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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

My Ebenezer Box: The Matchmaking Miracle

by Marilynn Chadwick

Life was exciting at the large, southern university I attended in the 1970s. I was more absorbed with fun, football games, and finding myself than I was with finding God. But when I accepted Christ the summer after my junior year, my whole world shifted. Until then, I had dated a number of perfectly nice guys. But now I began to yearn for a man who had a passion to serve God. I confided in the Lord about my hunger for a companion with whom I could share my spiritual life. 

After college, I moved to Atlanta and started my corporate dream job. I had yet to find my spiritual soul mate, but had considerable time to formulate my “checklist.” I wanted him to be handsome. Tall and athletic would be nice, as would a sense of humor, maybe even musical. But I was adamant about one thing—his heart for God. 

When I invited God to take control of my life a year earlier, I didn't know where to go or what to do next. I went to a local bookstore and looked under the Religion section to find some answers. I stumbled upon A Man Called Peter, the story of Peter Marshall, the famed Scottish-born preacher and chaplain to the United States Senate. The author, his wife Catherine, tells the wonderful story of their romantic meeting and life of adventure as they served God together. I had always said I’d never marry a minister. But after reading Catherine and Peter Marshall’s story, a thought flashed through my mind, “I have this strange sense that I’m going to marry a minister.” For the first time, that thought did not terrify me, which in itself was a little scary.

Soon after moving to Atlanta, a friend set me up on a blind date. David Chadwick, I would learn, was a former college basketball player. He had a wonderful sense of humor, played the guitar, and happened to be very handsome. He was also studying to be a minister

Steve, the guy that set us up, kept pestering David to ask me out, insisting that our “auras matched.” You have to remember—this was the seventies! An old high school friend, who was now a member of the college ministry David was leading, called to fill me in on this David Chadwick. “You are really going to like this guy,” she assured me. “He played basketball at the University of North Carolina and pro basketball in Europe. He has traveled a lot and done some pretty incredible things—plus, he stayed humble in spite of it all.” As David tells his side of the story, Donna called him and simply said, “Are you ready to fall in love?” 

The first time I visited Columbia Seminary in Decatur, where David was a student, I noticed a brass plaque on the brick wall of his dorm. I glanced at the inscription and caught my breath. The plaque was dedicated in loving memory to a noteworthy man of God who had prepared for the ministry at this historic seminary. He had lived in that very dormitory. His name? Peter Marshall. If I was looking for a sign from God, this surely seemed to be it! David and I were married on May 20, 1978, almost ten months to the day after our first date. We have Donna and Steve to thank, but it was really God who was in the matchmaking business! I always go back to a memento from this story in my Ebenezer Box so as to never forget.

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