Saturday, February 14

My Love Story

Inspired by my new Canadian blog bud JD, I decided to record My Love Story. She shared hers and it made me think about my own Love Story. Actually, I've had a few really good Love Stories in my life (I will explain more... probably NOT what you're thinking). My first Love Story begins the summer of 1995...

I was 14 years old & packing my bags for Myrtle Beach. 

My best friend's family invited me on their summer vacation. We were headed down there to meet up with more of her family.... which included her cousin & his best friend. (they were around the same age as us... you know where this is going) The idea was that I would "hook up" with her cousin Chad & my friend would "hook up" with her cousin's friend. I cringe at the thought of this, considering Maddy is only 4 years away from 14! (That's OK... she knows better. She is very well aware of the fact that she is not allowed to even start thinking about dating until she's about 37 or so :)....) Anyway, I remember how excited I was to be going to the beach... especially Myrtle Beach. Rumor had it that they had "real" palm trees down there. Honestly, the last thing on my mind were the boys. However, as we pulled into the hotel & saw my friend's family unloading their van I saw Chad & his friend... Stephen. I stared at Stephen & thought to myself... "Please be Chad, Please be Chad, Please be Chad"... O'well. 

I really don't remember too much about that week other than Stephen. 

 We were quite the hot topic of the week. We got into trouble for disappearing down the beach one night. We decided to go on a romantic walk as we held hands & got our feet wet in the waves. (again I cringe, as I think of my girls) Oh man, did we get fussed at! We both ended up on the balconies of our hotel room sulking. Fortunately for us the rooms were right next to each other... so, there we were again... alone together. Then there was the night that all of the adults left to go out to dinner. They left the 4 of us alone at the hotel... what in the heck were they thinking?!?! There were a few love pecks that evening (cringing). 

 I'm almost positive that by the time we were ready to go home our friend's parents were truly regretting bringing us along. Little did they know it was all a part of God's plan! 

Call it puppy love, adolescent infatuation... I don't know. I do know that I met my future husband that week... when I think back on that time I don't think of myself being 14. It was so real to me & meant to be. Crazy I know. (Maddy is SO not reading this post for a long time!

I remember the day we left the beach... I was staring out of the back window of the truck, crying my eyes out as we drove away. I was so sad to be leaving Stephen. I'm sure the entire time my friend's parents were siting up front rolling their eyes, looking forward to the moment they dropped me off at home & wondering how they were going to explain my heartbroken condition to my parents. 
Once we got home it was back to the regular routine. I had a full time job that summer, working for a doctors office, filing medical records all day. I was rich for a 14 year old, so I had plenty of money for my new collection.... pre-paid phone cards. Oh my, did we talk! We drove our parents crazy. I know I snuck a lot of the phone calls on my end. When I did get caught I'd get the "you're way too young for this type of foolishness to be going on" talk. I remember several times Stephen's mom picking up another phone in the house.. "Stephen has to get off of the phone now, bye Kasie". We would talk for hours.. about nothing. Oh, we were so in love. :) We kept this up for several months... then for whatever reason our conversations faded. Our parent's nagging probably wore us down. We ended up losing touch for about 4 years. 

In that four years (short version): 
I met Madison's dad when I was 16, had Maddy when I was 17, graduated high school when she was 3 weeks old, realized that it wasn't going to work out with him & we separated. All the while I thought about Stephen often. It was just something about him that I loved & missed so much. 

So, one day... out of the blue... I decided to call him... 

To be continued.... 

Part 2 

Ok, THE call. I must confess that I can not recollect anything about this phone call. I had to ask Stephen for details & he didn't have much. He did remember where he was when I called... standing in his kitchen. I thought it was sweet that he remembered that much. What's important is I made the call & the sparks came flying back! 

I do remember the butterflies & giggles... it was just like time had not lapsed at all. This was now summer of 1999. I was 18 & Stephen was 20... We were both living at home (I had moved back home). I, of course, had Maddy. About a month after our initial chat I decided I wanted to go to Kentucky to see him. So my girlfirend & I hit the road for a 375 mile road trip. For the sake of time I will steer clear of the eastern KY cracks (which include banjos, yard sales on the side of the interstate & one stop light towns). Let's just say it was culture shock. (I joke, but I must say.. I've grown to love the peacefulness & beauty of his home town.) I remember how nervous I was as we drew closer & closer. 

My girlfriend & I checked into a hotel right outside of his town. Shortly after we got there I was greeted with roses & that handsome boy who hadn't changed too much from our first adventure in Myrtle Beach. It was just like old times. We had a great time together. I got to meet his parents & a few of his good friends. I only stayed for the weekend & this time it was my girlfriend rolling her eyes as we left & headed back home. I remember crying so hard. I was so confused. I just knew he was the one.... but so far away from home. 

I couldn't take the distance much longer, so not too long after that trip I headed back. This time with my girlfriend & Madison. Madison was about 1 1/2 years old. Stephen was so good with her from the get go. He was a natural. Maddy fell in love with him. 
He came to visit me once too in that time period. Then in November (about 4 months after that initial conversation) I visited on my own. He planned a romantic getaway at a nearby state park. We were in the middle of dinner & he said he left his wallet in the room & had to go get it. After dinner was over we headed back to the room. When we got there I noticed a little trinket box on the table... it had a little boy on his knees proposing to a little girl. I thought to myself... there is no way this is happening. When I opened the box he got down on his knee & said something very sweet ( I asked Stephen if he could remember what he said to me & his response was "something awesome, I'm sure"... He doesn't have a clue.) I couldn't remember either but I do know I said yes. So there you have it.... after lots of phone conversations & a few actual visits in person we were engaged. 

He moved to Richmond that December the day after Christmas (6 months after that initial conversation). Shortly after that we got our own place & started planning a wedding. We also started partying quite a bit. Drinking was our favorite past time. Drugs slowly crept into our lives as well. One drug led to another, which led to another & that's what our life became... Having a "good time" with whatever felt good at the time. 

August 11, 2001 (I was 20 & he was 22) we were married. I absolutely loved my wedding. Madison was our flower girl. Our pianist played "you are my sunshine" as she came down the isle. It was very sweet. 

After our luau reception Stephen & I headed to Cancun Mexico for a 1 1/2 week honeymoon. We had a great time. 

When we got home it was more partying. The events of September 11th marked our 1 month anniversary. September 11th 2001, you remember what happened. We were all glued to the TV, afraid to open our mail because we didn't want to die of anthrax poisoning. We'd tense up every time a loud plane would fly overhead. What a spiritual experience that was for all of us. Everyone rushed into the churches & held their candle light services. Not me, I was so confused, however I did start questioning my purpose & my life more than I ever had before. It was a very sobering experience. I remember always thinking, even before 9/11, that there was something pretty major out there for me. Something that I was missing… almost like a hole that needed to be filled inside of me. I didn't understand it. I called it depression & filled it with drugs & alcohol. If I could just always feel as good as I did when I was high then life would be just fine!

Well the partying, drinking & drugs just got more & more out of control. It became who we were. That's just what we did… I'm pretty sure no-one really knew how bad it had gotten for us. Of course, we thought everything was perfectly under control! HA, well that following December I ended up leaving Stephen. I thought there were bigger & better things out there & I ruined our marriage after only 4 months, it was over. 

Stephen moved in with his friends and Maddy & I got a teeny tiny apartment right outside of Richmond. 

My job was about the only stable thing going for me. It's a good thing, because now I was a single mom living on my own. There was this guy that I worked with named Howard. What a great guy. We both worked as bill collectors on the same team & even though he was about 15 years older than me & we had nothing in common he was my best bud at work. He'd sit & listen to some of my weekend stories & he'd just be really sweet & talk about his 2 boys & their adventures. Then one day, out of the blue he started telling me about this church over on the other side of town. I guess my foul mouth & party stories made him think I needed something more in my life… a higher influence, a touch of righteousness, a little bit of goodness. Whatever, I'd just nod politely. Then Easter rolled around that following spring & I thought… you know, maybe I should take Maddy to church for Easter. So I did.

This was the beginning of my second love story...

To Be Continued.... 

Part 3
I got lost on the way to church that morning. I took the wrong exit off of the highway. Man was I mad! After driving around for about 20 minutes I decided to U turn it & go the other way… Oh my Goodness, is that seriously a church? Where is the steeple? I drove up & parked. This place is huge! I pulled Madison out of the car, fluffed her dress & straightened her hair, took her by the hand & walked slowly inside. Oh man, everyone was so nice. Everyone was smiling, shaking my hand, being helpful. What a crock! This place is so commercial; I am going to hate this. Why did I listen to Howard? They don't even have pews here. What church doesn't have pews? And where is the hymnal at, how am I supposed to sing without the hymnal. Oh well, there was no turning back at this point.

As the service started, I began to feel something I'd never felt before. People were singing to God, they were holding their hands in the air worshipping. What a sweet presence there in that big sanctuary, a presence that I had never before felt in my life. Whatever this is… whatever these people have going here, I need more of it. Boy did I have a lot questions for Howard! I returned to the church
 the following week. I don't remember much of what Pastor talked about, but I do remember him giving the invitation… Are there any here today who need a special touch from God? Is there anyone here today who has never asked Jesus Christ to be there personal Lord and Savior? If so, please come forward. My body took control... my mind didn't have any say in the matter. There was no time to think, just react. Yes Pastor, that's me. I need it, I want it… everything you've mentioned, I need it in my life. So I took the walk… to the altar, in front of all of those people. Pastor led me & the others that joined me that morning, in a simple prayer; A prayer that has changed my life dramatically.

I remember shortly after I made the decision to be a Christian a really good friend of mine asked me something like… so what's the difference? What's the point, I know God. She couldn't understand what the whole new thing was. Why was I all of a sudden so different? I really couldn't give her an answer, I didn't understand myself. How was I supposed to put in words what God had done for me? How was I supposed to tell her about the darkness that had been replaced with joy. a true joy, a joy that I had never felt before? How was I supposed to tell her about the suicidal thoughts, the self-destroying horrible thoughts that were no longer there? How was I supposed to tell her that I now had this hope for the future, a reason to live & be happy with just living? A new purpose, a freedom like I had never sensed before. No longer was I held captive to the fear & worry that had me entangled. I couldn't explain to her these things; all of these new emotions & good feelings inside. It was a whirlwind; I couldn't really explain it myself. Could all this goodness be for real?

I now understand it. The Bible says… old things have passed away & all things become new. My Spirit had been awakened.

We were created by God. We were designed to be worshippers of God. We were designed by God for a special purpose. Only when we accept Christ as our Savior & receive what He did for us on the cross can we truly be happy.

He must increase as I decrease. What I've found is that He knows more about my true hearts desires than I do. Why wouldn't He... He created me & He is the lover of my soul, my sweet Lord, my best friend. Jesus is my everything… He saw past the wreck of a life I had created for myself & saw the little girl crying for help. Crying for help to get out of a living nightmare. He saw the real me, the me He created me to be… you couldn't pay me enough money in the world to go back to life before Christ. All of  sudden I had a REAL reason for living. I am madly in love my Savior! He delivered me from depression and addiction. All those things that were ruining my life. Unfortunately, my marriage was ruined... so I thought. 

Honestly, I didn't think too much about Stephen. I heard through the grapevine that he was even deeper into drugs. I prayed for him every now & then... but I knew after I had hurt him that there was no way he'd want anything to do with me. I became a Christian April 2002 and that October the Lord led me to get back on touch with Stephen. I called him out of the blue one Saturday night that October. I do remember this conversation. It was pretty awkward. Simple conversation... "how have you been"... "good, how about you"... type of thing. I told him I had some things I wanted to share with him & asked if I could come over for a visit. He reluctantly agreed. I went to the place that he was staying & I shared with him everything that God had done in my life. At this point Stephen's life was consumed with depression & drugs. He listened to what I had to say but w/o much reaction. It was an extremely weird visit. He had become a person that I didn't know anymore. God wouldn't let me give up though. He had me call and invite him to church... several times. Eventually he said something like "If you will leave me alone, I will go to church with you". So he did. He ended giving his life to Jesus that morning. He was set free from the depression & drugs that had him bound & miserable. He was working with a guy that had been sharing Jesus with him. Imagine his delight when Stephen told him that he had accepted Jesus as his Savior! Stephen was living in a bad place, so his friend invited him to stay with him for awhile. Stephen & I decided we were going to do it the right way this time. We acted as if we were never married. We lived apart for 3 months & a pastor friend of ours married us on January 31st, 2003 in the narthex of our church. 

To Be Continued....

I took a portion of "Part 3" from a blog that I wrote on Myspace a long time ago. Here is a video that I posted before & felt was appropriate to post here as well... 

Wow, it's been awhile. Let's see. Where were we.... Stephen & I were remarried and ready to start our brand new life together... again. 

When I met Jesus that previous spring Madison did too. She was learning in church about God's goodness & how we can pray to Him, ask Him for things, rely on Him to lead us and be there for us no matter what, etc. We would pray together before bedtime and just about every night she would ask God for a baby sister. Her faith was solid & she just knew that God was going to provide her with a baby sister. Stephen & I were not together... and there were no plans in sight for me to be with anyone. I was getting myself straight & enjoying getting to know my Lord. How was I supposed to break the news to her that there was no baby sister in sight any time soon? 

She prayed relentlessly & faithfully every night for her baby sister. 

After Stephen & I got back together we decided that we did in fact want another baby. We got pregnant 3 days after we were remarried. Could you imagine the excitement & glee when we broke the news to Madison?!?! 

We decided to name our new baby girl Olivia... before we even knew what it meant. 

After she was born we found out that her name means "olive branch" which represents "new beginnings". How appropriate? A new beginning is exactly what we had been blessed with. 

God is so faithful & we've decided that as a couple & as a family we are 100% committed to serving God. Our prayer is "lead us Lord, we'll go where you want us to go & do what you want us to do." We make mistakes & stumble along the way... we all do. But our promise to God is that we will serve Him all the days of our lives & then through eternity forever. 

Our life here is temporal. We are living for our eternity... we are living for our Heavenly Father. 

He's done way too much for us not too... & even if He hadn't we still would, just because He's God, our creator & because we've been created for a purpose. He has a divine purpose for our lives... a path that leads us closer & closer to Him... there is no where else we'd rather be. 

So really, this love story is an ongoing daily walk together with our Lord & Savior, creator of our universe & author of our lives. 

It's His story, really! My prayer is that others would see His love & light in us & fall madly in love with our God too. The one & only true God. 


  1. On.The.Edge.Of.My.Seat.... looking forward to Part II!!!!!!

    I LOVE love stories, love love love love them!!! I also love the beach -- I, too, would have been thinking about the beach, the palm trees, and eventually would have been sidetracked by a boy, for sure.

    I giggled about Maddy not reading the story... My twelve year old son would roll his eyes and such, but he has been joined at the heart with this one girl since grade 2. Two weeks ago, when I mentioned that I was indeed praying for the girl he'd eventually marry, he simply stated, matter of fact as anything, that I was obviously praying for Elise then. She's the female version of my son, they are two peas in a pod, and inseparable in a very non-obsessed, natural kind of way. I've never seen the likes of it, and I'd have difficulty describing it. I secretly hope that it IS indeed this girl that he'll someday marry, I couldn't imagine a better choice. Either way, I will still pray for who ever God has in mind.

    Happppppy Valentine's Day!!!

  2. i too am on the edge of my seat :)
    your a great write kasie!

  3. Hurry UP with part 2 for pete's sake!~Alejo

  4. Awhh! I'm tearin' up! I love how God used Howard to help carry out his plans.

    I'm look forward to hearing the rest of your love story and filling in the gaps since high school.

  5. Thank you for continuing your story, I have loved getting to know you and learning the journey you've traveled to get to today. I loved the video, I watched it with my daughter, and I want to show it to the boys when they get home.

    (((((((( big hugs )))))))))))))

  6. What a beautiful story of love. Very uplifting. {hugs}

  7. I love you Kasie! You are amazing! Love, Mom

  8. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it with us. BTW is that Maymont that you were married at? (I grew up in Richmond and live about an hour away now.)