How I Met My Husband… (Part 3)

Previously: “During this year, I did not see Charlie at all. Church conferences came and went like the seasons and he was not there. His memory disappearing like leaves in an autumn wind. I had to move on. With no way of contacting him and nearly a year passing without seeing his face, I had almost forgotten him. I started making plans to move to Chicago and attend Moody Bible Institute, where I would continue my studies. Then I ran into his Pastor…”

It was Graduation Day.

The windows in the reception hall stretched from the floor up to the ceiling and through them you could see the stars glisten. The night was clear and crisp. The room was crowded, filled with dreams. They hung in the air, like the robes wrapped around each graduate. You could feel the electricity of excitement for those who had just accomplished something major. For them it was only the beginning.

So there I was, mingling with friends, offering my congratulations and best wishes when I turned slightly around. There stood a girlfriend of mine I had known for the past two years asking if I would like to meet her Father. Why not? Of course I would. Little did I know that the conversation I was about to have would set me on a course that would change everything in my life.

I made my way across the packed room to meet her Dad. As my friend introduced me…. she set me up. Her Dad just so happened to be the Pastor at the church Charles attended. When she told him my name, she casually mentioned that I knew Charles and went to school with him (since 2 years had passed from his graduation). With this, his Pastor immediately went into conversation about Charles.

He asked me, “Do you know what he is doing now?” No. Not really, I thought. “He is traveling all over, preaching the gospel.” What? “We just got back from Africa. You know what they say over there?” Um… No? “They say, this man is anointed, this man can preach!” Really?!

Well, I wasn’t shocked… just a little embarrassed as I noticed what started as a group of 6 people conversing was now just the Pastor and I talking about someone I had not even seen in an entire year. This, in turn, led to my awkward response of, “Charles will always have a little place in my heart.” To which he replied, “Well, come see him. Why don’t you visit Charles in Nashville?”

Wait. What?! Let’s take a moment to reflect here. Just a brief moment of silence please.

I know what you’re thinking. This is crazy.

He wanted me to come down and visit? So, just get in my car and drive 6 hours to see a guy I had been crushing on for 3 years… and then do what? Stand outside his bedroom window with a stereo over my head playing In Your Eyes. Like a sappy reenactment of John Cusack’s Rom-Com?

Reader, in my situation what would you have done? Exactly!

A few weeks later I found myself squished in the back of a friend’s pick up truck on my way to Nashville. We had planned a little trip with a few trusted friends and were headed to check things out…

That weekend seemed to fly by and at the same time was so surreal it was as if everything was moving in slow-motion. I guess that’s what it is like with God, when you have those defining moments with Him and know that things in your life are about to change. It is almost as if he froze time and each individual moment is etched into my mind like single picture frames of a movie reel. It was that weekend that I decided I was going to move to Nashville.

I had made this decision in my heart, and a few days later after meeting with the Pastors I was offered the Children’s Director position at their church. I returned to Columbus, Ohio, only to pack up the contents of a small room I rented and say my goodbyes to the few friends that remained after graduation.

Now, I am not going to lead you on. I won’t even act like that weekend Charles professed his undying love for me that he had somehow kept secret for the past three years. Not even close… But, he did remember me… and we picked up right where we left off. The memories of coffee shops, libraries, and Laundromats seemed to swirl around me as we discussed God, revival, prayer and our desire to see lives transformed.

It was there, that we fell in love… in those moments where we could just be ourselves and share our dreams with each other. We knew that we were meant for each other. God had a perfect plan in the path that led us to one another, though it had twists and turns, ups and downs… He was directing it all along.

This Monday, October 8th, will mark seven years of spending our lives together and fulfilling our dreams. Celebrate with me the beauty of Love… because when you let God write your story, there is no telling what each page will hold.

How I Met My Husband… (Part 2)

So where was I? Oh yeah, buddies.

That first year of Bible College we spent as friends. But my first year was Charlie’s second. So in a 2 year school I had a limited amount of time. I would purposely find him in the coffee shop between classes, or “bump” into him in the hall just to say hi. I remember one day, shortly after “the bookstore” event, I was sitting in the cafeteria after class, just eating my lunch with a couple of girls. We had finished our meal and I was just getting up from the table when I spotted Charles walking across the vast room. I tried to wait around and look like I was busy, by doing this I spilled spaghetti sauce all over the sleeve of my pink button up dress shirt (yes, we had a dress code of mainly skirts). I quickly looked up again after making a mess of myself and he was right beside me. He asked if I was busy. Of course, I wasn’t busy. Not for him anyway. That day he took me to the first and only public Laundromat I have ever been to. It was there that we began to talk about our callings and purpose in life. We discussed God and the supernatural and talked for hours. It was comfortable. Like your favorite sweatshirt that you snuggle into on a cold winter day. I remember looking into Charlie’s kind green eyes and I found myself getting lost in them.

 I had just turned 19 at this point and I did not plan on nor had the confidence to profess my undying love. So the year went on and so did the friendship. By the time graduation came we had not even exchanged phone numbers. As I sat in my dorm room, the size of a walk in closet, organizing my things to pack and take home, I thought I may never see Charles again. So what I did next was brilliant…

I may have purchased a simple greeting card that I felt would do a sufficient job of expressing my feelings and I may have secretly given it to one of his friends. To be given to him on his graduation day when I was at least 100 miles down the road, on my way home to New York.

Brilliant.

After that summer had passed, I returned to Ohio to finish out my second year of Bible College. I had not spoken to Charles all summer long and in fact I was pretty positive that I’d never see him again. So there I was, rushing in to register for my new classes. As I pushed open the swinging double doors to the Chapel Hall, guess who was right on the other side. Charles! Charles?! “What are you doing here? Nice hair.” Those were the exact words I blurted out.

 He was there to bring up a handful of students from his local church who were attending college during the up-coming school year. Periodically during my second year of college I would run into Charles when he visited for conferences, college days or registration. Remember, this was before EVERYONE had a cell phone, Facebook page, Linked In, Branch Out, or even sent text messages. Yet every time I saw him, despite what was going on in my life, I always heard that same thing inside, “He’s your husband”.

The year passed and after my graduation, I spent the summer interning in the Executive Office of the Church the Bible College was affiliated with. That summer was by far one of the best to date. It was there, in the back offices, that I gained lifelong friends and learned some valuable lessons.  I kept an entire journal of my daily obligations and the things God spoke to me from the moment I awoke at 6 am until I laid my head to rest, sometimes well after midnight. It was during this time that I was given the opportunity to speak with the President of the Bible College. He asked me, “If some students only stay for one semester, and you have already graduated from our 2 year program, why are you still here?” Good question! And boy did I have an answer…

{Remember how I told you in my last blog about the missionary man who came to my school when I was 13? Well, I didn’t wait until after Bible College to travel to the nations and do the work of a missionary. I started the very next year. At age 14, I boarded a plane for the first time in my life, and I flew to South America. Every summer until my 18th birthday I travelled to various nations. The summer before my senior year of high school I spent a month in China. It was there, half way around the world, drenched in sweat with no air-condition, taking cold showers, and sleeping on  the floor, that I met the most precious second grade teacher from Columbus, Ohio. She is the one that introduced me to the Bible College I attended (and met Charlie at).}

…So, because of this, my answer to him was, “I didn’t get what I came here for yet.” When I had returned for my second year, the Missions Program Director was no longer employed at the school. She had been developing a program to connect the students with missionaries around the world and tried to get them placed into a country. Without having this available now, I was still seeking God as to what his next step was for me. Hence, the summer internship I participated in, which lead to the third year program of Advanced Pastoral Studies. In this time of decision I meditated on the scripture, Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” I knew God was directing me in everything and held on to his promises for my life.

During this year, I did not see Charlie at all. Church conferences came and went like the seasons and he was not there. His memory disappearing like leaves in an autumn wind. I had to move on. With no way of contacting him and nearly a year passing without seeing his face, I had almost forgotten him. I started making plans to move to Chicago and attend Moody Bible Institute, where I would continue my studies. Then I ran into his Pastor…