It came to my attention last night that no “life update” has been posted on the blog since the wedding, so I thought it would be appropriate to briefly summarize the events of the summer and share a little bit about where Susie and I are headed next week!
On the fateful day of May 31, 2013, I received a call at about 2:30 in the afternoon from a friend of mine telling me that Phill Knuth, a pastor and friend, and the man who would be performing Susie and I’s wedding 24 hours later, was diagnosed with a form of appendicitis and was presently in the emergency room awaiting a procedure to take care of the issue.
Bless Luke Johnson for having to make that call to me that Friday afternoon.
“So he can’t do the wedding?” I asked, already knowing the answer to my somewhat foolish question.
Immediately after finishing my phone call with Luke, I got on the horn and was so thankful to have Pastor Mark Biehl of Upland Community Church, who was already coming up to read Scripture, agree to perform the wedding for us. I’m not sure I consider it some odd coincidence that Mark and his wife engaged Susie and I in some significantly helpful, supplemental pre-marital counseling throughout the 2012-13 school year, in addition to what Phill did with us. Mark was prepared and very comfortable marrying us, and I was so grateful for his pinch-hitting effort the following day.
After putting out that fire, and making a very difficult call to Susie regarding the issue, all was well. The rehearsal and subsequent dinner was a blast, and Pint and Slice was delicious, as was to be expected.
Around 11:30 on the eve of my wedding day, I was finishing up part of Susie’s gift for the next day and went into the bathroom to wash up and get ready for bed. I got an alert to my phone about a “Flash Flood Warning” in my county, which was no surprise due to the immense amount of rain we received throughout the day and into the night, but I just brushed it off because floods never affect my house.
The gutters in our street sometimes flood, and our basement only flooded when the power was out and our sump pump backup battery failed.
When I was in the bathroom, though, I thought I would take a look outside, just to see if the gutters in the street had started to flood yet.
I peered out the window and, to my confusion, the middle of the street appeared…shiny.
“That’s odd,” I thought to myself, “There’s no way the whole street’s flooded…right?”
Still unsure of the condition of the street in front of my house, and not at all comforted by the view I had from my bathroom upstairs, I decided to venture downstairs to the front door to look out and see what the situation looked like from there.
When I shined my iPhone 5’s flashlight through the decorative windows embedded in my front door, and when I managed to keep the app from enabling the “strobe” function, I was terrified at what I saw.
Water had completely covered my entire street, which never happens, and the tires of my roommate’s car, which was parked in the street, were half-submerged in the flash flood that was quickly paralyzing my mind.
I gasped, put my hand over my mouth, and was immediately concerned for the state of Susie’s house.
“My house and street never flood,” I thought to myself, “If we’re this bad, Susie is SCREWED.” (Pardon my language.)
Without hesitation in movement, though certainly with hesitation of mind because of what I feared, I opened the basement door, flipped on the light, and slowly walked down the stairs.
The carpet was floating. No joke.
“OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH,” I said probably about a dozen times as I honestly felt I was about to pass out.
I sprinted up my basement stairs, stomped through the foyer, and began sprinting up to the second floor exclaiming, without consideration,
“IT’S FLOODING. IT’S FLOODING. IT’S FLOODING.”
“What? What’s going on?” My mom said as she grabbed my dad and and started coming down the stairs.
Sorry for those who are queasy, but it felt exactly how it used to feel if I threw up in the middle of the night. I was too sick and exhausted to clearly express what was going on. I just couldn’t muster the words because I knew what was going to follow them.
“THE BASEMENT! IT’S FLOODING. THE STREET! IT’S FLOODING. I CAN’T SEE THE BOTTOM OF ERICK’S CAR.”
The scene outside was seriously one of the most apocalyptic scenes I have seen in my entire life. I have never seen such flooding–it was truly surreal.
I thought to myself, “This is surely not happening on the night of my wedding.”
Long story short, my basement was flooded with a few inches of water, and, praise the Lord, we didn’t lose many possessions at all, but had to have a lot of drywall and other structural things replaced.
As I expected, Susie’s house flooded for the first time in 10 years, and luckily everyone in her house was able to get out before it started rushing in, along with wedding gifts, wedding dresses, and other priceless momentos.
Susie’s house (the entire house, she has no basement or second floor) ended up with a foot of water in it and she didn’t sleep the night before the wedding–I’m not sure many of us did. I was probably the most fortunate, getting about five hours after giving up on bailing water in the basement at about 3:30am.
Throughout that surreal night, one of the thoughts that kept popping up in my head was this: “I have been chasing this girl since the eighth grade, and I am seriously starting to wonder if a flood is going to keep me from leaving my neighborhood in the morning.”
As I helped my friends try to move their cars up into the drive way, and as I watched others’ parked cars hopelessly fill with water and float down the street when a truck passed by, all I could think was, “I have a new appreciation for the phrase ‘come hell or high water,'” because no matter what else was going to be thrown at me that night, was I determined to get to the church the next day, come hell, or yes, even high water.
In the end, we got married, all was well, and we had a ton of fun with all who were able to attend.
So, after a great summer helping out at Miracle Camp and Retreat Center in Lawton, Michigan, Susie and I are off to Nashville next Tuesday to begin the next stage of our life there.
After seeing a job posting on Twitter, somewhat whimsically applying for it, and interviewing for it, I am taking a position as the Executive Leadership Team Social Media Facilitator at LifeWay Christian Resources. If you’re like I was, and, quite honestly, still sort of am, you must be thinking, “What on earth is that?”
In short, I’ll be assisting three vice presidents of LifeWay in the managing of their blogs and social media accounts. I have been thoroughly impressed with LifeWay throughout the interview and offer process, and I cannot wait to begin working there on September 16th. I am so thankful for this opportunity.
While working at LifeWay, I will be pursuing my Master of Divinity degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, via an extension campus in Nashville, TN. Susie will likely be working as a nanny and initially pursuing a volunteer role in the foster care system, with hopes of eventually working in the system full time.
Like I have already said, Susie and I are very excited to be moving to Nashville. I just wanted to say “thank you” to all of you who take the time to read this blog and who have encouraged me in it throughout the years. My experience blogging has opened up a number of doors for me throughout my life as I pursue a life in full-time, occupational ministry, and I am so excited to see how the Lord uses this next stage of life down in Nashville. This step does not deter me from my hopes of being a pastor in the future by any means, and I am excited to see how this job and our involvement in our local body prepare us for the pastorate down the road, by the grace of God.
Susie and I are so thankful for the support of all of our family and friends. If you would like our new address in Nashville, message me on Facebook or through some other method of communication. We would love to get mail from people! Please be praying for us in this dynamic time of change! I’m not a huge fan of engaging the unknown, so be praying that I am patient as the Lord grows me in this time.