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GOD & TEXAS: Love Story

“Love is a lot like a toothache. It doesn't show up on X-rays, but you know it's there.” That quote by comedian George Burns sums up the intriguing love story of Alamo defender David Crockett and his wife Elizabeth.

Born in 1788, Elizabeth Patton was raised in a strong Presbyterian family that donated property and finances to build and support a community church. Her first husband James, a decorated soldier under General Andrew Jackson, died in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (Alabama) in 1814.

Just before he died, James asked his longtime friend David Crockett to take his personal effects to his wife, Elizabeth. Crockett was impressed with Elizabeth and remembered her when his first wife Polly died the next year. Crockett circled back to court Elizabeth, and they were married in 1815.

Unfortunately, Crockett was not a reliable provider, and spent much of his time in political campaigns or regional warfare. This left Elizabeth in west Tennessee to tend the children and crops. When Crockett came to Texas, he promised to come back for her. Elizabeth waited devotedly, but Crockett died in the Battle of the Alamo.

In a bold act of resilience, Elizabeth gathered their remaining three children and moved to Texas. She rightfully claimed the land in Hood County that Crockett was posthumously awarded by the Republic of Texas. Elizabeth helped to establish the local Harmony Baptist church which was shared on Sundays by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Reformed Christians. During the week, the church was used as a one-room schoolhouse.

Elizabeth died in 1860 at the age of 71 and was buried in Acton Cemetery, located in the Acton State Historic Site, near Granbury. A 28-foot tall marble monument of Elizabeth shading her eyes from the sun, and looking to the west in search of her husband, was erected by the State of Texas in 1913. How fitting! Much of her love story with David Crockett was spent waiting for him to return. Even so, Elizabeth remained true to her lover and faithful to her vows.

Elizabeth's obituary in the Dallas Herald on Wednesday Feb. 29, 1860, states, “Mrs. Crockett was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and died in the full triumph of her holy faith.” It could be said that Elizabeth Patton Crockett was an excellent example of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31.

Sometimes love stories are jagged. Imperfect people live imperfect lives. But true love remains strong even when life wobbles in uncertainty. Pope Benedict XVI stated, “Those who love desire to share with the beloved, they want to be one with the beloved, and Sacred Scripture shows us the great love story of God for his people which culminated in Jesus Christ.”

Indeed, the love story between Christ and His Church is a fact of Scripture (Ephesians 5:25). And one day He will return for His faithful Bride (The Church) who earnestly awaits His Coming (Revelation 19:7).

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