My dear friend Jamie and I always claimed, “If there was a class called ‘Boys 101’, we would have failed it”. We were not the top students in that class. Together, we bumbled through crushes, the single years and countless blind dates like a couple of newborn deer learning to walk. I am sure it was painful to watch. To make it worse, these weren’t our junior high and high school years. These weren’t even our college years. Yes, these most awkward years were our post college twenties…late twenties. God bless the friends that stuck by us.
We had our own language and theories that you will never find in books. Never. For so many reasons. When a boy walked into a room that caught our eye and make our heart beat faster, we would say, “he made us noodle”. As we got to know a boy more…it was the character of their heart that could turn us to pasta completely. Then there was one boy, Robert Boyd. He didn’t make me noodle right away…it took seven years. I guess you could say it was a slow cooking pot of pasta.
But, without notice, one day…I noodled. And I knew he was the one. Unfortunately, he didn’t know I was the one. The seven years prior to my knee wobbling, eye popping revelation had forged a good friendship. This was the kind of friendship that involved visits on the weekend where we could talk for hours. My life was richly blessed with best guy friends like this. But, there was something different with this one…I was forever a bowl of pasta.
As a proper “good friend” would do, Robert invited me to his college graduation. And as his friend, I went. In fact, I don’t think anything could have kept me away. After picking out the perfect outfit and hanging up the twelve that didn’t make the cut, I purchased a cd for him to listen to on his road trip to Colorado after his graduation and wrote him a note. That is what a good friend would do…encourage him, congratulate him, send him off with several good scriptures from his good, dear, woman of God friend. But somewhere along the writing process, I got brave (or crazy). I decided to tell him my feelings. Any girl reading this, knows that this process takes a few tablets of paper and plenty of time. I wrote and rewrote that note close to fifty times as I analyzed each word, voice inflection and possible things he could read into. It was a work of art perfectly crafted with encouragement and memories that surrounded and possibly softened my true feelings for him. I was a nervous wreck. But I had set my mind and heart to give it to him.
The drive to College Station was long. The ceremony was even longer. The wonderful lunch with his family and friends took forever. As he walked me to my car before I began my drive back home, I readied myself to give him my gift…and my heart. I opened my door, handed him the gift and began to say goodbye and wish him well in Colorado. He paused and opened the gift and thanked me for it. I began to get in my car again. He paused and opened the letter. Opened the letter. Oh no. It was not in my “plan” for me to be standing there while he read it. I was not prepped for that. But that is what was unfolding in front of me.
I stood there as he read each word. I knew which words he was reading because I had the entire letter memorized. I knew exactly when he got to the part where I said, “and now the tables are turned and I am the one who can see me falling for you.” I knew exactly what would have happened in a Hollywood chick flick movie at this point.
But it didn’t.
He finished the letter, folded it up and said, “that was sweet.” Silence. Then the sounds of crickets. And cars passing. And my heart pounding.
I said goodbye, face red with embarrassment and with a deflated heart and finally got in my car. It was a long ride home. I called Jamie and replayed the evening’s events. Being the good classmate of Boys 101, she picked apart the whole evening and played out every scenario, cried a bit with me and by the end we decided that we didn’t need boys at all….for that day at least.
The silence after Robert read the letter was hard. The silence on the way home was hard. Silence is hard when you want answers or you want to feel good or when you are realizing things didn’t go the way you wanted. Silence leaves you alone with your thoughts and emotions.
Many times in my single years (and now in many situations), I felt like God was being very silent.
Mary and Martha were a couple of girls that didn’t like the silent waiting times either.
When their brother Lazarus was sick, they called his best friend, Jesus. They knew He would know how to fix the problem or at least fix their hearts. They knew who to call. They knew who to trust.
Much to their dismay and not according to their time table, He didn’t come right away. They had to sit in silence and wait on him for three days. Ugh. I feel your pain girls! But they waited and trusted in the one that knew them well and knew their Father in Heaven even better. See, Jesus knew there was a plan. He knew there was a purpose. He knew their broken hearts were being turned to Him in this time of waiting and silence. He could have shown up that day and healed Lazarus and that would have been amazing! But, instead He came three days later after Lazarus had already died. They ran to Him so upset. But they ran to Him. Not away from Him. And He did what only He could do. He went to his friend that was gone and raised him from the dead. From the dead! That is crazy amazing! Healing his friend would have been great and worthy of much praise and high fives. But bringing him back from the dead…man, that shows power that is unheard of!
Many times I thought Jesus was wasting His time as I waited in silence to be married. But He didn’t waste my time and He didn’t waste Mary’s and Martha’s time. That time was valuable…so valuable. I learned to call on Him as my best friend. I learned to be patient for His very best…”raising from the dead” kind of best. I learned to run to Him, even when I was disappointed in His plan and timing.
And it was worth every minute spent in silence with my Lord.