When Chad and Amy Massey married 30 years ago, their wedding picture was printed on the front page of The Alabama Baptist. The article shared a lot of their story, from the heart condition Amy was diagnosed with a month before the wedding all the way to the spiral candelabras they decorated with for their big day at First Baptist Church, Jasper.
But there was one thing the article didn’t share.
“People had told us we probably wouldn’t make it, that we were too young,” Chad said. He was 19 when they got married. His bride was 18.
“My younger daughter is 19, and there’s no way I’d give her permission to do that now,” he joked. “I don’t know what our parents were thinking, saying yes to that.”
Chad — now pastor of First Baptist Church, Dawes, in Mobile — speaks as someone who knows how much can happen in 30 years. A few years after they married, Amy’s enlarged heart caused her to have a stroke, and that set her on a journey to relearn how to use her left side. Ten years after that, she received a heart transplant.
After that, they reversed caretaker roles when Chad was diagnosed with a condition that didn’t allow fluid to drain from his brain. He also battled cancer.
But through it all, everything has made them “stronger and stronger,” he said. “We can look back through every situation and see where God had worked in our lives.”
Amy said that it all came down to their faith and a decision they made early on in their young marriage — “I think we just decided we weren’t ever going to give up on each other.”