Rascall Flatts has a song out: "Broken Road." Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever guessed how accurate the words to that song would become to my life.
I met Jamie Morgan in 1978 - he was my first boyfriend. I was 14 years old and I asked God to please let me grow old with this guy. I dated him again my senior year in 1981, but then we went our separate ways as life pulled us in different directions. Time passed, life happened and trials came. For both of us, the three decades represents a lot of twists, turns and major heartaches, including the both of us losing a spouse.
We never kept in contact over the years except through his mom and best friend who gave me updates every couple years or so. On Jan. 11 of this year, on Facebook, we reconnected. Both of us single, and both had been through divorce and the death of a spouse. As a matter of fact, Jamie's wife died this past November on the exact same day I entered court for what I thought was the end of my world.
We began talking seven to eight hours a day, as I am a grief counselor and did my usual "grief counseling"; he is an attorney and began trying to help me understand the legal process. I had lost my husband in 1986 to death and Jamie had gone through a similar situation more recently. Our lives had mirrored one another in a very surreal fashion. We both earned our latest degrees while being single parents and working jobs.
We talked for six months and finally saw each other after 30 1/2 years on June 9 when he flew in from Florida, his home for the past dozen years. It was as if we'd never been apart. We finished each other's sentences, and "clicked" like a couple who had been together for 30 years instead of apart. Everything fell into place. Needless to say, "we knew" this was God's plan. However, we had no idea of the event that was about to happen.
When my daughter, Kristin, was 14 she nicknamed Jamie: A.D. (standing for "almost daddy") because I talked about him so much throughout her lifetime telling her that she should date guys like him because he was the most "gentleman-like" guy I had ever dated or known. I told all my kids stories about him as he is absolutely a comedian and could do "stand up comedy" if this "law thing" doesn't work out. I had also used him as the example to my boys when I talked to them about Christian manhood. Though Jamie was never in their lives nor mine for 30 years, he became a "standard" of teenage leadership and morality.
On July 3, Kristin was home for the Fourth of July weekend, and doing homework after attending church. She began texting with Jamie, aka: A.D. They texted a lot throughout several months and went tit for tat with humor as she and he could match wits like none other. On that day, Jamie asked for her blessing on us assuring her that she could trust him to treat me right. Kristin had self-proclaimed "trust issues" and it took months of talking to Jamie before she was convinced that he was the "real deal." She gave her approval to him, but with the warning: "you'd better treat my mom and brothers right, or I'll have to go all 'Criminal Minds' on you. Jamie laughingly replied, "that's a little creepy, Kristin, but thanks, and I won't let you down." On July 4, as most of you know, Kristin went to heaven after her vehicle collided with a tractor trailer on I-79.
Jamie was living in Florida, but was here within hours, and has been amazing support to the boys and I, as well as to my family and friends.
We had originally planned a big wedding prior to Kristin's passing; but in light of this tragedy, we were married in a private ceremony on July 18. As the song "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascall Flatts played, we wept.
It fit our lives as if it were written for us. We also played "I Won't Let Go" by Rascall Flatts, as it also "fit" in an amazing way. Please share in our joy as we rejoice in God's plan for our lives. It is indeed a "bittersweet" time, but God's grace is sufficient and his plan perfect.
Ecclesiastes says: "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." It's as if it is our time for all of these. God Bless the Broken Road.
(Jamie and Kim Morgan are the co-founders of "Kristin's Hope," a non-profit organization founded to minister to hurting people and to aid victims of human trafficking. Kim is also a counselor and licensed chaplain for Cornerstone Christian Counseling and Jamie is a professor at Davis & Elkins College.)