I love storms. I go out to watch them when the sirens go off. I love the energy, the lights, the quick change in temperature. I love springtime in Oklahoma. I love the wild flowers on the prairie and the green winter wheat fields.
We'd had an unusual amount of tornadoes that week in April along with the other tragedies. As if life wasn't uncertain enough, God had to let the winds loose. Tragedy is a lot like storm clouds. Sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes the clouds cover the whole sky for days on end. But the sun is still there on the other side waiting. Just like God, there even when we refuse to believe and can't see.
I found much comfort and solace in Cody's arms that week. Life could pack a punch. But I was fully convinced Cody could take it on. He was strong and resolved. I had found a place resting on his chest listening to the beat of his heart and it felt like home.
And I was convinced, except for the preacher's wife part, I wanted to be with him till I died. Well sorta, it seemed like a good idea.
That last year in high school I somehow got asked to play piano at the Wilkins Nursing Home on Sunday morning. I have a feeling it had to do with an old man named Joe Schwartz. Joe was about the first person I met coming off the moving van from North Carolina. He took to me. Thank God he did. Joe and God kept me from a lot of teenage foolishness. Joe would pray for me like his own child. I was an assignment. God assigned me to Joe. One time we were in Mexico on a mission trip and I'd broken up with a guy I'd been dating but it was an on again/off again relationship. Joe confronted me on it. He asked if God had told me to end the relationship. I said yes. He said, "Why in the world are you messing around with him then?" I had no answer. And when I got home I called it quits for good. I was just wasting time. I dated some more here and there then 10 months later I am watching tornadoes form outside with Cody. Had I not obeyed God's voice I would've been tied up, confused, and so distracted when Cody came by that day in November. My dad used to say, "it only takes one". I didn't 100 guys, I just needed one. One that loved the Lord first.
So I'd go and play hymns on Sunday morning at the nursing home. Joe would bring the lesson or Cotton Rodgers. I learned a lot from those "old" men. Cotten and his wife, Beaulah were precious. He passed away not long after that year. He'd preached the gospel his whole life. His wife was happy. They still held hands and went everywhere together. Could that be Cody and me one day?
Then there was this African American couple in their 90's. They'd been married over 70 years. They wheeled around their wheelchairs together. He was a preacher too. He loved to sing, "I'll fly away". I played it every week for him.
Two couples. Love that had lasted years. Serving beside each other. Maybe I could do this. Maybe this is my destiny.
I really didn't think that much about it. I just loved Cody, he loved the Lord, surely we'd be ok. Sign me up, I guess.
I remembered my dad announcing to our church that Cody had felt called to full time ministry about a year before. Then he "shared" some at our Wednesday night youth group meetings. Someone asked him to teach at the nursing home. So he came.
We were already dating when he started coming. Maybe he wanted to check out my piano playing abilities. That is a prerequisite for being a pastor's wife you know. Or maybe he just wanted to be near me. He worked a lot and was at college during the week. Sundays and Wednesdays were all we had. Whatever the reason I loved seeing him up there teaching as the elderly slowly nodded off to sleep. Couple of times he preached at the Alzheimer' unit. One of the patients came right up to him merely inches away from his face as he expounded on the book of John.
On mother's day that year dad asked Cody to preach on a Sunday night. He spoke of his mom, grandmothers, and Jesus' mom. He read from the book of Hebrews, chapter 2 verse 9 and John 3:16 (always a good one to throw in there).
It was an awesome night, we prayed together. I had bought a book for us to go through. "Soul Mates" .
I wasn't pushy, no, not at all. "I" just wanted to lead us in the right direction. Cody never participated willingly in my little devotions. I was quite put out by his unwillingness to be my "Soul Mate". A much better read would've been "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge. So I failed at "taming" him. It was a sweet surrender in the end. He leads quite well on his own. We are both works in progress.
See there he is on the cover running from my soul mates book.
So I was making my plans and began to think of the future with Cody. Little did I realize I had begun slipping little by little- giving him more and more of my heart. So when an old flame walked through the doors one day we had a little earth quake. I'm sure the Meers, Ok seismograph didn't pick this one up but the ground beneath me began to shake. And I absolutely hated it. I hated that one girl could make me feel so insecure. I hated that I'd let myself get so dependent that I couldn't see another option if Cody all of a sudden walked out of my life. Insecurity does crazy things to a woman's mind. And we had conflict. I grew up with brothers, loved hanging out with guy friends but I had no clue how to determine how a man thought. Could he really be pulled away from me by her? Funny I don't even remember who it was, but I remember how alone I suddenly felt. Maybe we weren't as "certain" as I'd thought. Maybe no relationship is certain. So where did that put me? I'd given up going back east for school, I'd given up my senior prom (he was NOT going back to a high school prom and I wasn't going without him) and I'd given him my heart. That was the scariest of all.....