To be clear, Debi and Michael's story is NOT a love story. There is precious little love involved and a whole heap of red flags.
I had just turned thirteen when I first saw him and knew, just simply knew, he was my man. If he had glanced over and been able to read my mind he would have surely laughed. (...)The whole community had been talking about the famous, young preacher who had been invited to speak at First Baptist Church's Teen Retreat. (...) My young mind quickly assessed him. He seemed bigger than life, a super, in charge type of man. I guessed he must have been at least 21 years old. (...)
Anyways, God had never talked to me before; why would he start now and tell me this? I was just a kid.
Debi has a crush! That's really neat and totally age-appropriate for her.
There was a serious storm warning that day. Tornadoes were expected. The church leaders almost decided to cancel the youth event due to the storm, but since the preacher was so important, they decided to take the chance.
Wait, what? The elders of your church saw that severe, dangerous weather was on the way and decided that the youth of the church were better off RISKING THEIR LIVES to listen to the preacher than rescheduling the meeting. Me thinks some hyperbole is slipping into Debi's story.
I sat at the a lodge with about 30 other teenagers, all who seemed years older and way cooler than me.
The teenage girls were acting like they were afraid of the storm. Obviously they thought their twittering would make them appear more femininely attractive. The boys were playing macho, "Bring it on, we can handle a silly old tornado." Looking around, I groaned with disgust. All this teenage nonsense was so stupid. (...) I did not relate to the hormone-driven game. (...) Why should I have to go to the retreat with a bunch of old snobs? It wasn't even our church, so I didn't know many of the kids there. It was clear they dismissed me as a snotty kid not worthy of any notice.
This is Debi's trademark way of dealing with women. If women don't give her unconditional respect, Debi runs them into the ground.
When girls act scared and boys act macho to attract each others attention, modern English has a term for that behavior. It's called FLIRTING. While Debi is clearly scornful of the girls who were flirting by acting scared, she misses the main point which is that the boys were responding positively to the girls' fear. The other teenagers were having fun! By flirting! How horrible of them!
My mental image in this section is that Debi's body language is screaming "I'm so much better than all of you pigs" while she actually feels lonely or afraid or bored.
Finally Michael, the big brother, began to preach. I don't remember if it happened at the beginning of his message or in the middle or maybe even towards the end, but sometime while he was preaching the gospel, God spoke to me. "He's the one you will marry."
Whoa, I thought, I don't even need to wear a bra yet, and God is letting me know who I will marry? I clearly remember thinking, this is just too weird... he is too old and I am just a little kid. (...) Anyway, like the child I was, I simply believed in God. I was too young to realize what a monumental thing had just happened.
Debi, in all honesty, I wish for your sake you had gone with your first instinct. He was too old and you were a little kid. Over the next few years, you were so blinded by the fact you thought God told you were going to marry Michael that you missed some huge red flags showing Michael's narcissistic tendencies. I believe you have suffered much over the last four decades because you ignored the common sense that God gave you and married a man who, bluntly, doesn't deserve you.
The little bit I've covered so far has left me wiped out so I'm gonna stop here for today.
I'd like to end each post with what I think of as an Anti-Pearl - a quote that supports a healthier worldview than the Pearls.
Marriage should be a duet - when one sings, the other claps.