The day we started going into the mountains was wonderful. The bus was full, and my nervous heart was excited that Mackenzie and I would get stuck in the car together. I’d get to sit next to her and we could talk! Sure enough Monika leaned close to me while we were boarding the bus and whispered, “Get off.” I obeyed.
The drive to was lovely. We talked about a lot of things, but it was easy, we laughed and I was overly comfortable. We talked about how Yesup and Monika had said something to the both of us about each other, we then told how had just been in terrible relationships and were nervous and a little scared of the idea of being together. Then we talked about favorite this and that for hours. It was just plain fun!
I noticed our knees were touching by the end of the four-hour trip.
That night at the pastor’s conference (one of them) she was sitting in front of me, so we were facing each other (I got to sit on the ‘stage’ behind the speaker) and though I couldn’t see her face I could see her feet and I kept hearing, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news,” over and over and over. And they were, her feet were, are beautiful she carries good news where she goes.
The next morning I knew we needed to seriously talk about everything, not like we had done the day before, but really talk about things. Yesup and Monika told the group how they had met and again I stared at Mackenzie’s feet thinking, “How beautiful are the feet of her who preaches good news.”
After breakfast I ran and hid in the flower garden of our little resort. I needed to pray, I needed time with God, I needed to be with him and hear his voice and feel his leading and know his calling. So as I sat on the steps in the garden I prayed, “God what would you have me do, Mackenzie is amazing, but I’m so scared to be in another long-distance relationship, what should I do?” And his answer came to me clearly.
It’s clear to me that I have two nephews and I own a cat, it’s clear to me the sun is in the sky and it’s clear to me that Jesus is my Savior, and it is clear to me that I must love Mackenzie. He told me to love her. Which means to marry her, which means to die to self and love her, which means she will be my wife.
I was stunned at this, stunned. “God really? You want me to love her? If you really want me to love her make the birds sing more.” And the steady chirping of birds grew steadily louder. “Alright God, coincidence, if you really want me to love her make the birds silent.” And it was quiet, eerily quiet, no birds sang out. “God if you want me to love her we have to talk seriously about this, we can’t just start, we need to talk! And there is no where on earth I feel like I need to be right now than sitting on this step talking to You.” It was like the call on my life in that moment was to sit on a step and be nowhere else. “So have her come to me and sit next to me and let’s talk about this God.”
*Crunch came the sound of feet on gravel from behind me (my heart pounded) “Hey!” said Mackenzie’s voice (my heart stopped). I turned around and there she was, stooping down to sit next to me on the step. The step that I had just told God she needed to sit on if I was to love her, the place where she and I would need to talk about our relationship!
We began to talk and I was scared and nervous. We shot the breeze for a few minutes about how we slept the night before then started talking about us, “What’s on your mind,” was my ingenious move into that conversation (so nervous). Like an idiot I was making her go first, she was going to tell me everything before I told her… But God saved that screw up just like he saved me, “Hey guys it’s time to get on the bus.” Said Mallory, Mackenzie’s friend (now mine too).