First Constellation

Posted by Shades Mountain Student Ministries | Posted in , , , | Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009

In 1996 I was in the 9th grade and had recently moved to Birmingham from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I had left behind some very close friends and this one particular girl, named Christina Perez, on which I had a major crush. She hardly knew who I was and I would have probably never had a chance with her, but it added to the distress of moving to know that I would positively NEVER have a chance with her now. All hope was lost and I found myself living in Bluff Park, Alabama in a home behind the Piggly Wiggly with no friends and especially no girlfriend.

Every night it was my job to take our dog Buffy out for his evening relief. He would wonder around the yard sniffing out the perfect spot to mark as I waited patiently for him, usually staring off into the wintry night sky and wondering what future lay ahead for me in this new location.

Needless to stay, most of the thoughts were not hopeful.

Every night I would stare at the stars, each night becoming more and more familiar with their locations and figuration. I didn't know much about astronomy, but I could spot the big dipper and what I thought was the little dipper. It was always a guess, so sometime I'd make up my own constellations. I knew a few names and would try and match them up. But let's face it, whoever concocted these constellations were stretching it a bit.

Most of the time I'd think I found some shape and then the next night I'd be out walking Buffy at a different time and the stars would be in a different place and I'd lose my bearings and couldn't find the darned thing.

However there was one set of stars that I was particularly drawn to. It was these three stars lined up right in a row and every time I went outside I could spot it right away. (Now I know it's Orion's belt, but back then I didn't know and it didn't matter).

I got to the point that when I went out with Buffy I'd look for it and always found it. It was faithful and unfailing, unlike much in my life it seemed at the time.

But looking for stars wasn't the only part of my evening ritual. A lot of the time I spent talking to God about what was or wasn't going on in my life. I'd fill him in on how displeased I was at his choice of relocation and my difficulties with finding friends. Although usually the main topic of conversation, as I'm sure it is with most 9th grade boys, was my future love.

It was then that I decided whenever I saw that constellation, I'd pray for my future wife.

Fast forward several years.

Kristin and I had been dating for a while and had come up with this little game (you know the kind that couples play that unless you are a part of are disgustingly obnoxious). Whoever saw the first star at night would call out, "First Star!" and they would get a point. We never really kept track, though if we did Kristin would be winning by a landslide.

Our game continued on until I could tell our dating relationship was turning into something more. I then told her the story of the constellation and so in addition to calling "First Star" we'd call out "First Constellation" as well. We've been playing this game to this day and I'd like to think that at the end of our life I'll pull it out and win.


I was walking Buckley tonight (my six month old puppy) as he was preforming his evening relief ritual. It was cold outside and I could see smoky puffs of my breath clearly (ever since I was a kid that always fascinated me). We were walking around the front yard of my house and I looked up and saw those three little stars, lined up in a row.

All of the sudden these thoughts came flooding in as my memories took me back to ninth grade, walking Buffy in the cold night, staring up at the sky. Lonely, afraid and uncertain of the future.

And here I was, two miles down the road, thirteen years later and in front of my own home with my new dog and the best part of all...the answer to thirteen years of prayer sleeping just inside.

Comments (4)

You know this made me tear up a little. You are a wonderful husband to Kristin (and she is a wonderful wife to you). It's so fun seeing your marriage and family(!) grow!

Jonathan, I love hearing your stories and they usually have me rolling. This one however, had me bawling and praising God!!! how encouraging to know that God was preparing the two of you way back when. Serena nd Eden are keeping diaries for their future spouses and needless to say have experienced some very loney times (eden, right now) I will have them read this to be re-assured of God's faithfulness. I am so happy for you & kristen and what a testimony to God's love and grace in your lives. We miss you but so grateful that your eternal influence is always close by in our lives.... Praying for "all" of you often.....

What an awesome post! It's amazing how God really DOES provide what He promises, huh? I wish I could go back and have a talk with my ninth grade self...tell her to not worry so much!

totally cool how God works stuff out like that... all that time we spend praying and worrying about it, then look back years later & see He was workin it out all along :) thanks for sharing :)