I wanted to write this story about our life and how we met and our courtship. I have seen a growing tendency in my mind to forget the little things. I don't want my children to forget the story of how two people from very different worlds meet, not fall in love, grow to love, then become twitterpatted. Now, I am getting ahead of my story.
It is not for the faint or light hearted. It is full of suspense and mystery. Not really, but it is sweet. Personally, I think it would be quite a cute novel to be set in a switch back and forth between my emotional high strung view of life to James' centered, fun and practical side of life.
It all begins with brokenness. You see, I was denied the immediate acceptance into a ministry called "Navigators". One of the primary reasons was because of my status of a new Christian. I had some wounds and needed to be discipled (that means to spend time with another Christian who pours into your life to help foster and grow spiritually). I decided to go to Alaska and to help Wasilla Bible Church by starting a college ministry while I am discipled.
So, I drove my Honda Civic from Florida to Alaska and had even more adventures (that's another story). When I arrived, I didn't know what I was going to do. I worked summer camps and found out through the teaching of Dan and Becky Small, that I had no idea what was in the Bible. I knew that I needed to have further Bible training if I were to go to full time ministry (more of that later).
It was during my time at camp, that I sought after someone to disciple me. The first lady who agreed ended up pregnant with a huge case of sickness thrown in. So, she recommended Donna who discipled her. I called Donna and she agreed to meet.
One of the first meeting with Donna I explained about the Gap. You see, I gathered a group of people from Wasilla Bible Church and we started the "Gap" for college aged folks. We met every Wednesday night for Bible Study, then on the every other weekend we would have outings. Some of our outings included, skiing, sledding, and game night. Donna thought that was neat to see us getting together because at the time, there wasn't a ministry for those college aged people at her church -Lazy Mt. Bible Church, or any other church in the valley. So, because "Gap" wasn't just for Wasilla Bible Church folks, I gladly took the phone numbers of people that age so that I could invite them to a variety of events.
So, every other week, I would go down the list of college-aged people and invite them to a variety of activities. James Embree was on the list. He never came. He was coaching cross-country races on the weekends and on Wednesday night he lead a youth group in Big Lake, AK. However, one cold and snowy day in November, he came to soup 'n sled.
"Soup 'n Sled" first met at the church and then headed to Hatchers Pass for sled/skiing down the hill. We had a van to load up people to the top again. After a few hours we ended by having soup at the Hatcher's Pass Lodge. James looked like Santa Clause with his full beard. I resembled the Pillsbury dough boy because of all the oversized winter gear I had to borrow (I spent the past 4 years in Alabama).
However, that didn't stop our conversation. We ended up riding and talking in the van the entire day. I cannot remember what we talked about (specifically) but, I do remember asking him if he knew of a Bible School to go to. He recommended Moody Graduate School.
The next day I run into Adele Morgan in the church foyer. The Dream (You can click on the dream)
Crazy. I know.
Then it turned out that James needed me. I know your thinking, oh that is when you knew. No. He needed me to be a chaperone for his Christmas Party at Faith Bible Fellowship. Agreed to help, I had no idea what I was getting into. I honesty can't remember much, but I ended up getting a twisted ankle in one of the first games.
We talked on the phone a few times when I had questions about the Bible. I loved talking with him.
Another Gap event we went skiing in Alyeska. My friend Katie was up from Alabama and James ended up teaching both of us how to ski. He was such a good teacher, I wanted to hit the larger slopes immediately. So, I did and James went down some crazy way and ended up breaking the bindings off the borrowed skis Ouch. So, he was done for the day, as was Katie. I kept going and took a higher lift. Which was my last one, ever! I crashed because the skies got twisted and my knee did something wrong. I ended up getting ski-evacuated from the Red Coat guys.
However, I still didn't know his feelings. It was a snowy Friday February 28th; I knew James' birthday was the following day. He was going to be a North Star Bible Camp. So, I called the camp and asked Linda Mitchell if I could help in the kitchen. (What??- I burnt toast every time-never cooked) But, she said yes. I drove up the mountain listening to Phantom of the Opera after receiving a ticket for failing to come to a stop at an intersection. I remembered being spooked by the Opera scary scene as it was dark and a blizzard.
The next morning around 5 am as I was helping make Monkey Bread, I saw James sitting by the fire reading his Bible. It was the most attractive thing to me. I knew in my heart that I wanted a guy like that. During the breakfast line James greeted me as I wished him a happy birthday. Then as I was clearing the tables that he did the "stand in front of me side step dance so I can't pass" move. Yep. But, it get better. He actually pulled my apron string. I knew he liked me BIG TIME.
It wasn't until March 30, when Donna so kindly invited me to hear James preach at Faith Bible Fellowship and to eat Easter Dinner that we met again. James was giving a compelling sermon, I have no idea what he said. But, it was good. I remembered thinking, "all I wanted him to do was to finish the sermon and grab my hand as his wife and exited out of the Faith Bible. " (We weren't even dating) However, that day began our first date.
6 months later, we were engaged. Three months later we were married at Wasilla Bible Church walking through the same doors we did when we first met on the sledding trip.
The adventure began and I am so thankful for James.