Matt McGregor and I used to lead a Bible study for third shift employees at the Charleston, IL Wal Mart. Matt was a pastor at Hurricane Baptist Church, which was a little country church south of Charleston. However, he also served as a department manager for the store. I worked as an overnight dairy stocker at the same store and got the opportunity to spend my lunch breaks discussing theology with Matt.
This often turned to larger conversations as other employees would get into the conversations. And, ultimately, this led to the opportunity to hold these Bible studies on Wednesday mornings. The location was not always the same. Sometimes we would meet at Jackson Avenue Coffee in Charleston. Sometimes we would meet up over at Jason Gephart’s house over in Ashmore, IL.
On one particular morning, we were supposed to meet up in Ashmore but my friend, Catherine, was bringing someone with her. We were supposed to meet up at the JAC and then carpool over. I don’t remember the time that we had agreed to meet (might have been 8:00) but that time lapsed and this girl was still not there.
Now, I would like to think that I wasn’t being unreasonable at this point but I was starting to get a little annoyed with the wait. I’ve always been fairly punctual and consider having to wait for someone to be inconsiderate. Nevermind the fact that there could be any number of reasons that an individual could be late for something that has nothing to do with them just wanting to be rude.
So, I sat there drinking my chai tea (pre-coffee drinking days), probably with a scowl on my face. After what seemed like days had passed (probably more like 5 or 10 minutes at most), the front door of the JAC opened and my life changed. I’m not sure that I realized at that moment how impactful this day was going to be. I mean, who really knows when they have met their soulmate for the first time. People say they know but you really don’t, not immediately.
She introduced herself to me and I’m sure that I grumbled something about needing to get going. Ashmore was about a ten-minute drive away and everyone was there when we arrived, so we went on into Jason’s house and got started.
I don’t remember much about that study. I’m not sure what we covered or who else was even there that day really. After the study was over, some of us decided to stop back at Wal Mart and grab some Subway for lunch. Elisa came as well and we got the opportunity to talk a little bit more. She was a third-year college student at Eastern Illinois University but she had transferred from a junior college so she was fairly new to Charleston.
I was pushing 30 years old, worked at Wal-Mart, lived with 6 other dudes in a run-down house and was beginning to show the effects of poor dental hygiene. If you had told me that this was my future wife, I’m not sure I would have believed you.
Anyways, we finished lunch and everyone went on their separate ways. I probably went home and played video games for an hour or so before going to bed. I worked third shift and would have to go back to work that night. This day took place sometime in late April or early May of 2015. On June 5th, after spending a month or so getting to know each other, we officially became a couple. Seven months later we would be married. A lot has happened since then. Today marks the 14th year anniversary of our lives officially connecting.
See, that morning at Jackson Avenue Coffee was a gamechanger.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.