Today on As the Skiff’s Turn we join our lovers on their first official date, Kristine’s 21st birthday. It has been a few months since the wanted poster was posted. The interim has been filled with school, work, finals and trying to pursue a relationship within the strict confines of the Bible school’s dating policy. The semester is over and Kristine has chosen to remain in the frozen north for the summer to pursue an internship at a homeless outreach mission. Spring is in the air, well NY style spring which involves more snow than flowers, and our lovers are twitterpated.
It was a perfect date. Mr. Perfect brought me to a quiet, upscale Italian place. They sat us in a quiet corner and we spent the next hour and a half gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes. Sweet amore. After our dinner Mr. Perfect brought me to meet his family and then we took a quiet, very chilly (May in NY is still quiet nippy) stroll at the lakeshore. What a wonderful date. After the stress of the previous months it looked like finally things would settle down and I would be able to enjoy falling in love.
Several months had passed since my wanted poster was posted on campus. It had been a hectic, crazy, difficult few months on many levels. I had taken on extra shifts to finish paying off the semester so that I could take finals. Spiritually God was doing a deep healing on some old wounds. Physically the lack of sleep, stress, spotty meals, and emotional rollercoaster had taken their toll. My blood sugar bottomed out and I found I had hypoglycemia. Emotionally I was in a daze. Mr. Perfect was very easy on the eyes and I loved talking with him. He was super smart and had such a different perspective on everything. But he could not just accept me or my opinions. He would not let anything drop. He was not very tactful which at times put me in embarrassing situations. Several concerned friends advised me that this was not a healthy relationship for me. I ignored their warnings, as those in love are prone to do. That perfect birthday date just confirmed my choice. He really was Mr. Perfect.
Instead of moving back home to the Eastern Shore of MD, I stayed in upstate NY to complete an internship at a homeless mission. I lived with two other women above the mission. It was a terrific but difficult few months. The ministry aspect was awesome. It was right up my alley. I had done this type of thing many times before so I was in my zone. My personal life was something else entirely. Mr. Perfect only lived a few miles from where I was interning. We were able to see each other often the first few weeks. As our relationship grew, so did our communication difficulties. With so many hormones raging we were able to ignore the more ominous storms on the horizon. Still for a period time where most people are still floating on cloud nine in love, I spent a lot of time crying and frustrated. Had I been surrounded by the people who knew me best I doubt our relationship would have continued so quickly but I was pretty much alone other than my guy and his family (who I loved but still did not know that well). He was only home for a few weeks before leading a mission’s trip to Israel for the last 6 weeks of summer. During the time he was gone I grew very close to his family. I would just hang out with his sister or parents the few free moments I had from the mission. Once he came back it was back to school for him. He had an internship in NYC and I having completed my internship that summer lived with his parents those 6 weeks. It was a good time. I got a job a JC Penny’s and enjoyed a few moments of down time.
He returned in October. The weekend of Halloween my parents came for a visit. We all went to Niagara Falls because my parents had never been. As we were enjoying the falls a gorgeous rainbow appeared arching across the sky. Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and Mr. Perfect was down on one knee with a ring in his hands. We were surrounded by a large group of Japanese tourist who thought this was the most enchanting, romantic thing EVER. Flash bulbs were going off all around and people were chanting “Say Yes” at me. The chanting drew more people our way. As the crowd grew I began backing up in embarrassment. The protective wall is the only thing that kept me from backing up right off the cliff into the falls!!! The chanting grew louder, snapping me out of my daze and I said yes. Somewhere in Japan a Japanese tourist has some great pictures of my proposal!!! We went to a beautiful dinner with my parents. I have to say he did the proposal thing 100% right.
We started marriage counseling with our care pastor. He had concerns with some of the major issues he saw in our counseling sessions. He urged us to consider slowing down and waiting a little longer. We were trying to keep our relationship pure until marriage. Our hormones were not agreeing to the whole “wait a while” thing. So we opted to keep our date as it was. May 22, 1999. He was very gracious and continued to counsel us. He gave us some very wise counsel that we relied on through the years. Our communication difficulties were spiraling out of control by this point but I was so caught up with the wedding and the hormones that I still did not heed the red flashing danger signs.
The day of the wedding came. It was an absolutely beautiful day in May. All of our plans came together beautifully and we had a perfect wedding. Love was in the air and we were very happy. Here are a couple of pictures from our perfect day.
We honeymooned in Niagara Falls. It was a perfectly lovely honeymoon, with its share of hilarity. I wouldn’t trade any of these memories for the world. Stay tuned for the last part of our journey. It is at times dark but the truth remains that the light at the end of the darkest tunnel shines brightest. Lots of love to you all-Kristine