19 DAYS TO THE WEDDING BELLS:
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this; but the most certain thing in life is its ambiguity. You do your best to plan out how a year is going to go, the haziness sets in, and you find yourself on a journey of a lifetime. This is how 2011 was for me. When the clock struck 12-midnight on January 1, I had no idea what would follow. And 2011 was both the most wonderful year of my life and the hardest year of my life.
2011 started off with a phone call, mid-January, from my friend Dave. “Hey, buddy… I have a quick question for you. Andrea and I were talking and were wondering… do you remember Kari, the girl you walked down the aisle with at our wedding?”
“I remember.” Came my response. How could I not remember; Kari was the girl who took my breath away and made time stand still. Yep, I remembered all right. I also remember sounding very serious on the phone with Dave; knowing what he was going to say.
I could hear Dave smiling on the other end. “Good…!”
Here it comes.
“…What would you think of going out with her?”
There it was. The question hung in the air for an eternity. The train had come back full circle. Now what was I supposed to do. One thing you have to understand about me is, I don’t do well with making life altering decisions like that… at least in my mind it was life altering. I am not the guy who dates around, in-fact, I’ve only been on a few dates in my life. My dad, other friends have all suggested that I go out and find single women to hang out with. My mom even offered to pay for a subscription to eHarmony.com. The problem is I had already dumped several hundred into these stupid dating sights (No offense intended).
My dad always said, “If you don’t put yourself in a place to meet single women, how will you ever find someone to marry.”
I had a very simple response… “I will wait until God brings her into my life.” Now that may sound like a nice spiritual response from a Christian, like myself, but the reality is, this is what I believe the Lord had told me after a major break-up with a girl in college, I thought I would marry. So I waited, with a few dates in there.
Now I was faced with Dave’s question… “What would you think of going out with her?” Remember I had already made the imprudent attempt to ask her out at Dave’s wedding, but panicked! Now, I’m faced with going out with her, for real, and I panicked again.
So I said what all-good pastor’s say, “I’ll pray about it.”
The following Sunday, both Dave and Andrea approached me after church and said, “Jason you really should consider it. Kari is a lovely girl, who loves Jesus, and comes from a good Christian home. You should give her a chance.”
Then the moment all pastor’s dread, when a parishioner uses your own sermon against you. There was a sermon I gave regarding faith. I quoted Hebrews how faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not yet seen. In this sermon, I used an illustration to further the verse. I said, “faith is like getting in car and driving it off a cliff, hoping a bridge is there to carry you to the other side.”
You wouldn’t know the bridge is there until you’re on it. Nevertheless, it takes faith to know that the bridge is there, even though there is no evidence whatsoever for the bridge’s existence. Remember the scene from Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade. Indiana has to have blind faith and take a leap off a cliff and hope a bridge is there. Faith is a lot like that.
When Dave used that teaching against me, I knew I had no choice but to say, “You’re right. I’ll go out with Kari.” The cat was out of the bag, and little did I know, I was in for the most exciting adventure of my life. An adventure that would lead me to the day I realized that Kari was the girl of my dreams and the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Life is an amazing adventure, you just have to allow yourself to become encapsulated in the thralls of seizing each moment as if it’s your last. This is something I’ve learned from my Grandpa Parker. He lives life to the full every day. I’ve heard him say numerous times, “It’s all about Jesus. Remember that Jason, It’s all about Jesus and honoring Him.”
This is what makes life go round. This is what it’s all about. If we can’t honor Jesus in everything we do, what’s the point. In my relationship with Kari, I do everything I can to honor her by honoring Jesus and making Him a priority in my life. This is what keeps a man grounded; nothing else. Don’t forget that, because if you’re in a relationship that has not put Jesus first, you’re doing yourselves a disservice; and I would encourage you to place Jesus as the center hub of your relationship, because Jesus makes it all worth it and when hardships arise, you know that everything will be okay, because “It’s all about Jesus.”
TO BE CONTINUED….