On the afternoon I ended the relationship with my boyfriend, I was talking with one of the youth leaders who was playing cards with Nick. She had to leave and left me to take her spot. So Nick and I played war and other two person card games, but what I remember most is that we talked. We talked about being homeschooled, our parents rules, expectations in life. I found I had a lot in common with him. But I really didn't think much more than that. I was just beginning recovering from a broken heart.
A few weeks later, I saw Nick at church. He didn't know I had been grounded and asked me where I had been. I am sure he thought it was the craziest thing in the world to hear that I had been grounded from youth group.
Anyways, he asked if I wanted to go with his family to a homeschool day at Oaks Park, a local amusement park. His line was that he knew lots of other homeschool girls that he could introduce me to. I had been grounded for a month and was up for anything, but I told him he would need to ask my dad. So I took him with me (he will say I dragged him by the arm, which I don't really recall) and found my dad and Nick asked my dad. Then we had my dad meet his mom. My dad and mom took a day to think on it, and then they told me that I could go. I was so excited to get out.
So on September 6th, 1994, Nick's family took me to Oaks Park. Now I will tell you, Nick did not introduce me to a single homeschool girl. However, we went on every ride together (which is amazing in itself because I hate amusement rides) and we talked the whole entire time. We couldn't stop talking.
I still didn't think much more than he is a really nice guy, but God was opening up my heart to a friendship in a way that only He could make happen.
Nick and I started to get to know each other more, and we would see each other at youth group and our families started doing things together. Also because of long distance phone charges from Scappoose to Portland, Nick and I also started writing letters to each other (I have a box full of letters from my wonderful husband now). November 12th, we had the "talk." I shouldn't have iniated things, but I was impatient, and so I asked him what his intentions were towards me.
We were 16. Through that conversation, we both knew we didn't want to have a casual relationship where you go out and break up. But we also knew that we would have a long road ahead of us in thinking of marriage. But I knew in my heart that this was the real deal, and I started to believe that this was the man God had chosen for me to marry someday.
That December our youth leader, Alden Peabody, who had wanted to set us up in the first place, asked me how things were going with Nick.
And I told him that I was going to marry Nick someday. Now Alden didn't criticize my naive notions, or put them down. He just gave me a knowing smile and then went on to teach us a lesson. It was on how God had told Mary something at a young age, that she was going to carry His Son and how she believed and treasured these things in her heart. Afterwards, Alden came up to me. And he told me this. "Kari, when you said you were going to marry Nick someday, I kind of laughed at the idea of it with being so young. But if God has shown you that is what He has for you, treasure it in your heart, and see what God does."
I never forgot that.
For 6 years of a way too long dating/courtship period I always remembered that. I am sad to say that it was not without it's struggles. We never gave ourselves away to each other before marriage, but we definitely did not always treat each other in the way that God wanted for us. 6 years is a long time to wait. But... God was faithful to us during that time. And He had a much bigger plan ahead for us.