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More Than I Could Ask or Imagine

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of Valentine’s Month. (From the marketing we see at every store, I think we can all agree it’s not a “Day” anymore. wink, wink) This week has me thinking about how I met Kari, and how it was definitely a “more than I could ask or imagine” event.

It was April of 1994. I was still a youth pastor at Hope Covenant Church in Tacoma. I was planning for CHIC (the old name for UNITE) coming up that summer. I asked Cathy, my best friend’s wife, if she’d be a leader for my high school girls. She said, “Yes,” and Cathy and I headed to Grace Covenant Church in Olympia for a leader training.

At that time, Kari was still in college at Seattle Pacific University and her former youth pastor at Seattle First Covenant had asked her to be a leader. We all ended up at the training, and when they broke up into groups of three, Kari and I were in the same group.

I know you thought I was about to tell a “love at first sight” story. Nope. We all went home and didn’t see each other again…until the first night of CHIC.

There we were, 6,500 students and leaders, packed into Moby Arena at Colorado State University, and who ended up in our same section? Yup. Kari and her group. Neither of us had thought about each other in three months.

CHIC Leader meetings were early in the morning, while the students all ate breakfast in the dorms. When Cathy came to the lobby to head over to the meeting with me, she said, “So…guess who my roommate is?”

Our first date was the day after we got home. A week after that, we were walking into Target, Kari turned, looked at me, and said, “I think I’m going to marry you.”

Me: “Hello!” 

Kari: “Yeah. I think I’m going to marry you.” 

Me: “Ok.” (Oh yeah…I’m a romantic alright!)

We didn’t “officially” get engaged for another year. The wedding was another eight months after that.

And yet, when I look back at how God orchestrated so many little details, it was definitely a “more than I could ask or imagine” series of moments.

The icing on the cake is that now – 30 years later – Caleb is a freshman at Colorado State University! The story keeps getting better!

Happy Valentine’s Day (no!)…Week (no!)…MONTH!

-photo by Cezar Sampaio on

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