It was about 8 o’clock at night, and my friend Luis calls me. He says he and some friends are going to be at a diner near my old apartment. I didn’t want to go, because I was washing clothes, and was in my laundry apparel (infamous grey sweats, and black tee). He begged me, and I gave in. I showed up expecting the usual group of guys, but what I found was really surprising. Luis, and a group of young adults from the church up the street from where I lived.
I don’t remember who all were there that night, but I do remember one person. She had on a red shirt, and jean jumper. She smiled big, as we talked and made jokes. Her eyes the shape of almonds, brown like every caramelo I ever loved. We all ate, and we laughed, then we took pictures (before selfies). The young lady and I parted ways for the first time. I wanted to get to know her better.
Some hours went by, a few facebook pokes (when they were cool), a few days. Then came a few conversations, and Skype calls. Late nights, talking life, and debating theology. These were nights full of no regrets. I finally asked the beauty to go out on a date with me. March 12th, Market St. in Philly. Hugs were exchanged, and walks were had. A long walk to South St. and a beef patty with carrot juice. We walked talked, and imagined the future. We went to the Magic Gardens, and danced in front of photographers. We danced for the art to the voice of Luther Vandross.
Walked into S.O.S for some cheese steaks since we developed an appetite from the slow dance we stepped. We sat on the second floor in front of a red tinted window overlooking the street and its patrons, chatting it up and enjoying the moment. We ended the night at a park, remembering dead soldiers, while making alive our interest for each other. I went for a kiss…. but the lady stayed classy, and I liked that.
She became my best friend, and we talked about everything. I finally got the kiss I went for 9 months prior. We were at a movie theatre, and I couldn’t help myself. She was my dream come true, and I had to let her know how serious I was. I proposed, though not surprised she said yes, and there began the beautiful trouble.
Nights filled with conversations of parties, and invitations. Prayers for strength were said, and God’s provision as well. We planned, we became frustrated, and God always came through. We failed morally, and we cried because of it, and God cleansed us. We were pushed to our limit, and thoughts of eloping intrigued us. To no avail.
God had His purpose for us. That we should live out how Christ and the Church relate to each other. A high calling indeed! We took this task seriously, and fail all the time. But God… Who is rich in mercy and abounding in faithfulness always brought us through. We said yes in front of our Lord, and our families. I married my best friend.
It’s about to be two years, one son named Joshua and three residency moves, and it feels like just yesterday we were tripping over our words to each other. No amount of words can create a sentence worthy of praising my God, and it’s almost as difficult to form one saying how much I love you. My wife, my son’s mother, my darling angel, my gem, my helper. my motivator, my accountability partner. I love your this much…. how much, from here till forever. I love You Rachel.