When I was only 16 years old, I met the man I thought I would be with for the rest of my life. He was… perfect. At least I thought he was as close to perfect as one could get. I’ll never forget the first time I saw him. It was definitely love at first sight. I had started working at a Steakhouse, it was my first paying job. One day, I was working behind the counter near the kitchen. There were lots of people working that day, but as I looked across the kitchen I saw a young man walking from the employee entrance/office area
towards the door leading out to the dining room. He was gorgeous. His hair was perfect, his build was perfect, his eyes… perfect. He was dressed nice with a high school letter jacket on. He walked with confidence like he knew who he was and where he was going. As he looked my way, I was mesmerized and as our eyes met I wondered who in the world this guy was. He turned and went through the door out of sight. Something inside me sparked. I had no idea who he was, but I was “in love” with Mr. Perfect. It was a feeling I can’t explain. It’s like something inside of you is missing your whole life so far and all of the sudden, there it is. You’ve found it and it is amazing.
I found out that Mr. Perfect had worked there before, he was a cook and was coming back to work. He worked in the kitchen right next to the front line and we would see each other during our shifts together. We began to talk and our chemistry was incredible. He was a senior in high school, he had an older sister who would also be working with us soon and his father was a Preacher like mine. We had so much in common. We were raised similarly and our parents were very strict. We could relate and we had an immediate bond being preacher’s kids. One day, he asked me out on a date and I was so excited to be anywhere with him other than work.
I remember getting off work that day and getting ready for my date in the dark employee bathroom. I was so nervous. We mostly drove around that night and talked. We could talk forever. Mr. Perfect was unlike any man I had ever known. We became boyfriend and girlfriend pretty quick. We saw each other at work, he introduced me to his parents, we went out on dates, we spent time with his family at their houses, we went with his dad to the radio station when he did a live program and I remember hearing his father on fire for God giving it all he had. I had tremendous respect for Pastors. Our relationship got serious. No time spent with Mr. Perfect was ever enough. He gave me his class ring to wear. Remember those days when the girl would wrap yarn around the bottom of the ring so it would fit on her finger? I thought it was so cool.
One night, Mr. Perfect was picking me up for a date and my parents were out of town on business. My older brothers were home that night and I had permission to go. I remember being so excited. I took a shower and put on white jeans and a white blouse. I fixed my hair and did my make up just so. Every detail taken care of. I wanted to look my best for him. Mr. Perfect arrived and as I got into his car, he handed me a single red rose. He was the most romantic man. I remember Whitney Huston’s “I’m your baby tonight” was playing in the car and I was the happiest I had ever been. I’m not sure exactly where we were going, but we never made it. We were driving on a two lane country road not too far from my house, it was dark and just as I turned to look over at him… we had a head on collision. I wasn’t wearing my seat belt (16 year old stupidity). I flew forward and my face hit the dash. It felt as though the floorboard came up and hit my knees as I hit the dash. I’m lucky I didn’t go right through the windshield. It all happened so fast. From what I remember being told, the other vehicle hit head on Mr. Perfect’s driver side and rolled, I believe we went off the road and hit a tree.
As I pulled back from the dashboard, I heard Mr. Perfect’s voice. He was alive! He was hurt pretty bad and yet he was asking me if I was okay. In the dark, I looked over and there was enough moonlight that I could see his face. He could see mine too and the look that swept across his perfect face was horrifying. He yelled out, “Your face!” and I reached up not knowing what he was seeing. I had blood on my face from bashing my jaw into the dashboard. I started freaking out and he did something I will never forget. Mr. Perfect looked right at me and said, “I love you.” In that moment, I felt something I had never felt before… I felt unconditionally loved. He loved me no matter what and he wanted to make sure that I knew it.
Amazed By His Grace,