Friday, June 1, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: Full Court(ship) Press (Chapter 13)

PRAYER REQUESTS: Okay, so it seems that there are plenty of wonderful people out there that would love to pray for others that frequent this site. And so I am dedicating a separate page to log specific prayer requests and will advise you of new requests and also provide any updates as prayers are answered. Please go to the Prayer Requests tab above or click HERE if you would be kind enough to pray for other friends of ours who are desperate for your prayers. For this first round we have plenty of urgent requests from health issues, to a wayward child, to a troubled marriage. Please lift these dear friends up in prayer. God has been so faithful and I'm excited to see what He does in an through this. Thanks so much!
If you're joining in late, for previous chapters of Beauty & the Beast go HERE...
Two straight years of chopping what appeared to be petrified wood and suddenly I sensed the tree beginning to buckle. While this was now the third time that she agreed to "pray" about a dating relationship with me, this time things were different. In the past, she agreed to pray about things with the same enthusiasm of someone enduring a root canal, but this time she was the one who approached me.

Amazing. Just when I began to withdraw and "let her go" in a sense, the Lord had given her the courage to move forward. She began to open up more about her life and seemed more relaxed about spending time together.

One of our 1st official dates - we left room for the Holy Spirit
In March of 1999 she came down to St. Louis to visit. She stayed with a friend from school but we spent most of the weekend together. Up until that point she had repeatedly shared that her dream was to move away to some distant city near mountains and start life fresh. I deduced since St. Louis was in the Great Plaines of the midwest with nary a mountain in sight, it was pretty clear that she had no desire to be near me. (Just call me Sherlock Holmes) But now, for the first time, we began to talk about our futures and more openly expressed our desire to be near one another. Our long distance relationship was about to change. By the time summer rolled around I had decided it was time to leave St. Louis. I found a job in downtown Chicago and was set to move later that summer. I tried to not make it appear like I was moving up solely for her (and I wasn't) but obviously it was a BIG factor in the decision. I couldn't see things really happening between us if we were 300+ miles apart. In the meantime I was making more frequent visits to Chicago and we spent time at Navy Pier and some of the beaches on the north shore and our friendship started to really grow.

Our first day of officially "dating". Me happy.
After about five months of this awkward undefined "dating" period I asked her in July if she would be willing to come down and join me for a wedding of a friend in St. Louis. She agreed and so on July 22, 1999 (the day before the wedding) I drove up to Chicago and picked her up. On our 5 hour drive back to St. Louis I felt like it was time to "define the relationship". I had tried this before (resulting in an EPIC FAIL), but things seemed different now. Besides I felt that if we didn't clear things up now, we would both have to endure a lot of question from others asking about us over the weekend. So I basically laid it out there and asked her if we could define our relationship as a "dating" relationship. Her response was, "Ok. I think I'm ready to call it the 'the Big D'".

"The 'Big D'" I thought. What is that?

After a bit more persuasion and a few Jedi mind tricks I was actually able to get her to say the word...."DATING". 

Wow. We serve a God of miracles. Two and a half years of pursuit and prayer and we were officially "Big D-ing" - errr....I mean "dating".

By August of 1999 I had moved up to Chicago and joined her church at Calvary. Most of the guys at her church still treated me like a pariah but I didn't care. The most eligible bachelorette in the world was "off the market" and they were going to have to deal with it.

The next year and a half we spent doing what dating couples in Chicago do. We frequented the city, local beaches, ate out a lot and just enjoyed getting to know one another. We were young and we were in love. Or course, there was one more hurdle. After I finally got Kim to like me, I realized I had to go through one more major obstacle....

Kim's Dad
Now Kim's dad was not your normal Korean father. First of all, he was 6'2"' tall - which means he was an Asian freak of nature and could have been the starting center for the Korean Olympic Basketball Team. Second, the picture above was probably the warmest smile I had ever seen on his face. When I first saw this photo I told Kim that her dad looked like a "Korean" Saddam Hussein. Let's just say, that did not go over well.

Kim's dad took one look at me and was fairly unimpressed. Although I graduated from the Harvard of Central Illinois, was gainfuly employed and could bench press 120 pounds I wasn't much to write home about. I remember the first time I went out to lunch with her parents. Her dad openly wondered (in Korean) if I understood any Korean (ummm...i could understand that!) and her mom openly wondered why I could not use chopsticks like a normal person (what's wrong with the X-technique?). To them I was a country bumpkin like Wesley in The Princess Bride ("Farm boy! Fetch me that pitcher!") However, they did admire my persistence in pursuing their daughter. After a while though they got used to me. Kind of like the way a dog gets used to a tick being attached to the underside of his ear. I had become bearable and they knew I wasn't going away.

So everything was now in order. Kim liked me. Kim's dad didn't hate me. And now I was going to have to come up with a fool-proof plan to get her to marry me....

NEXT WEEK: The Proposal

1 comment:

  1. love these stories...

    my dad also has a saddam hussein look-alike picture. i think they were told not to smile.