A summer romance series, chronicling my love story
After being led by my heart for so many years, it was now strange to be led by my mind first. I was always so in love with Roger – I was almost blind to reality. The reality of our differences. The reality of our faults. But in these months of his pursuit I was not blinded by anything. I was seeing everything clearly and almost just waiting for the feelings to come.
I remember waiting on pins and needles the day he was to talk to my parents. I was so nervous for him. It’s no secret that my father can be a rather intense man and one of strong opinion. At least Roger had the advantage of being larger than my father! Perhaps his height would add a little intimidation (not likely)! Roger called me on his drive back to
Fall was here and in October I made the flight to
It would be another month or so before we’d be together at Thanksgiving. A week prior to that, he paid my parents another visit – probably the most important visit of his life. My mom knew what was coming so she baked a chocolate cake in the shape of a heart! He was given my parents’ full blessing to marry me and now it was just a matter of time.
About that same time I was driving to
Washington to speak at a weekend retreat. As I drove, I prayed. I prayed for the weekend and the students
that would attend. I prayed for the
words I would speak. And then I prayed
that God would forgive the selfishness in my life. Something I’ve always struggled with is
selfishness and as I prayed for forgiveness, God showed me that on my own, I
will always struggle with being selfish.
But only when my selfishness starts to hurt someone else will I
change. At that moment God spoke to me
and told me that He was calling me to marry Roger and be purified through our
marriage. Perhaps you’ve heard it said,
“what if marriage isn’t to make us happy, but to make us holy?” I would completely agree that God uses
marriage to refine us and make us more who He wants us to be.
After Thanksgiving I received a card in the mail. Roger had told me to reserve the second weekend in December, but I didn’t know why. Well, I acted like I didn’t know why!
The card had specific instructions which also included buying new clothes for the weekend! I just couldn’t believe that all this was happening. There was a flight number, with no destination listed, and I was to go to the airport and board the plane without knowing where I was going! It was so exciting and romantic. Of course I dreamed that perhaps I was flying to
On Friday, December 12th, 2003 I went to the airport and flew to
He stayed at a friend’s house. I slept alone at his house and in the morning he came and told me to pack my bags, we were leaving. I thought he might be driving me back to the airport! But he said, “let’s just have fun this weekend.” He began driving and soon we were crossing The Bay Bridge, “
Roger pulled up to the Mark Hopkins Hotel in
and as the
valet opened our car door and asked, “are you staying with us sir?” I was stunned that Roger immediately said,
“yes.” What? This was part of the plan? Staying in the city? I was blown away – almost as much as when he
got 2 rooms! What a perfect gentleman. We got settled and then walked over to the San Francisco to see their
Christmas decorations. The city with
bustling with holiday energy and my heart was rapid with nerves and excitement. Fairmont
After window shopping, he told me to rest up because we had big plans that night. I was to dress up. Growing up, my mom used to take me to the city at Christmas to see the San Francisco Ballet perform a matinee of The Nutcracker. It was always the highlight of the holidays for me. But I had never been to the ballet at night until December 13th. I got all dressed up in my new fancy outfit and he told me that he was taking me to the ballet! I almost died!
At the War Memorial Opera House we sipped champagne and got ready for the show. I was over the moon. I’m pretty sure Roger nodded off a few times, but it was magical. A storm was coming up in the city and the wind was bending trees over like blades of grass. We got back to the hotel and went to The Top Of The Mark for cocktails and a great view of the chaos the storm was kicking up. It was late and as we made our way back to our rooms, Roger kissed me goodnight and that was it. He didn’t propose. I was all dressed up, champagne, the ballet… and he didn’t ask me to marry him. He missed it! Or did I ruin it the night before?
I laid in my bed wide awake. Had I ruined everything? I hadn’t slept the night before and now embarked on another sleepless night. I tossed and turned. I prayed and asked God for clarity. In the morning I wrote,
“Although my stomach has been pretty upset the whole time, thinking he might propose, he hasn’t. Finally last night, another sleepless night, I told God I needed some answers as I’ve been worried and anxious and mostly scared that I might be making a mistake that would impact the rest of my life. Mostly worried that I would be running out apart from God, pursuing my dream and not His. I prayed and asked for His will and His direction.”
I loved my life in full time ministry and I knew marrying Roger would mean leaving my job in
“Finally, never doubting my love for Roger or my desire to be his wife, only fearful of sacrifices to be made, I prayed for an answer. I got sleepy, the pit of my stomach left, I laid back on the pillow, my eyes shut and God said, “Two are better than one.” And I drifted off to sleep. 2 are better than 1.”
It was about 5am when I fell asleep and was woken up by Roger calling a few hours later. “Turn on the news,” he said. “They’ve captured Saddam Hussein.” It was December 14th, 2003.