I never wanted to date a pastor – ever – so dating Pastor Jacksyn was a completely new experience for me. We lip-synched words to songs actors sung as we sat in the balcony at the opera house and we dined at hidden treasure restaurants that looked like Grandma’s Alabama country cabin. He was so sophisticated and I was so cultured that overnight we swept each other off our feet.
I warmly nicknamed him PJ, short for Pastor Jacksyn, and he affectionately called me Dearheart. It just didn’t seem right to continue calling him Pastor Jacksyn when we were spending so much time together. Over the next several months, it was a whirlwind romance. Quick calls turned into endless conversations about work, church, school, kids, family, future, money, and everything in between.
During a weekend trip to Nashville, we vowed not to have sex before marriage. PJ didn’t want to because the bible said fornication was sinful. I wanted to because, well, I just did. I guess I was a sinner like that. During our courtship, we would broach the subject again but PJ always had the final say.
“I don’t want to disappoint God,” he would admonish. Poking my lip out and sheepishly batting my eyes, I would relentlessly give in to his positive influence.
“Well, I don’t want to disappoint you,” would be my reply.
He treated Savannah like a star, bringing her gifts and teaching her new, big words. After church, the entire congregation would laugh and point as she pushed herself out of my grasp and ran up to him, holding onto his leg while he warmly greeted them.
The church mothers would inquire about Savannah’s love for Pastor, our eye contact, and slight smiles during bible study, but we never let on.
Only during our personal, intimate moments did we let our guard down, relaxing to enjoy the simple sounds of each other’s voice...