The first time I laid eyes on Marty Marriott, he was sitting in Dr. Cedarholm’s office (now Dr. Oats office) with my pastor from Fort Atkinson. I quickly stepped into the office to let my pastor know I would be at church the following Sunday. As I spoke to my pastor, I could not help but notice Marty. I was drawn to him, but I didn’t even know him. Of course, he was handsome. But there was something compelling about his countenance—he seemed like he was glowing! Well, I went back into the hallway and up the stairs—I was waiting for my date—and evidently Marty followed me with his eyes. When he turned back to his pastor, his pastor said, “Oh, forget it, she’s engaged!”
Over the summer, my fiancé and I broke up. And when Marty went home that summer, he prayed God would give him a girl like the one he saw at Maranatha. When I came back to Maranatha that fall, I did not recognize Marty right away—his hair was shorter, and he was wearing a dress shirt and tie. After I got to know him and we started dating, he told me he had seen me before. We put the pieces together and it was an incredibly significant moment for both of us—to realize that God had answered Marty’s prayer “exceeding abundantly above all,” not with a girl like the one he saw, but with that very same girl.
Marty was involved in activities that were really vital. This is what caught my attention. He pursued anything that was about sharing the gospel. As a dating couple, while we waited in line for dinner, we memorized Scripture together because he didn’t want to waste our time. I was so impressed with his spiritual leadership, and I knew God’s hand was on his life.
Marty and I have been married for 37 years. We have three married children, seven grandchildren, and, we pray, one more grandchild being adopted from Ethiopia very soon. As I look at my lifetime sweetheart, I’m thankful for a man who lives John 12:24: Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.