by Jason Baisden
Often times, in a narrative, or in a personal journey, the beginning or first step is hazy or unclear. The story of meeting the love of my life, my best and sweetest friend and my soul-mate has a beginning – but where? When?
(pictured: life before “Chapter 2”)
So…..to the beginning. The most obvious starting point is Appalachian State University. This is where I first met Aaron Wilkins. We met on the basketball courts of the Quinn Center. ASU was small enough that you would recognize faces of people you “knew.” Sometimes he and I would be on the same team, other times playing against one another. We did not necessarily become friends in college. I guess you could say we were basketball friends.
(During this time in my life I was certainly on the look-out for the love of my life. Most people told me that you will probably meet your wife in college. How close did I come to meeting Debbie at Appalachian? Did we sit at the same cafeteria table for lunch? Did we catch a glimpse of each other in passing?)
This is the obvious starting point, but through reflection and interactions with Jesus, I learned that it was not. You see I really, really, really wanted to go to the University of North Carolina. All my friends were going to UNC. I got put on the waiting list. I had to pick a school – mountains or beach…mountains or beach? Mountains! ASU here I come.
But wait – one of the most traumatic things in my life (or so I thought as a Junior in High School) preceded and let to my ASU destination. My dad was transferred my junior year; he announced we were moving. What?!? Noooooooo!!! But all my friends are here! I am on the basketball team! I am junior class president! I want to go to Clemson University! My world is crashing in all around me! My life is over! You don’t care about me or love me. If you did, we wouldn’t be moving.
We moved. My life did not end. I made new friends. I did not go to Clemson. I did not go to UNC. I went to ASU because I HAD to go to ASU in order to meet Aaron Wilkins. In God’s plan, we had to become friends. And so we did – become friends.
I graduated. He graduated. I moved away. He moved away. Separated lives; different journeys, different paths. He married the love of his life, his best friend and soul-mate. I married the girl I was dating at the time.
I moved around for a bit. Aaron and Debbie settled down in Winston-Salem and started a family. We eventually moved back to Clemmons, NC. Here I would cross paths with my future soul-mate and the absolute love of my life. Neither one of us had any clue that the interlinking paths that brought us to this point would be so intricately woven. Or the amount of pain that lie ahead. Or how overwhelming is the grace of God.
We would reconnect at River Oaks Community Church and deepen the friendship that had begun in college. Aaron Wilkins and I would hike some of the most beautiful parts of the Appalachian Trail together, talking about anything and everything (but most often spiritual things) and enjoying life together.
Isaiah 55:9 – “For just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.”
All of history is HIS STORY. Our stories are just a part of His glorious story. Our plans pale in comparison to His plan. There were so many plans that I had devised for myself. I had in mind a certain path for my life. I visualized what it would look like and what it would take to achieve it.
All along the way my plans would be frustrated. I felt as if I had been knocked off the path. Things were not working out for me as I had envisioned. I would come to learn Isaiah 55:9 in a very real and concrete way. I came to really understand WHO was in control. I would come to meet the most beautiful, amazing, caring, funny and loving girl. I would come to meet the one who would be the answer to a very long and outstanding prayer.
How I came to fall in love with Debbie Wilkins?
…to be continued.Print This Post