahoo IM.... I didn't say I love you back until several days later on the phone... after he said it again. I knew I loved him long before, I just wasn't prepared for it that minute so I waited. He did come down to OK (one of the 3 times we were together before we were engaged) and propose a month before I moved up here to plan the wedding. We were unofficially engaged for quite some time. Now it's 4 years later and we're finally expecting our first child this fall. God is good. Your relationship is another example of that! May you have many great and wonderful years in the future!

Betty Rotha said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Now you can go for another thirty. Love your show and the great tips from Andrea.

Anonymous said...

I really think this is some sort of "social engineering" experiment. Of course, you know exactly the consensus reaction. This is a manipulative sales technique to give the listener a self-generated affirmation. Why bait the unknowing with such a story. Is this some kind of pity-party? You made it sound like a major "life changing" event like abortion, murder or severe abuse. Those are big regrettable events. I'm sorry but this one set me over the edge. Life is not about making sure you are always having a "Hallmark moment." We do your best with the faith that was given us, and the trust that God knows how to take care of everything else. Again, I think your approach to this topic was manipulative and bogus.

Pamela said...

My story is the flip-side of Chris Fabry’s. I met my husband over the phone. I had been divorced about five years and had kissed too many frogs. I told God, I wanted a man after His heart.
My future husband was a pastor who had just recently been divorced. I liked his spirit, but didn’t know a whole lot about him and figured he needed time to heal. He had other ideas. About three months into our relationship he planned the perfect evening…great Italian restaurant, red roses at our table and a “special” dessert.
When the chocolate piano arrived, inside was my engagement ring. But when he asked the question, I was speechless. So many thoughts raced through my mind…then finally, I said yes. I thought, “We will have a long engagement.”
That June, we arranged a trip for him to meet my father. Between the time we left town and when we arrived, my father had fallen in the shower at the assisted living facility, had a stroke and passed away. God is always on time. I lost one significant man, but He brought me another to help and support me through the loss. We were married in October.
This year, we will celebrate 18 years of marriage. My husband once told me, before I met you, God showed me your smile, and said I should love you. I’m so glad he obeyed and so glad I said yes.

Janice said...

So glad I visited your site today to see this beautiful beginning remembered!

My husband and I have read many of your books in the car while we comute home from work. I am looking forward to the one coming out in October. We love the humor in your books. Your characters are so real.

Blessings on your anniversary!
Janice S. Garey

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!! Beautifully written.