9 years ago today, I married my best friend, my love, my beautiful wife. And as every couple is asked at some point in their togetherness, “How did you meet?” Whenever Jess and I are asked this question, we look at each other asking, “Do you want to take this one?” So, since this is my blog, I’ll take this one.
In April of 2000, Jessica married…my best friend (this is how we start our story. People aren’t sure how to react). I had known Marcel since the 1st grade. We had grown up together going to the same church and school through high school. He went on to attend USC and I went to Azusa Pacific. We still remained very close friends. In our second year of college, Marcel was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. It attacked his stomach first and then spread very quickly. Marcel and Jessica had met and immediately fell in love. They were married in April of 2000, and just a short 9 months later, Marcel lost his battle with cancer and passed away in January of 2001. Maybe some of you reading this have experienced the loss of a close friend. One of the worst feelings in the world is having to bury a friend, one that was as close as a brother, after 18 years of friendship. What I’m about to say next may seem odd to some, but this is the best way that I can describe what happened. In the loss of Marcel, I immediately transferred that friendship to Jessica.
This is the point in our story that some have questioned. In fact, we were approached by a few who said that it wasn’t right that we were such good friends following the death of her husband and my close friend. Those questions caused a division in our friendship. Jessica decided that she didn’t want to be around anyone or anything that reminded her of Marcel, including me. We parted ways for close to a year. There were a few times that we had tried to call each other, but to no avail. One in particular that I remember vividly. When Jessica answered the phone, it brought a smile to my face cause I had finally connected with her. My first words were, “Do you know who this is?” Her response was, “Yes”…click. I took that as a sign she wasn’t quite ready to talk. It wasn’t long after that we started to talk and eventually decided to see each other once again. We were living about an hour apart, but that didn’t keep us from rekindling the friendship that we had gained after Marcel’s passing. I ended up taking a teaching job that put us only 15 minutes from one another and (I again preface this next statement because some may not understand what I’m about to say), God brought us together. We fell deeply in love with each other and on June 21, 2003, I became the happiest man on the planet!
It wasn’t in my wildest dreams that I would’ve thought this would be my story. But as God proclaims in His Word, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9) My Heavenly Father has an infinite plan and this happened to be one of the chapters he wrote for Jessica’s life, and for mine. He wrote a similar story about 2,000 years ago. It involved the death of His only Son. Through this death, so many would fall in love with Him and find everlasting life, joy, and happiness. Have you decided to distance yourself from your first love? Has He tried to call you back to Himself and you “hung up”. My plea to you now is that you return to the One who loves you so much, that death itself could not keep Him from His desire to have a relationship with you. Answer the call and begin the greatest love story you’ll ever experience.
“We love Him because He first loved us.” ~ 1 John 4:19