Following up on Casey’s post last night, I’ll be doing my entry on how exactly we got here from there. Casey’s class reunion is next weekend, but I haven’t had any class reunions yet even though I graduated in 1997.
I’ll start with the night Casey and I met. She called it our first date, but it was really the first time we met. She was playing softball for her “company” team and I was there with a friend. Our first date was to go see the classic movie The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy, now how is that for romantic!
I was a rising senior and she was a rising sophomore that summer when we started dating. I’m pretty sure everyone told her it wasn’t going to last long because of my past. I didn’t know how long it was going to last, but I did know that there was something different about her. We made it through my senior year together when I was thinking about the Navy, starting my own business, going to a 4 year school or staying at home and going to community college. I finally decided to go to Appalachian before even visiting it.
After tearful goodbyes I was off to Appalachian that fall. It was well….different and Casey wasn’t there. I came home every weekend and enjoyed our time together. I stayed home until I absolutely had to go back to the mountains every Sunday night. We talked during the week and saw each other on the weekends, but we both knew things weren’t like they were before. I could see my life going the wrong way being up there but I didn’t know what to do about it.
Meanwhile, I had been going to church with Casey while coming home on the weekends. Mainly because I wanted to spend more time with her. Casey’s grandfather was the preacher at the small country church they went to. I had never been in church growing up and had never heard the Bible preached like he preached it.
After thinking about it pretty much the whole semester I decided not to return to the mountains and enrolled at the local community college for the spring semester. I was home and taking classes that I somewhat enjoyed. Another part that I didn’t want to stay at Appalachian was that I couldn’t take any computer courses. I was in a begining computer class and the teacher had no clue. I won’t get into a rant about education here right now, but maybe in the future.
I’m now at home, going to school and working part time at the local school system doing on-site tech support and technology training. After about mid semester I started getting bored with school again and started looking for a full-time job. I applied for a wide range of jobs, but couldn’t find anything that I was really interested in pursuing. Casey and I were doing great, school was ok, but something was still missing…. it must be the job!
I started out the summer session of school determined to find a job. I started spending some summer mornings with an old high school learning new software packages, networking and server systems. A former boss came in one morning and mentioned a job his company was hiring. If you read my previous post “hire me” then you read about my job interview in Charlotte.
The job was doing on-site setup, repair and training for k-12 schools throughout North and South Carolina. The majority of my time would be spent in Charlotte because they were our biggest account. I had a home office, still living at home with my parents, some weeks I’d be traveling and some days I’d be at home. It was a pretty hectic lifestyle for awhile. After 4 months as a field technician I was promoted to Systems Engineer. So, work life was in place, relationship was in place, but there was something STILL missing.
At 19, I finally quit running from God and gave my life to Him on the way home from Casey’s house one nigh. I was only going to church to be with Casey, but the Holy Spirit was working on me the whole time. Casey went on to go to Wingate and returned home after the first semester. Close to the end of that semester after I knew she had decided to return home I went with my dad to purchase an engagement ring.
After the ring was purchased, I had made plans to propose on Jan 1, 2000. I met with Casey’s parents and asked if they were ok with everything before I went into planning mode. True to form I couldn’t wait until New Years. I proposed on Christmas night 1999. She told me she would get back to me and let me know the next week, haha. She said yes!
Things were looking a little bleak at work with layoffs happening all around and I could see the writing on the wall. That added with the travel really pushed me to look for another job. In the Spring of 2000 I started at my current employer. We got married in November and took a trip to Europe. This was an experience for both of us! Casey had never been on a plane and neither one of had been out of the country.
We made it back and moved into our 2 bedrrom apartment. I think Casey spent the next 6 months cleaning up the mess that I had in the apartment before she moved in. We decided to build a house in the same city and found a nice lot in a new subdivision. We knew we wanted a house before we had kids and soon after moving in B1 was born. And soon after that, 13 months B2 was born. In little less than 2 years time we had grown out of our house. We decided to put our house up for sale in hopes that maybe someone would want it. Just a couple weeks later our house was under contract and we didn’t have anywhere to go.
We found a bigger house in a nearby city that was priced well below market value. We bought that house and stayed a little over 2 years I think. We were struggling with where to send B1 to school, but we knew it wasn’t going to be in that district. Casey was working part time at the time which proved to be pretty hectic. Get the boys to her mom’s house, go to work, pick the boys up, come back home, get them in the bed for a nap. One afternoon Casey heard a lot of noise outside and opened the door. There was a free for all in our driveway with some people who just got off the bus. I think that is what finally put it over the edge. We were moving and switching districts.
After a stressfull selling of that house we were back in the city and district we wanted to be in. B1 started school and B3 was born. After long prayer and stepping out on faith Casey stayed home with the boys. God began to deal with both of us about what it means to be parents and what is required and expected. We started talking about the idea of homeschooling and really got a peace about it after seeking God’s will.
Things were going great, we had gotten serious about serving God a few years earlier, Casey was at home teaching the boys, work was going great, but I was uneasy. I was teaching a youth class, singing in the choir, and a Trustee at church, but something was still missing. After struggling with God for many months in November 2008 I publicly surrendered to the calling of God on my life to preach. That brings us up to this past summer when B4 was born in August.
Let’s jump back now. I’ve exhausted my time here now and plan to talk about my life before Christ and After Christ later on, but I wanted to address it. I had friends and what you would call enemies before I accepted Christ. I lived for myself and wasn’t too concerned with others. I know I did things that harmed others and of that I am truly sorry. Words do not begin to explain the difference that takes place when turning from living for self to living for God. There is an emptiness in your life before you accept Christ. People fill this emptiness with many things, but only one thing will permanently fill this hole. The Holy Spirit, which indwells every believer after accepting Christ.
I have seen Casey and myself grow since that first day we met. I can truly say that I love her more today than I did when we first started dating or any other time up until now. God has a plan for each and every one of us and our families in this life and eternally. We strive to stay in His will and cannot wait to see what He has in store for us in the future.
That is a short synopsis of what has been going on for the past 12 years since high school. Hopefully future posts will fill in the gaps.