Previously: “During this year, I did not see Charlie at all. Church conferences came and went like the seasons and he was not there. His memory disappearing like leaves in an autumn wind. I had to move on. With no way of contacting him and nearly a year passing without seeing his face, I had almost forgotten him. I started making plans to move to Chicago and attend Moody Bible Institute, where I would continue my studies. Then I ran into his Pastor…”
It was Graduation Day.
The windows in the reception hall stretched from the floor up to the ceiling and through them you could see the stars glisten. The night was clear and crisp. The room was crowded, filled with dreams. They hung in the air, like the robes wrapped around each graduate. You could feel the electricity of excitement for those who had just accomplished something major. For them it was only the beginning.
So there I was, mingling with friends, offering my congratulations and best wishes when I turned slightly around. There stood a girlfriend of mine I had known for the past two years asking if I would like to meet her Father. Why not? Of course I would. Little did I know that the conversation I was about to have would set me on a course that would change everything in my life.
I made my way across the packed room to meet her Dad. As my friend introduced me…. she set me up. Her Dad just so happened to be the Pastor at the church Charles attended. When she told him my name, she casually mentioned that I knew Charles and went to school with him (since 2 years had passed from his graduation). With this, his Pastor immediately went into conversation about Charles.
He asked me, “Do you know what he is doing now?” No. Not really, I thought. “He is traveling all over, preaching the gospel.” What? “We just got back from Africa. You know what they say over there?” Um… No? “They say, this man is anointed, this man can preach!” Really?!
Well, I wasn’t shocked… just a little embarrassed as I noticed what started as a group of 6 people conversing was now just the Pastor and I talking about someone I had not even seen in an entire year. This, in turn, led to my awkward response of, “Charles will always have a little place in my heart.” To which he replied, “Well, come see him. Why don’t you visit Charles in Nashville?”
Wait. What?! Let’s take a moment to reflect here. Just a brief moment of silence please.
I know what you’re thinking. This is crazy.
He wanted me to come down and visit? So, just get in my car and drive 6 hours to see a guy I had been crushing on for 3 years… and then do what? Stand outside his bedroom window with a stereo over my head playing In Your Eyes. Like a sappy reenactment of John Cusack’s Rom-Com?
Reader, in my situation what would you have done? Exactly!
A few weeks later I found myself squished in the back of a friend’s pick up truck on my way to Nashville. We had planned a little trip with a few trusted friends and were headed to check things out…
That weekend seemed to fly by and at the same time was so surreal it was as if everything was moving in slow-motion. I guess that’s what it is like with God, when you have those defining moments with Him and know that things in your life are about to change. It is almost as if he froze time and each individual moment is etched into my mind like single picture frames of a movie reel. It was that weekend that I decided I was going to move to Nashville.
I had made this decision in my heart, and a few days later after meeting with the Pastors I was offered the Children’s Director position at their church. I returned to Columbus, Ohio, only to pack up the contents of a small room I rented and say my goodbyes to the few friends that remained after graduation.
Now, I am not going to lead you on. I won’t even act like that weekend Charles professed his undying love for me that he had somehow kept secret for the past three years. Not even close… But, he did remember me… and we picked up right where we left off. The memories of coffee shops, libraries, and Laundromats seemed to swirl around me as we discussed God, revival, prayer and our desire to see lives transformed.
It was there, that we fell in love… in those moments where we could just be ourselves and share our dreams with each other. We knew that we were meant for each other. God had a perfect plan in the path that led us to one another, though it had twists and turns, ups and downs… He was directing it all along.
This Monday, October 8th, will mark seven years of spending our lives together and fulfilling our dreams. Celebrate with me the beauty of Love… because when you let God write your story, there is no telling what each page will hold.