This Curt Jones Guy

June 16, 2000, is when everything changed.

I’d just finished my sophomore year of college and was one of four summer interns working in the missions department at my home church. The other interns were Kay Bridgwater, whom I’d grown up with, and Jerrell Altic, a college student from Missouri. Kay and Jerrell had met the previous summer as missions interns and by the end of it they were in l-o-v-e. The fourth intern was going to be another guy from Missouri named Curt Jones. Everyone already knew him well but I’d never met him. Strangely, our two bosses, William and Bob, seemed to think This Curt Jones Guy and I were going to hit it off and get married.

Seriously? For once I was hoping not to be distracted by a boy. I didn’t really want to hear about my supposed future with some guy from Missouri named Curt Jones. At the same time, Curt Jones was having to hear about some chick named Amanda Moore down in Houston and he didn’t really want to hear it either.

The week of June 16, 2000, we were in Missouri helping lead an event called Mission Vision. Mission Vision consisted of a handful of youth groups and leaders staying in Hamlin Baptist Church. We did missions training and various projects during the day and at night we had speakers, a drama group called Clear Vision, and worship with By the Tree.

After Mission Vision, This Curt Jones Guy was going to come back to Houston with us and work for the rest of the summer. I hoped that at least he’d be cool and we’d get along well.

I should mention that I didn’t even want to go to Mission Vision. I can’t remember how I justified to my boss, William Taylor, that I would need to come home early. He conceded and I had a plane ticket to get me home in the middle of the week. I was such a good intern! Bless my heart, we were only a week into the job and I’d not yet realized how much dying to self ministry requires. I’m definitely not done learning that lesson.

Back to June 16, 2000.

Mission Vision hadn’t yet started. Jerrell, Kay and I drove over to the home of This Curt Jones Guy to pick him up and go to a water park in Branson for the day. Curtis got in Jerrell’s Chevy Blazer and had his cap so low over his face that I couldn’t even tell what he looked like. Of course I was trying to figure that out. Even though I was trying not to go there, I remember reasoning that if our bosses’ predictions turned out to be right, I would always remember meeting him there in the driveway. But surely they were wrong.

We had a great time at Whitewater with no shortage of awkward moments. Really, who wants to be in a bathing suit the first time they meet a new co-worker? At one point we were waiting to get our tubes to take up to the top of a water slide. I was first in line and the next tube that came was a double. If I took it, then I’d have to get in it with This Curt Jones Guy I barely knew. No thank you. I let it pass and took a single. Awkward! Jerrell, of course, called attention to the weird moment and I’ve never lived it down.

I couldn’t tell what Curt’s personality was like until the four of us had a little brainstorming session while sitting in front of the wave pool on some lounge chairs. Curt was in charge of student recreation at Mission Vision and we were helping him think of  a theme. Here’s what we came up with in our 20-year-old humor and brilliance – The Toilet Bowl: Like the Super Bowl, but Different! Nice, right? The daily rec prizes were a plunger, a toilet paper roll, a toilet seat, and a bed pan. We spray painted everything gold. And that is how I bonded with my future husband.

That night – June 16, 2000 – found the four of us praying in Jerrell’s parents’ living room. We prayed for Mission Vision and for our summer serving together. I got a peek into the heart of This Curt Jones Guy as he prayed for God to be exalted.

The recreation ministry required many, many trips to Walmart and Curtis always invited me to ride along with him. I’ve never been a big fan of Walmart, but I have a lot of affection for this one particular store where I happened to fall in love with my husband. We’ve never really had a song, but we do have “our Walmart.”

I remember seeing Curt’s sweet Grandma Dixon for the first time. She was serving food to all the students and I thought she and Curtis looked alike. Curt’s younger sister, Lindsay, was attending Mission Vision as a high school student. We shared a mirror one morning in the bathroom and I wondered if I would be getting to know her soon.

It was only by God’s grace and sovereignty that I ever got the job as a missions intern. Unfortunately, I’d skipped out on the youth group experience in high school and had never been on a mission trip. We were training kids how to share their faith and I had no idea how to share mine! Every day we took a group of kids to a different setting to share their faith. Curtis took it upon himself to be my partner and teach me how to do this. I’m naturally a pretty shy person and witnessing to someone I didn’t know was way, way, way outside my comfort zone. But Curtis was amazing at it. I was blown away watching him turn countless conversations with strangers toward Christ.

Not only was This Curt Jones Guy funny, not only was he great at leading rec time, not only did he have beautiful blue eyes that both of my children now have, he was passionate about leading people to Christ. I liked this guy! Curtis and I have a deep sense of partnership in ministry and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s because of those times we went out and shared our faith together.

Needless to say, I decided to cancel my mid-week trip home.

On the last full day of Mission Vision, we went to do some evangelism on Commercial Street. I really liked This Curt Jones Guy but I didn’t know if we would be more than friends. Another leader even asked me if we liked each other and I denied it. A few minutes later Curtis and I went into a soda fountain type of place and sat down at the counter. We ordered Dr. Peppers and hoped to share the Gospel with the server. The first thing out of the server’s mouth was, “Are you two married?” It was becoming clear that God was growing our hearts together. That night we finally admitted to each other what had been obvious to everyone else.

The day after Mission Vision wrapped up, I was supposed to fly home with Kay and Jerrell and Curtis was going to drive his car down to Houston. I decided to cancel my flight – again – and make the drive with Curtis. We had twelve hours to talk about everything under the sun. Every time we make that drive from Springfield to Houston, we point out all the places we stopped on our first trip. A lot of times we play the old Shane and Shane and Enter the Worship Circle CD’s we listened to. I had no idea how familiar I would become with those small towns along the road in Oklahoma. There are some very creatively named churches along the way, which inspired a game called “What would you name a church?” When we stopped to get gas in Huntsville, Texas, I called Mom and said that This Curt Jones Guy and I would be home soon and to please make Dad behave. They instantly knew.

Next week we get to celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary and our tenth year of being together. There’s something so great about knowing we’ve been together for a decade. I love it. It feels like something to celebrate.

A few years ago my engagement ring cracked where I’d had it re-sized. I had it repaired but it was wearing very thin again. While we were in Missouri I took my engagement ring to the jeweler it was purchased from and had them make me a new white gold tiffany setting. I handed over my ring and watched the jeweler pry open the prongs and dump out the diamond. It had an unbelievable amount of gunk underneath it. If nothing else, it would look a hundred times better just from the  stone being cleaned! They handed the old ring back to me empty. I waited in anticipation for five days and finally, on our way home from Silver Dollar City in Branson, I got to pick up my diamond in a brand new band. It was beautiful! My round solitaire looked so happy and shiny. It had been a long time since it looked like that. I sort of wished I’d made this investment sooner. If Curtis had given me a brand new diamond three times as big as that one it would not have thrilled me as much as seeing that same one looking just as pretty as the day he gave it to me. Prettier, really, since it represented everything that we have been through and done together.

Our marriages are somewhat like my engagement ring. The core – the diamond – holds a great love story with lots of passion and commitment. But everyday wear and tear and the occasional traumatic event can do a number on the metal that holds it together. Some of our rings could just use some polishing while others need some real restoration. God can do both! Remember that He loves marriage. He created it, after all. I’m praying that God will show each one of us a specific way we can invest in our marriage to strengthen it and bring out its beauty.

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252 Responses to “This Curt Jones Guy”

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Comments:

  1. 201
    Angie says:

    What a sweet post. Thanks for sharing! And my husband and I also have a Wal-Mart! Ours is in Tulsa.

  2. 202
    Darci says:

    Wonderful story about marriage, I so enjoyed it!~

  3. 203
    Kathy B says:

    Happy Anniversary Amanda and Curt! You and your whole family are so dear to allow us into your lives. Yes, that’s part of ministry, but not something that has come naturally for me. I guess ministry should never come “naturally” though, should it? Thanks for even sharing your nicknames. Those can be such tender terms of endearment. What a gracious soul to be willing to share those with almost perfect strangers/blog siestas/real live sisters in Christ. I even noticed that Melissa “signed” her name, Melis, on some of her replies. Very darling. And just for that y’all can call me Kath. (up ’til now only my family of origin has called me that)

  4. 204
    Holly says:

    I love this story. It is so precious, and it is so sweet of you to share.

  5. 205
    Cindy says:

    Thank you for sharing your ‘love story’…God is wonderful! I know the post was more about God’s gift of marriage and your analogy with the diamond was great but I have to share an ‘aside.’ Several years ago – probably about this time-frame you’re sharing, Jerrell (& a couple of others) came to our church (Cornerstone Baptist in Richland, MO) and worked with the youth. I will always remember what a ‘heart for Jesus’ that young man had. Knowing Jerrell for that short time gives me a snapshot of how wonderful This Curt Jones Guy is. Amanda, you have a gift of writing….your words make ‘mind pictures’ come to life….if that makes sense?! Blessings & Happy Anniversary to you and Curt and may God give you many, many more! Thanks so much for sharing your family with us!!
    Cindy

  6. 206
    Erin in Chilli says:

    Wow, love the illustration of marriage being like an engagement ring! The core is strong and beautiful, but the metal holding it together can get pretty bumped, bruised and banged up! We all need to remember to take our marriages in for a polish now and then!

  7. 207
    Wendy S says:

    Thank you for your story and analogy. Our marriage needs lots of work. We are opposite like night and day, and there are equally as many issues to work through. But, by God’s goodness and grace, I hope one day to see His beauty and goodness shine through our relationship.

  8. 208
    Julie says:

    What a “God-inspired” analogy of marriage! Thank you for sharing your “love story” with us.

  9. 209
    Melissa May says:

    Thanks for such a sweet, happy story! : ) Fits so perfectly, too, with Melissa’s post about our culture of sorrow… We have to celebrate and appreciate the happy, joyful things in life and not feel bad about it! Happy anniversary to both of you!

  10. 210
    A. Anonymous says:

    I’m happy for you, Amanda. Count yourself lucky and blessed to have found your dream played out just as it should and so early in life…to have experienced the love of your life and kids for the past decade. Please do remember, though, the few of us who have not gotten a hint of this, even at the age of 45. I’m not divorced or widowed, just never gotten to even approach the chance to marry. Just writing to remind others of the view from the other side. Yes, I have my health, my job, and I THANK GOD every day for that, all the time. I’ll be honest to say that I read post after post of something I may never have a part of. As you said, marriage is not a bed of roses, but neither is being the odd man (or woman) out in this world, and YES, even especially at church. Thanks for your prayers.

  11. 211
    aussie monica says:

    we are 10 years june 17. crazy.

  12. 212
    Beth Herring says:

    Happy early anniversary Amanda and Curt! Such a beautiful family – I pray nothing but generous grace and blessings upon you!

  13. 213
    yaya says:

    I Lost my diamond weeding ring this last week somewhere inside my house.NOWHERE to be found!I am HeartBroken.cry all weekend.this November will be Married 10 years and have no weeding Ring!

    • 213.1
      rene says:

      Dearest yaya,
      Keep asking the Lord to show you where it is!!! I lost my wedding ring the first time when my 3 kids were little and we were visiting at my mom’s. After an exhaustive search, finally bought a cubic zir. ring and wore it for several years. Told the Lord I would so love to have my ring again, but it was His anyway, so He could do as He pleased with it. Sure hoped He would be pleased to RETURN it!! About 4 years later, my mom was going through a small stack of kindergarten papers (she was a teacher) and always had extra for my kids to do when we came for a visit. And inbetween that stack was my wedding rings!!! SO grateful she checked w/o throwing the WHOLE stack in the trash!! Was overjoyed that I had it back again!! BUT that’s not the end!! Fast forward 3 years later…2 days before the birth of our 4 child, I looked down that evening at my ring, and the solitare diamond was GONE!!! I had been “nesting” all day, cleaned everywhere, run a 1,000 errrands. Could’a been ANYWHERE!! I started sobbing that I was gonna have a baby and people would think I wasn’t married! (hormones make us crazy, right?!!) Told the Lord, you give and take away, it is STILL yours. Had no insurance on it. Been through this before, as sad as I was, thought what’s a diamond when I have so many other blessings in my life. But sad, nonetheless. Six days later, I was home changing the baby’s diaper on the changing table, when something shiny cought my eye on the floor. Bent down to see what it was, a sequin from another child’s dress up…then, saw my diamond laying on the carpet under the table just right there?!!! Started sobbing so hard, my mom came running in to see if I had dropped the baby!!!haha No, just the absolute generous gift of Jesus giving me a gift He did not have to give me….again.(are you reading between the lines?!) So, I am praying right now for the Holy Spirit to show you where your ring is in his timing, and for you to have peace from Him regardless of the outcome. ((hug)), rene 😀

      • yaya says:

        wowwwww rene,Thanks so Much…..I read your email late last night couldn’t help it but cry…your prayers worked wonders today was the first day with NO tears..and still no ring..:-)I LOVE when you said that you “Told the Lord, you give and take away” today i had a smile on my face because of your sweet testimony.Thanks again.
        Many Blessings to you and your family.
        Yaya>

  14. 214
    3under2 says:

    Your story was so much fun to read. My family and I live in the parts of Missouri you were talking about. Love Silver Dollar City!
    Happy Anniversary tomorrow!

  15. 215
    Aunt B says:

    Amanda, Truly this is a beautiful love story. Even being very familiar with this beautiful testimony of the Lord, I am blessed to have read it today! It brought such joy,laughter and praise to my heart. I praise God knowing that you are a Godly wife, Godly mother, Godly daughter, Godly friend and servant. I love you dearly and all of your precious family. May God continue to hewn out His wisdom in your life as you seek Him. Love you so much! Aunt B

  16. 216
    Tracy says:

    Thank you…I needed to hear that! God is good and leads us to what we need to hear if we will only follow.

  17. 217
    Rhonda Green says:

    Just had to tell you. Last Easter, I put the Believing God day by day in each of my children’s Easter Baskets. (They are 19, 21 and 24 and yes we still do Easter baskets and mom insists what is in them has some eternal significance with some candy) Anyway, I wondered what would happen to those three books. One has laid by the bedside of my youngest daughter after her summer return from college. Yesterday, her facebook status was
    “Faith is never the denial of reality: it is belief in a greater reality – thanks Beth Moore.”

    This is from a quiet little girl who does not say much about her faith.
    Thank you and thanks to your publisher. I love this study and am so thankful I could laugh with joy.
    Sincerely, Rhonda (SMT 2010 one of the 4 Barker sisters

  18. 218
    Amanda in PA says:

    Happy belated anniversary! We celebrate the 15th as the anniversary of when our love began too. We were aquaintance friends and attended the wedding of a sorority sister and fraternity brother. At the reception, we started talking and spent the whole evening chatting and laughing. Sadly, the marriage of our friends ended, but we are still going strong- almost 12 yrs of marriage and three kids later!

  19. 219

    Amanda,
    I just read your blog about your relationship with Curt. It encouraged me deeply. My husband and I are going to celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary this month. Our story didn’t start as sweetly as yours. However, a year and a half into it, the Lord saved us on the same night. How great is that? I’ve always said the Lord knew He couldn’t trust me with an unsaved husband. I would have tried too hard to do what only He could do. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Carol

  20. 220

    Hey Amanda, loved this post on your blog! You do have a beautiful love story:):) Praise the Lord that He is able to hold our marriages together!

    Super Blessings to you and happiest anniversary:)

    katiegfromtennessee

  21. 221
    Anna says:

    Amanda,

    I have just had the privilege recently to become a regular subscriber to the LPM blog. I did a little search into your blogs today and found this one. I LOVED reading your story. God is awesome and you are so blessed. I was blessed by reading your story.

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