Friday, July 13, 2012

A Redeeming Love - Chapter 4

    It was a beautiful wedding. Deer Valley Resort in Utah provided the deck and God provided the majestic mountains that ushered us all into His presence for this holy occasion. I had met the groom while I was in college - a phenomenal man who embodied a love for Jesus and a love for bacon! The bride did not become a close friend until we lived together after college and over our buttered toast in the morning before work, we'd share life and prayer requests and become fast friends. The wedding was in her home state, I was singing in the ceremony, and he, Roger Newquist, was officiating. Many of my college friends were present for the weekend festivities, so I was busy visiting with them while admiring Mr. Newquist from afar.
       As the ceremony began the bride started walking down the aisle alone. It was her choice to walk down alone and it was a bold and powerful statement. Her groom was waiting at the end of the aisle, but as she walked about half way, he ran to meet her. It was an image I'll never forget. His excitement to be her husband was great, but his love for her was even greater. He had to run to get her.
       As the wedding weekend wrapped up, I found out that Roger and I were flying out of Salt Lake around the same time and he offered to take me to the airport. At last, I would have time alone with him to talk and get to know a little bit more about this mysterious, handsome man. I was thrilled.
       On the long car ride to the airport I asked Roger all kinds of questions about what led him into full time ministry.  We had wonderful conversation together and I was trying to keep my imagination from running wild.   After all, we had just spent a weekend in Utah witnessing a romantic wedding!
       Roger knew that I was active in our church and as he talked about the college and young adult ministries he led, he asked if I were interested in helping out in the college ministry.  I was never involved in a college ministry as a student, so I didn't really know what it entailed.  All I knew was that the man who caught my eye and took my breath away 2 years ago was now essentially asking me if I wanted to spend one evening a week with him (and several college students).  I said I'd think about it, but in my heart I already knew I would say yes.  Little did I know that his offer would radically change my life in more ways than one.
       A few weeks later Pepperdine was starting up which meant that the church would soon be flooded with college students and the college ministry would be in full swing.  I agreed to be an adult volunteer and I quickly discovered what I was created to do.  Even though I continued to work at E!, I couldn't wait for Tuesday nights when I got to mentor college students and spend a little extra time with Roger.  Soon our conversations after Tuesday nights would turn into conversations on Wednesday nights and my heart was falling deeper and deeper in love with this man.
       In December Roger asked me to go to Disneyland with him.  It wasn't really a date, we just went as friends.  But if you've ever been to Disneyland at Christmas time, it's even more magical than normal and date or not, it was a magical day together!  We walked over to Snow White's Wishing Well and I said that we had  to make wishes.  We threw quarters into the well and made our wishes.  Immediately after, Roger asked me what I wished for.  "I can't tell you or it won't come true," I said.  He didn't believe that, but since I wouldn't tell, neither would he.  It was December 20th 1997; he'd have to wait 6 more years before I'd tell him what I wished for.

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