|High Tea at the Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA. 2002.|
"When I found the one whom my soul loves
I held him,
and would not let him go..."
~Song of Solomon 3:4
I have often said that Jamie and I have
an "Anne of Green Gables" love story
...and now you will see why.
Jamie and I met the summer of 1992 through friends. His best friend was dating my friend's sister. They had wanted us to meet and I resisted. One night, I ended up at my friend's home after work and they threw me in her mom's minivan and zipped me up to Poway. I had no idea where we were headed and was excited about the surprise destination until I finally realized I was going to be meeting this guy.
They jumped out. I followed reluctantly and met Jamie. We went for a walk in the night to a nearby park and the first thing he asked me was about my salvation in Jesus. Over the next year and a half, we dated a few months, broke up, dated again, broke up. Until I went through the most desperately trying time of my life. A few months later, I knew I had to tell Jamie what I had gone through. I don't know why. I just felt compelled to let him know. Jamie ended up being a true friend and confidante. I was so thankful for his friendship and trustworthiness. It became obvious that he wanted more than friendship and so, I backed out of our friendship. Since my abortion and the broken relationship with the guy I was with at that time, I had no desire to have a boyfriend or any romantic relationship. I was just too hurt and convinced I didn't deserve to be with anyone save Jesus. So, Jamie and I parted ways...or more accurately, I parted.
I ended up meeting a sweet man, a Christian, and we eventually got engaged. And I landed the job dancing at Disneyland during this time. As the engagement drew on, it became very clear that he was not who God had for me. He was kind and sweet, but just not the one. How did I know this? After an argument over the phone one morning (which Jamie ironically witnessed...since I stayed with his family on occasion), I got in my car a drove from Poway to Disneyland. It's an hour and a half drive so I had a lot of time to think. Clear as anything and almost audibly I heard God say to me, "He's not the one." "What?" I replied. Again, "He's not the one." Peace overwhelmed me and I knew it was over between me and this guy. So a few days later when I saw him, we ended our relationship amicably and peacefully. (Click here for this whole story.) Matter of fact. It was simple, clean, clear, right. A few days later, Jamie had arranged to get together. I was convinced that we were going to hang out as friends. Over dinner, he asked me what happened with the guy I was with, so I told him that God told me it was over. Then Jamie said something to me I will never forget and took me by surprise, "Has God told you anything about me?" I was so clueless that he even liked me anymore. It had been several months since we cut things off. Much had happened in my life. Healing. Engagement. Disneyland. Dance ministry. My new life in Christ. So, I assumed he had moved on too. But, no, he was waiting for me.
I was so taken aback by his question that I had no idea how to respond except to be truthful. So, I reached across the table and put my hand on his and said, "Oh Jamie, I'm so sorry, but no."
And so, over the next couple of years, on occasion, Jamie would corner me and ask, "Has God told you anything about me?" I would always say, "No." And he would be cool as a cucumber. He did tell me once, though, that God told him I was the one he would marry and he was just supposed to wait for me. At times, I would be frustrated, rude and blunt. I was totally convinced we would never end up together.
He finally started dating someone new. They were together for 3 years. And then one day he called me and said they were over. They fought all the time. He wanted to know why he and I had never argued. He wanted to come up to Orange County and take me to dinner. I tried to discourage him, but he was persistent, so I tried to find the most un-romantic restaurant I could think of. So, I found a place called "The Barn." LOL! I had knee surgery. He came up to take care of me. I moved. He came up to move my things...numerous times...even when I was overseas on cruise ship contracts. He was always there helping me. You already know how he comforted me so much through my abortion.
On my second cruise, my Grandfather became very ill. He had heart surgery the day before I went to the ship. He was fine when I left, but his condition worsened and my communication with family was very limited because we were coming through Central America and the Panama Canal. I was able to call from Mexico days before we ported in San Diego and discovered my precious Grandpa was in and out of ICU. He sounded terrible. I prayed he would hold on until the ship arrived in San Diego. On a Friday morning, I woke early. Got myself together and waited until the ship was clear to disembark. I rushed up to the open top deck and stood on a platform. My family, Jamie, and his parents were on the embarcadero. I shouted to them and they all waved. I waited impatiently to get off the ship and as soon as I was off, I jumped in my mom's car and all of us rushed to the hospital where my Grandpa was back in the ICU. I went in to see him. He was able to open his eyes and I could see he was trying to talk to me, but no sound came out. My Uncle Troy stood on the other side of the bed. My Grandpa just stared at me and I at him...trying not to cry. Troy said, "Hey Dad, Kori's good medicine, eh?" And my Grandpa nodded his head. What a gift to me in those last moments I would ever see my beloved Grandpa! He squeezed my hand and then I had to go. I had to return to the ship. Why? Why didn't I just stay off that stupid ship? A major regret of my life.
The following Monday, I arrived in Vancouver. I called my mom. My Uncle Todd spoke to me. They were making the very difficult decision to take my Grandpa off life support. I hesitated and clung to the phone, not wanting to hang up. As long as I held the phone line open, my Grandpa was alive. But I knew that after I hung up, the decision would be made and he would be gone. I loved my Grandpa so desperately. He was so special. He was my only father figure for most of my life. I treasured him more than I can ever express. My Grandpa had a round head and a crew cut. He would sit on the leather chair in the living room, and read his paper and I would brush the palm of my hand across the short hairs on top of his head and tell him he needed a haircut and kiss him on his head. He called me "Coke" and he often told me, "Honey, don't ever change." He appreciated my crazy energy and spunk. I knew I meant all the world to him...all of us grandchildren were special to him. And I may be delusional in saying this but I always felt like I was the most special. I was the first grandchild. In truth, I doubt I was any more special than any other, but he made me feel that way. He was special.
And so, that Monday, my Grandpa breathed his last and I was not there for it. But Jamie. He was in the hospital that day. He wasn't in the room, but he was there. I thought nothing of it at the time. But, now it means all the world to me.
Jamie has been present during the greatest tragedies of my life. A year earlier, I had returned from Europe after an ugly end to my first cruise ship contract. He was at the airport...with a rose in hand. I have a picture of us hugging. But, again, I didn't give it a second thought at the time.
And so several years passed.
In 2002, the Monday before Jamie's graduation from the Academy was the 8 year anniversary of my abortion. Although it had been a good day, I wished that someone could share it with me and then I wished it could be Jamie. I wrote him a letter I never planned on giving to him and found old letters of his. I had read his letters before and always tossed them aside and all of a sudden I found myself reading the very same letters and sobbing my heart out. I couldn't believe that someone would love me that much. I felt more and more drawn to him and all I could think of was 1 John 4:19, "We love Him because He first loved us." It was Jamie's love that was drawing me back to him. The Lord began opening my eyes to everything Jamie had done for me, even beyond his wonderful support during the roughest time of my life. He was the first person I called when my dance ministry broke up. All along he had always made sacrifices for me.
I flew to Sacramento the following Thursday evening to meet him for the graduation. In spite of my very late flight and his having to be up very early, he still said he would meet me at the airport, stating, "It will only prove that I love you."
The graduation was a test for me. How will I feel when I see him? I just stepped back and waited. Nothing. He held my hand on the return to the airport...and I didn't pull my hand away.
Upon returning home, I found myself praying like crazy because I just didn't know what to do. I was reading Choosing God's Best:
Christians don't follow a dream, they follow God's revelation. They look toward the Revealer.
For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. ~1 Sam. 16:7
If you find yourself falling for a girl who offers you only casual friendship, or worse, the cold shoulder, first get it settled with God that she is the one to pursue. Even if a woman tells a man to "get lost" but he knows in his heart that she's the right one, he can still wait and pray for God's timing. I know of many married couples whose courtship began this way." ~Elisabeth ElliotSo, this is pretty obvious, right? Still, I didn't want to over-spiritualize or be looking for things, so I tried to keep a level head. (Ok, you can stop laughing now. I know level-headedness is not one of my character qualities.) I just wanted to be very sure before I shared anything of what I felt with him because I cared about him deeply and didn't want to wound his heart over something I may or may not be certain about. So, I prayed that the Lord would give me a great big flashing neon sign!
The next evening, Jamie called. He had moved to L.A. over the weekend and wanted to come see me. I wondered if the Lord wanted me to share with him what was on my heart. I prayed and waited. Nothing. After a couple of hours he got up to leave. I was convinced I wasn't to say anything.
|early dating days of '92|
Well, it worked! I finally saw in him everything I always wanted.
And Jesus said, "Do you believe I am able to do this?"
They said to Him, "Yes, Lord."
Then He touched their eyes saying, "Let it be done to you according to your faith."
We were married 4 months later.
P.S. Join me in the Completing Him Challenge. I am several months behind, but hey! Better late than never!