Carey

(Written November 2010)

I have fallen in love.

Marcy repeatedly told me to re-marry if anything happened to her. Early on, she told me the kids needed a mother. Later, she told me I needed to live.

I always shrugged off these suggestions, telling her the kids and I only needed her.

But God has other plans.

A supernatural meeting

November 15th my friend Karen called to invite me to a Mystery Dinner Theater show at Grace Center November 19th.

She said her friend Carey had bought a table of eight and they had one seat to fill. Karen said, “I’ve told you about my friend Carey – her husband died four years ago.”

Darcy and I had been visiting Grace Center. Darcy loves the youth group there and wanted to be part of the play, so they asked her to do the actors’ make up. I first thought I would buy a table for the play, I wanted to see it and see Darcy’s handiwork. I thought I would let Darcy invite a bunch of her friends to fill it.

But we couldn’t decide on a night.

They had performances Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I had told Nathan at Sodium that I would help him Friday and Saturday nights with the facility’s grand opening. And Darcy didn’t want to go on Sunday because it was a school night.

By the time Karen asked me to join their table, Darcy had been to a couple of rehearsals. And had told me the performance was less than an hour long.

So, when Karen asked, I figured I could leave Sodium for an hour on Friday night and I said yes. (Weeks later, Carey told me that God had told her to buy a table, but she didn’t know how she would fill it. God told her if she bought the table, He would fill it.)

November 19th

So, Friday November 19th I was the last to arrive at the play and took the open seat.

I wasn’t seated next to Carey – I think that was so I could see her better. At the table were Karen, Carey, Carey’s daughter Lindsey, Lindsey’s husband Jarratt, Lindsey’s best friend Meagan, Meagan’s husband Chandler, Katie – a friend of Carey’s, and me

The youth group had done a great job transforming the youth’s meeting room into a beautiful winter wonderland for Christmas. Carolers sang outside and Christmas music played in the background at dinner.

Our table had a beautiful centerpiece and had what looked like diamonds scattered all over the dark tablecloth. One of the first topics of conversation was laughter around the story of how Lindsey had spilled her glass of water immediately upon being seated – before I got there.

I couldn’t believe the “diamonds” on the tablecloth were actually beaded drops of water from Lindsey’s accident. I touched one of the diamonds and it split in two. The drops of water were like mercury rolling on the tablecloth.

I glanced at the other tables in the room and none of them had diamonds like ours.

And no other table had Carey.

Our table was the closest to the performance area, with Carey’s chair closest to the stage. She was so close that one of the spotlights spilled onto her face.

As soon as I saw her, I saw the Holy Spirit in her big, blue eyes and in her smile. Though she is three years younger than I, I could see that she feels much, much younger – just like I do. She has my life and joy. I knew in the blink of her eye that I was going to marry her.

I wasn’t really looking to marry

But I knew I wasn’t meant to be alone.

Even in the Garden of Eden, where Adam had the joy of walking and audibly talking with God every day, God knew Adam wasn’t whole and  said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18.)

Soon after Marcy went to be with Jesus, I had a vision that, rather than me looking and finding someone, I would be at a church, looking up to God, my next wife would be looking up to God at the same time, and while both looking up, we would bump into each other.

I was not shown what she would look like, only that I would know her by her Spirit.

The show that night ended up being three hours long. Darcy was right –in rehearsal the show was less than an hour – but each of the five acts was followed by a dinner course. I had not reckoned for the time it takes to eat.

There was lots of laughter in the show and at the table. And I was in love. There was no way I could leave early. The show ended and I went to Sodium to help end the night.

But my mind never left Carey.

God had put her right in front of me, now I had to find her.

I guess I was too smitten to get her phone number that night. And I thought if I asked Karen for her number, Karen might call her before I did.

Saturday morning I thought I would just wait to see her at church Sunday – Friday night she had said she had been visiting at Grace Center for the last four or five weeks, sometimes at the early service, sometimes the late service.

Each hour of that Saturday I thought the same thing: I’ll just wait until I see her Sunday at church. After a few hours of that, I searched Karen’s facebook friends, thinking that Carey may be on facebook, too, and I could contact her that way.

I thought it was genius, to became a facebook stalker, but that wasn’t God’s plan

All Friday night I thought that Carey’s name was Terri. Every time I heard her name, every time I spoke her name, I called her Terri. Karen has no facebook friends named Terri, Terry, or Terrie. (Now that I think of it, if Karen had a facebook friend named Terri, I could have really embarrassed myself!)

Sunday morning finally came and Carey wasn’t at the early service, though both Matt and Darcy had gotten up early to go with me. After the early service, I took both kids home and dropped them off. I went to ClearView church, arriving just before 11 a.m. so I could see and visit with the Empty Nesters class for a few minutes, then I went back to Grace Center to look for Carey.

I never saw her there. The late service was so crowded that I couldn’t see her from the back of the room. As I was considering standing up on the stage to look for her, I had a different idea.

I knew Darcy’s “call time” for make up for the last dinner theater show that night was 4:30, so I left the late service and went home to wait. I went back to the church at 4:30 and found the youth pastor and his wife.

I told them I had been at the Friday show and enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to buy tickets to tonight’s show as a gift for the person who bought my tickets Friday night.

That’s when they told me Sunday’s show was sold out. So I told them I still want to thank her, we were at table four, and would they give me contact information for the purchaser of table four?

They were both looking at their laptops, but didn’t have that information at the church. They said they had it at home and would email it to me. I still have not received that email.

Forty-five minutes after talking with the youth pastor, as I was seeking my next action, Karen sent me a text message asking how the opening of Sodium had gone. I told her it was great – it was a lot of fun. Then I texted her I would like to thank Terri again for buying the table Friday night.

Karen replied that Carey’s phone number is – and gave me the number. But the number she gave me was a number not in service – I dialed it three times.

So I went back to facebook armed with the correct first name and, sure enough, found that Karen did have a facebook friend named Carey and the profile picture showed me I had the right person. Now I had her last name and could look her up in the online phone directory. The number Karen gave me just had two numbers inverted.

I called that Sunday night – the Sunday before Thanksgiving – and Carey answered her land line – that, in itself, was a miracle in this day and time of cell phones, caller ID, and voicemail. I thanked her again and made some small talk before asking if it would be all right if sometime we did something together or something. (I write better than I speak.)

Even with that smooth talk, Carey said, “Let me pray about it. I have family coming in for Thanksgiving this Thursday. Let’s talk next week. I’ll call you or you can call me.”

And we hung up.

I think I said it out loud, “That was weird.”

It had been a long, long time since I had asked anyone for a date and she was going to pray about it. How awesome is that?

So, after all that rushing, it looked like I hurried up to wait.

Before I could think of what was next – I’m guessing it was 10 or 15 minutes – the phone rang. It was Carey.

“I prayed and the Lord said it was OK for me to go and we should go before Thanksgiving. How about tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow is what I wanted,” I said.

The next day we drove down the Natchez Trace – one of my favorite places in the world and a place she had never been, even though she has lived in Middle Tennessee all her life.

We stopped at several of the overlooks and walking trails. We traded stories of how the Holy Spirit has moved in our lives. We had the top down while the sun was out and rolled up the windows and turned on the heat when it got cold.

I didn’t even hold her hand that day – I had made a covenant with God before going – God didn’t want anything carnal to cloud anything I felt, said, thought, or did.

We stopped for supper at Puckett’s Grocery in Leipers Fork. Days later Carey told me that’s where she fell in love with me. But I knew.

Then – and since then – God has orchestrated things quickly.

As I was trying to think of a romantic, memorable way to ask her to marry me on her birthday, we met at Sweet CeCe’s for yogurt.

Carey started the conversation, “Do you even know when my birthday is?”

Just that morning I had seen on facebook that her birthday is January 29th.

“January 29th,” I smiled.

“Are we supposed to get married on my birthday?,” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

When God tells you to do something, it is blessed. You don’t have to ask for His blessings.

God told me the jewelry store, He told her the location in the store for her ring. After the jewelry store, I dropped Carey at the mall where she met her mother and daughter to look for dresses. God showed her the perfect dress and it fit perfectly.

My house will become Carey’s house so Matt and Darcy don’t have to adjust to any more changes. Lindsey, Jarratt, and their three children will move into Carey’s house so Carey’s son Nathan will have a place to come home to when he comes in from his home just outside of Knoxville.

When I told Matt, he gave me a big hug and said, “You deserve to be this happy, Dad, for all you did for Mommy.” Darcy is still warming up to the idea.

Months ago God showed Carey the chapel where she was going to get married, even though He hadn’t allowed her to even go on a date since her husband died. Standing outside that chapel, Carey asked God then, “Well, God, is there a groom?”

Now there is.

Two soul mates obey

I loved and I still love Marcy and she was and is my soul mate.

Early in my relationship with Carey, I struggled with that: how can I fully commit to Carey when Marcy still exists as she does in heaven?

How can God give me two soul mates?

Then He told me: “I love you that much. I give you my child Carey. Just keep walking in obedience with Me. You both only think you have been blessed up to now. You are just getting started walking in my blessings for you.”

I receive that and am obeying Him every step of the way.

Every Day Is So Precious

I plan to continue posting Daily Updates and sending emails.

I know that God will bless me with work to do soon, but I never want my life to be “normal.” I want – and I choose – to continually walk in His supernatural ways.

Carey and I pray that God’s spirit of supernatural love and hope will be released through our story.

Carey and me at the College Grove Christmas Parade 12/5/10.

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