It’s funny sometimes how we get so wrapped up in our own little worlds with life, events and activities, yet, even though we’re spending a great deal of time with our family, we really never simply pause for a moment to openly say what we already know. Often times, saying aloud what’s already known and felt, and vocally/verbally proclaiming that truth can tighten those bonds. I just want to take this time to do that very principle, publicly and openly, to be as transparent and sincere about my life and path with my spouse, even more-so my own family, as I can be, and letting the world know how much I admire, love and respect my beloved.
You ever heard that old phrase, “Our time is not God’s time?” This rings so true in my own life, especially with my wife. You see, I was in a rocky relationship prior to finding my soul mate, and even more the fact that the woman I was dating at the time in 2007 was a bond initiated by my own engagement and action. I thought I could find love and a partner on my own, so I took action within myself to seek a companion without waiting on the Lord to deliver one to me. The six and half year long lesson learned in all of this was, “Do not instigate or fix things by your own hand or will, but rather be patient, wait up on the Lord, and seek Him. All things we do within ourselves will crumble and become an EPIC FAIL!.” I won’t say my time in the previous relationship was all bad, but I knew deep down it wasn’t God’s timing or his intent for my life late in the relationship, and realizing this when it’s all falling apart and fading away.
As an eighteen year old, I prayed a prayer that ultimately landed me a ten year journey of faith, awakening, soul searching and much needed life lesson in acting by our own hand. That prayer was for God to deliver the perfect companion to me, someone I could love, trust, admire, worship alongside and see wonderful things with. In some ways, I acted out of foolishness, and attempted to fix the problem by “finding a solution” without simply waiting on the Will of God. Seven years later, I’m single again, and really getting connected with who I am, my place in the world and soul searching again for answers. The answer came, like with all of God’s intent, in the most random yet unforeseen way, through Blue Man Group. Weird right?
A little known fact about my life as a Blue Man Group fan and owner of the first fan base, was that I did a great amount of online work for the fan communities, and organized many events, with the company broadening my horizons beyond the limits of Southeast Kentucky to such cities as New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago and soon to be Orlando. Here is how God answered a ten year old prayer that I uttered in my heart almost daily, even while in the six year relationship I was previously in. One of the fans of Blue Man Group by the name of Mike Ippolito, was dealing with some private and personal matters, and found relief and hope through my radio program on WMMT FM 88.7 called Crossroads. Mike listened to every show, and our love of 80′s music, classic rock and music grew, and so did our friendship. Mike would even call in requests from his home in Atlanta, GA and became an active Blue Man Group fan in my online community. Mike became so passionate about his connection with me, that he needed to see me in person, and one weekend in October 2007, he flew up from Atlanta to little Letcher County, Kentucky and joined me on my radio show at WMMT, and participated in my Open Mic Nights at Summit City Lounge in downtown Whitesburg. It was there, Mike and I grew to become even closer friends, and he blindsided me with this envelope and wrapped package. Stunned at the gift, I opened it, and found inside a beautifully written poem about friendship and two prepaid gift certificates to Blue Man Group Orlando with no expiration date. I later understood Mike’s father had passed from cancer, and my radio show and interactions became a way for him to deal with the circumstances that life had dealt him. I was speechless, shocked and humbled, but I didn’t see the big picture just yet of what God was doing in my life.
I took what I knew best with 2 Blue Man tickets, and organized an Orlando fan meet around these tickets, because at the time, I didn’t have lots of money (still don’t), but embraced the chance to see the new Orlando venue and meet new fans of the community. The date was set, July 26th, 2008, and at the time, I had a MySpace profile page. I was friends with a few of the Blue Man Group fans, and one in particular I “lurked” on her profile on and off. Something about her just seemed different, but I never contacted her as she was listed as “In A Relationship.” But that never stopped me from seeing her profile and photos from her many trips to Disney and Universal Studios, places that as a child, I would have given anything to experience, but our family didn’t have the money to make the long trip to Orlando when I was a child. One day, I happened to catch her status message that she was now single, and no longer “In A Relationship.” Really not expecting any sort of reply, and having much doubt about myself, I felt compelled within my being to invite her to dinner while I was in Orlando, and encourage our parents to join us as well to help not make things so awkward. Now, looking back, I knew it was God convicting my heart to reach out to Alexandra Irick, and welcome her to dinner with my father. I shutter to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t obeyed my convictions, and shunned the opportunity that God was giving me.
But here I am, it’s 2008, I’m single, she’s single, and I get a reply back, “Yes! I would love to have dinner the night before the fan event at Universal Studios.” Standing back in utter amazement, a bit astonished, mixed with jubilation, for the first time in my life, I was going to Orlando on a gift from a random person who became from best friend, I had a dinner date with Alexandra and her mother along with my father, and I was getting to be in the city I always wanted to visit but before, never could afford. I remember being in Orlando, and going down the elevator at the Ramada on International Drive with my father, and having a nervous cough of sorts, and being very anxious and nervous because waiting for me in the downstairs parking lot, was Alexandra and her mother picking us up for dinner. It was the very moment I embraced Alex for the first time with a hug, that I felt God compelling me more and more, and I knew from that moment, she was the “the one.” It’s a love and embrace I had never felt before, my very being, manhood and soul was rocked to it’s core by this amazing strong spirited woman that changed my life forever. 3 months later we were engaged, October to be exact, one year after Mike visited me in Whitesburg. One year later, we were married on October 10th, 2010, two years exact after Mike visited me.
Prior to October 2007, if I would have known the drastic turn of events that God was having in store for me, I honestly wouldn’t have believed it. Huge obstacles were overcome, my life became whole, complete, and I feel God more now in my life than ever before. So to recap, I prayed almost daily for God to deliver the perfect soul mate as an eighteen year old teen. Endured hardships, bad relationships and learned a life lesson of patience without taking selfish action of my own. 7 years later, Mike visits with a key to unlock Orlando, and within that key was a seal of a promise that if we’re patient on God, in His time, he shall deliver the desires of our heart if and when it’s His will for us. Through this gift of tickets, Mike allowed an opportunity for two souls who never met, nor knew anything of each other prior, to come together as one, and through that union God’s promise in my life had been fulfilled, my patience was proven just and my prayer was answered ten years later. Not only did God deliver a Christian wife, but a Registered Nurse as a little “icing on the cake” and “wink” from the Great Divine. I often times look back, and smile to Heaven and say, “Your just showing off now Lord!”
Through open doors, circumstance, convictions, suffering, learning, patience and enduring, God never ceases to amaze me. I am so proud of the woman my wife has become, so rock solid in her walk with Jesus, so passionate about her Savior and such a willing vessel to grow and learn in the awe inspiring power of a living God. Alexandra and I are inseparable, attached at the hip, best friends, soul mates, companions, shoulders, prayer partners, travelers, faith growing, passionate romantics and God’s amazing testament to faith, hope and expanding both our understanding of God’s Will in both our lives. By divine intervention, chance, opened doors and willingness to walk through on blind faith, I am forever a changed and humbled man by the sheer volume of love I have for my amazing wife. She is and always will be, my angel sent from God.