It’s “Love” month around North Creek! In honor of Valentine’s Day, we begin our new series called Beauty and the Beast. It’s basically about how the world has taken the subject of sex and made it something that God has never intended. I’m excited to be addressing the biblical perspective as a church and trying to recapture God’s heart on the matter.
On that note, I thought I’d share how Mark and I met. He was 25 and already a junior high youth pastor at New Life Church in Renton. I was in my second year of college at Northwest University. During my time at NU, I travelled on different drama teams doing skits and being crazy at summer camps. My team was just about to go on our first week of our summer tour, so I was driving back from Montana after a visit with my parents. I prayed along the way, “God, change my life this summer!” And boy, was He about to!
I drove straight from Montana to Cedar Spring Camp in Lake Stevens, Washington, just in time for the evening meeting with all of the leaders of the camp. During the meeting, I was introduced to Mark. He was preaching in chapel on Tuesday morning and needed some help from the drama team. We sat outside at a table in the cool air of a July night. He was preaching something with a Mr. Rogers neighborhood theme and asked if I happened to have the music with me. What a strange question! The only stranger thing is that I did have the music with me…we should have guessed we were destined to be together then!
The next morning I woke up, ready to face a day of excited junior highers at camp. They randomly placed those of us on the drama team in different cabins to help out and I got assigned to a group of girls that would literally be a part of the rest of my life…they were from New Life Church and Mark was their youth pastor. It didn’t take them long to decide that they were going to set me up with their bachelor pastor.
Mark and I both will tell you quickly that it was not love at first sight. I had a bad hair cut and he was painfully skinny. I was 20 years old, and at the time, he seemed really old for me. I was still in college and he already had a life of his own. I wasn’t excited about jumping in to a large church as a pastor’s wife. It all seemed overwhelming. But then there was God.
Watching each other invest into a bunch of smelly junior highers at camp sealed the deal in both of us. As we worshipped, prayed, and played with teenagers, our hearts were twisted together. By the end of the week, I was ready to see where this journey would lead us. It would take another couple of weeks for Mark to ask me out, but I had already made up my mind. I knew if I started dating him, that would be my last first date. And it was.