Tuesday, October 15, 2013

day 15: marquez love

{this love story is from our pastors. one thing i love about cory + karissa is their undeniable love + friendship. they are a true model of what marriage should look like. and they just gave birth to one of the most handsome lil man in pasadena, cayden! i hope you enjoy their story!}
Cory and I met our freshman year at APU, but I was in a long-distance relationship at the time. We both lived in Engstrom Hall. A couple weeks into the fall semester, my roommate informed me that two guys had knocked on our dorm room door, one of which was Cory. When my roommate opened the door, Cory’s friend who had knocked on the door said to her, “Yeah, my friend here thinks your roommate is hot…” This declaration was made without Cory’s prior knowledge, so, like a mature freshman guy, he took off running down the hall the moment his friend said it. JI was so embarrassed when my roommate told me this. And of course, since Cory and I lived in the same building, we somehow managed to cross paths frequently. Let me tell you – I felt so awkward every time we would pass each other! We never spoke a word to each other. Not even ‘hello.’

Fast forward to April of our spring semester. I was no longer dating my boyfriend, and had casually dated a few people since, but wasn’t particularly interested in having a boyfriend. Over the course of the spring semester, Cory and I had somehow formed the same group of friends, and I found him to be particularly hysterical and fun. Until April Fool’s Day…

The pranks between the guys and the girls got a little bit out of hand. Let’s just say that the cops were involved by the end of the day. As everyone was spewing out their anger/frustration/grievances, I sat there thinking how immature we were all acting – over a prank war. I attempted to change everyone’s perspectives by stating, “Let’s just calm down and take a deep breath. Tomorrow is a new day, and we’ll probably regret what happened and what we said.” To which Cory responded very sarcastically, “Hey, can I get some sermon notes on that?” My immediate thought: OH NO HE DIDN’T! Any sort of friendly feelings I had towards Cory quickly dissolved. I was so irritated and angry with him!

Thankfully, I had a little bit of respite from the hostility because everyone went their separate ways for the week of Spring Break. I stayed in CA and hung out with my girlfriends that week, while Cory had gone home to Colorado. One of my girlfriends had agreed to pick Cory up from the airport, and had asked me to go with her. After a lot of persuasion, I agreed to go with her, but in my mind, I had decided that I was going to annoy Cory as much as I could (who was the immature one now?!). When we pulled up to the airport, my friend got out of the car and gave Cory a friendly welcome hug. I got out of the car, and said as sarcastically as possible, “Cory, did you miss me?” And then we hugged…

I’m embarrassed sharing this part of the story. It’s so cliché and cheesy, and anyone who hears it could easily, and rightfully, mock us for it. But truth be told: in the moments of that hug, all of my anger and annoyance with Cory disappeared. Sparks went off - for both of us. We got the “warm fuzzies.” That first night back from Spring Break, our affection for each other was already evident to our friends. From that point on, we were inseparable. I came to know Cory in a whole new light – he was compassionate, extremely smart, funny, responsible, kind, and devoted. We were young and in love, and in all the unashamedly cheesy sort of ways – Cory showered me with flowers and notes and spontaneous dates; we talked on the phone for hours when we were apart, and it killed us to hang up the phone; we had a physical chemistry; we were so passionate, both in our love, and in our arguments. We dated for a year and a half before Cory proposed, and we were married seven months later.

We’ve been married for seven years now. We look back over the years, and we laugh at some (most) of our dating memories. We were young and naive; we thought we knew everything there was to know about love and romance. With a little perspective under our belts, we now celebrate other aspects of our love. We are true companions. We are each other’s biggest fans. We know how to temper each other when we have strong feelings about something. We know each other to a depth where we are able to call out something in each other that we ourselves may be blind to, or too prideful to admit. We have weathered storms together. We’ve hit rock bottom. We’ve had to sacrifice our own needs in times when the other has been selfish. We’ve had to pursue each other in times when one of us became complacent. We’ve had to choose each other when it would have been easier to walk away. And isn’t that reminiscent of our relationship with God? I know it is of mine. How often do I neglect God? How often am I not faithful to pursue Him? How often would I trust in myself before I would trust God? It is easier for me to rest in the comforts of my routine than to sacrifice and die to my own needs. And yet, God continues to be faithful to me. He continues to pursue me. He is always present, always patient, and always loving. When I think about my relationship with God, I can clearly see how God’s love for His Church correlates to His design for marriage, and that is something that Cory and I have become so aware of as we journey in this love together. That is what has strengthened our deep commitment to each other, and that is what we will hold to in the years to come. He’s the love of my life.

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