braveheart copy

The bravest person I know entered my life Thirty-five years ago. March 16 started out as a snowy day, a winter mix that almost kept us from meeting, but the snow stopped and the sun melted what was left and I was on my way to Valhalla (New York that is, not the enormous hall of heroes located in Asgard). Although I am sharing a story about a hero, it is not the Norse kind.

When I first saw this person it was in the middle of a crowd, one that was there to meet an unassuming Christian rock band schedule to sing at their church that weekend. As I got off the bus the band traveled in, this person seemed to stand out from all the rest. Although surrounded by many people, it appeared she was singled out for me to notice her. This moment hung in the crisp air inviting me with a warmth and urgency I never felt before. Today two strangers would meet and only one was aware of the story playing out before his eyes. My Father chooses this moment to speak promise deep inside of me and give me a taste of what forever looks like.

I could not imagine the deep work that was unfolding before me, it seemed too neat, too orchestrated but I have long accepted the fact that God has a far larger imagination than mine. Still, this revelation unnerved me and took my breath away… it left me without words and I’m sure God was chuckling at that particular miracle. I was seeing past, present and future collide and all of the pieces falling unnoticed by the people around me. It was a private showing of a scene, a frame by frame exposure of rescue plan played out in my Heavenly Father’s heart. It was a love story that only He could have written.

He was asking this person of interest to embark on a crazy adventure. This journey would be life changing for them as well, for He was introducing them to the challenge of loving me, every part of me. There would be no off-limits place, no secrets, everything would be exposed and bared for their eyes only. They would see the man as he is and have the privilege, if they dared, to see him as the Father saw him. This wonderful brave heart not only agreed but embraced the challenge, giving all to the journey Father God had laid out for them. In a small church parking lot, in a little hamlet in New York, I met the braveheart that would become my wife.

Three decades and a half ago I would come face-to-face with the person God would use to rescue my heart. The intricate weave of a story that mended the torn and ragged fabric of my life. This beauty would rescue the prince and help vanquish the beast within forever. Dramatic? Yes of course, everything the Father does is full of the power of who He is. His storytelling is full of drama because He’s full of life and He lavished life on me when He introduced me to Christine.

The courtship was an acceptance of a story far greater than who we were and the acknowledgement that this path was good and perfect for us. Here we saw the sacred and were invited into the Holy place, where two became one, never to be separated.

I love this woman…I always will.

"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Mark 10:6-9


Bill (cycleguy) said…
Well said Jay. Sounds like a wedding anniversary is in the offering. Congrats!
Jay Cookingham said…
It will be 33 years in June my friend...its amazing that this wonderful heart loves me so. Bless ya brother!
Martha Orlando said…
God knows our needs before we ask and showers us with blessings we could never have imagined. The way you describe it here, Jay, I'm reminded of what so many don't believe in: Love at first sight. It does happen! But only when God's hand is in it. May He always bless your union with Christine!
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Martha, God was (is) so very kind to me...I can not imagine a life without my bride in it.
Joanne Norton said…
What a treat! Made me smile and rejoice and be filled with extreme joyfulness for you and your wife. It's such a joyfulness how the Lord puts you two together suddenly...and I rejoice b/c it happened to me, too. It will be our 30th anniversary in September, BUT we met just about this time of February when I was taken into his church to arrange for acting/monologue/music and me "preaching" re: Lenten. 3 months later...May 19...the Lord truly put us together. Sorry to say too much, as usual, but you grabbed my heart. Bless you, and I sure want to keep up with you when I can. ;-)
jasonS said…
Beautiful, Jay! I'm so thankful for my own wife--her strength, beauty, intelligence, and perseverance amaze me. Thanks for this... fills me with gratitude. :)
Jay Cookingham said…
To be filled with gratitude is a wonderful expression to be full of! Thanks Jason!
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks my sister! Appreciate you and praying for you!
Michael Kimball said…
Heart rescuers... one of the most lovely facets of a truly good wife. We are both among the most blessed of men!
Jay Cookingham said… is good to be rescued! Thanks my brother!
Micah said…
Have always loved these lines from Ecclesiasticus (26:1-4) when reflecting on the blessing of a good wife.

'Blessed the husband of a good wife,

twice-lengthened are his days;

A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,

peaceful and full is his life.

A good wife is a generous gift

bestowed upon him who fears the Lord;

Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,

and a smile is ever on his face.'

Great post! It calls to mind my gratitude for my wife.
Jay Cookingham said…
Micah, thanks for sharing your thoughts and bringing more reason to be grateful for what God has blessed us with!
Eddy Damas said…
This post made me cry Jay. God bless you both!
Jay Cookingham said…
It often brings me to tears as well my brother!

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