Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our Story - Part X

One of the most gracious parts of the beautiful letter came near the end, where he frankly told her he required no immediate response. Though a trip over Thanksgiving weekend had been long-planned, he made clear she should feel no pressure to make a decision before, or even after, that day. If she did, and her answer were yes, he would rejoice; but if she felt uncertain yet, he would considered it a joy to wait for the opportunity to gain her heart. He would gladly wait for her response, and encouraged her to use all the time she deemed necessary to seek the Lord in this decision. And if she said no, which he acknowledged an obvious possibility, he promised her to do his best to still treasure her appropriately as a friend and not let her negative answer ruin their time together over the holiday.

But the first part she understood of what God was showing her through this whole experience was that she was not to say "no". The conviction first crept in as a inkling of a feeling, as soon as she read the letter a second time, and planted itself more firmly that evening as she discussed the letter’s contents with her dad. She may very well say, “not yet,” and perhaps she would say, “yes,” but she would not say, "no."

She would continue to seek for her answer, and so began studying the letter, to gain as much of the writer’s character and heart as she possibly could. She sent it to two of her closest friends. Of course she spoke excessively with her sister and mother. She told the oldest of her brothers. She wrote her pastor and his wife.

The responses she received were helpful. Everyone expressed excitement, a few expressed concern, “Do you even like him!?”
She sighed when she heard that response (and she heard it more than once). She didn’t really know. There certainly weren’t fireworks going off. She would never think of her emotions in terms of romantic love. Yet somehow she knew she cared much more deeply for this man than any other person before him, and some days, most days, she thought she could never care for anyone else the same way she did for him.
“Maybe the fireworks will go off later,” Her mom suggested. “Maybe that’s just a cultural thing anyway. Real love isn’t mushy-gushy falling head-over-heels infatuation anyway.”

But feelings had to be involved. She could not say, “Yes, I’ll be happy to court you,” simply because it made sense. So she turned to her journals to reflect on the last 4 months, and consider if her heart was truly drawn to him.

She was shocked at what she found. Sometimes she could have sworn another person had come in after her and added pages and thoughts that were not her own. She was embarrassed by her oblivion when she read over what she had written. How in the world did this man take her by surprise? For four months she had been writing about his obvious affection, and her growing attraction to him!

Even before she boarded the plane for his hometown she wrote, “Though it shocks me to even write it, I feel You are calling me to something more with Daniel Wells. God, What are you trying to teach me in all of this?”

And then again, “I daily am feeling more and more called to a courtship with Daniel Wells.” A real shocker came just after leaving Florida, after leaving him behind with a determination that he should remain only a friend! “I daily think about how wonderful my life would be, could he be my spiritual head, my love, my friend for the rest of my life.”

Though outwardly she expressed ignorance to his subjective feelings, and denied adamantly to all but a select few any interest in the young man, her inward thoughts showed her feelings much more truthfully. There was great conflict. Great uneasiness. Just after having had dinner with her parents she wrote, “I will not be presumptuous, but now, as I look back over the last three and a half months God’s plan seems to make sense to me.”

Before Thanksgiving came she knew what God was leading her to say. And for better or worse she knew the next couple months, Lord Willing, even longer, would be blessed.

                                                                      ... to be continued...

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