Archive | March 2013

Day 31: Show Me

As I look back over my version of “31 Days of Grace”, I am amazed at the ways God has used my journey to lead me to where I am today.  How I got here, I’ll never fully understand.  I guess that’s just another way I’m reminded of the goodness of God.  Has my life always been easy or felt really good?  Heck no!  There has been heartache along the way; there still is.  There are decisions and choices on my part that I’m not proud of.  I’m certain there will continue to be.  Parts of my story were incredibly painful to look back on and some of those moments were too hard to write about.  I can honestly say that, through it all, I have learned just how big God really is and that there’s nothing He can’t redeem and make new.

Tomorrow is Easter.  A day in the Christian tradition where we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As I think about that and how it’s all about life being given back to the dead, I think it’s fitting that my “31 Days of Grace” comes to an end this weekend.  I am so thankful for all of the ways that God has given life to my walk with Him, over and over again.  Even when I couldn’t see it in the moment, when I was feeling pretty dead, He was still being good and keeping the life breathing through me. 

Today, I am challenging myself to choose to see the goodness of God, even in the hardest of moments.  I’m aiming to take a deep breath and trust His heart, even when I don’t necessarily feel like it right then.  I want to ask Him to show me what it means, instead of questioning why He’s doing it.

Pray that I get there!

Day 30: You Aren’t Stupid

I sat across from him, cutting my food and trying to eat enough to be polite and not seem distracted.  I can’t tell you half of what he talked about as I listened about his week.  I kept trying to determine how I would switch gears to what we were really there for, but kept hoping we could get out of the restaurant and back to the car before we would go there.  He couldn’t have meant it to sound loaded, but it felt like such a heavy question when he asked what was going on with me.  He agreed that we could wait until we were in the car to go there.  There’s just something about a darker environment that makes it easy to be real.  Maybe it’s the notion that if you can’t see me, you can’t see through me.

We got in the car and he asked me again.  I silently prayed that God would help me to not chicken out, but rather to be as honest as I knew how to be. 

“Remember that time I said I could easily fall for you and you said you weren’t having those same feelings, so I said it wasn’t a big deal, I just wouldn’t fall for you?  Well, that didn’t really work out for me.  And I know this isn’t news to you; you aren’t stupid so I know you know.”

It was the start of a conversation that would last over the course of several days.  It would carry on over breakfast, text messages, and a second night of sitting in a car talking it out.  We would get even more honest about everything there was to share and know about one another.  And then, he would kiss me and it would change everything.

Today marks four months of us being together and I am incredibly thankful that God saw fit to bring us together.

Day 29: Having Reached My Limit

I laid on my bed with pen and paper in hand.  Having just watched an early episode of Gilmore Girls, I was feeling very empowered to just say what I needed to say.  The Gilmores tend to have that effect on me and the last few weeks had my struggle to just be friends with Will had become almost unbearable.  I was tired of over-analyzing every text message and conversation and time together.  I had fallen way too hard to try and just be his friend.  Between my own struggles and some of the things that Katherine had asked me or shared, I was starting to feel like there was two girls at stake in all of this.  So, I did what I always do to flesh something out– took pen to paper.

 ***********************************************

For about the fifth time, I was editing this letter to Will.  This wasn’t the first time that I had put myself out there in a note to this boy, but ten months and a lot had happened since the first one.  I knew this one would be the last time I could let myself go through this and still be okay, so it said everything I wanted it to say.  My heart was ripping as I poured every bit of it and lots of tears onto blue and green stationary.  I knew I could probably live without being with him, I’ve done it for twenty seven years.  I also knew that I just really didn’t want to; not when I knew in my heart of hearts that he was the one for me.  Having reached my limit though, I sealed the final product and grabbed tape to just go leave it on his door while he was out.

Keys in one hand, note and tape in another, I was getting ready to walk out the door when my phone started going off.  “1 New Msg from Will Geanes” flashed on my screen.  He said he knew it was short notice, but could we get together and talk tonight.  We had been attempting to do just that for a while and had even been successful; I just couldn’t bring myself to be that honest with him.  I was scared.  Scared that it wouldn’t work out like I wanted it to.  Scared that my heart wouldn’t recover if I was wrong.  Scared that he didn’t even see us as friends, he was just being the polite guy that he is and I was a really convenient buddy for Katherine.   

Okay then, Lord.  We’ll talk about it in person.  I can do this, right?  Lord, give me the boldness to be completely honest and the ability to not cry in front of him when he says, “no thanks” again.  I got the parents to agree to hang out and do dinner with Katherine so he and I could go eat together and talk.  The next thing I knew, Katherine was content to be with my parents and we were walking out the back door, towards his car.

Day 28: Moving Forward

“I’m really proud of you.”

 “Eh, thanks.”

I was driving us back from a trip to the beach for Katherine’s birthday and she was sleeping hard in the back seat, giving us the chance to talk during the ride.  We were talking about past relationships and I had just finished talking about the things I had just done to assure myself that I was really taking steps and moving forward from an old relationship. 

 

“Well, in the spirit of being really proud… you aren’t wearing your wedding ring anymore.  And, I’m guessing that was a really big deal.  So, I’m proud of you.”

“Thanks.  Not that it matters, but did you just notice?”

“No.  I noticed the other night when you guys were at the house for dinner and we were washing dishes together.  Why?”

“It wasn’t on when you were at my house the other week either.”

“Oh.”

Over the past several weeks, we had been texting and talking about a whole plethora of stuff in our worlds.  We had been to a mutual friends wedding and talked politics, religion, and relationships on the ride home.  We had walked through his dad’s battle with cancer and the funeral that soon followed.  We had swapped various secrets over some more Texas Chicken Tenders and learned to be comfortable with each other.  We had grabbed breakfast (and lunch) (and dinner) together a few times along the way and somewhere in there I knew he was it for me.  I also knew he wasn’t there yet.  And being just his friend was getting to be really hard. 

Yet, there we were.  In the car coming home.  Talking about moving forward and the more I talked, the more I prayed that I wasn’t somehow encouraging him to move forward with someone who wasn’t me…

Day 27: Have I Talked to You Today?

Today, as I walked out the door from work for the day, Will called.  We hardly ever actually call each other, so I broke my own “don’t answer the phone when you’re with someone” rule and answered.  Plus, I never (purposefully) ignore that boy.

“Hello?”

“Hey.  I’m okay, but I’ve just been in a car accident.  Can you pick up Katherine?”

“Absolutely.  Will they let me have her?  I’m not on her list.”

“Yeah.  You can show them where I called or something.”

“Well, let me go while Lindsay’s still there.  You’re sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah, it’s no big deal.  I just got rear-ended.  And I’m bleeding from somewhere, not sure where, but I’m good.”

“Okay, well let me go find Lindsay.”

“Okay.  Thank you!”

“Absolutely!  Bye.”

 I hung up and went running into Lindsay’s office.  I told her what had happened and why I was there.  She called Will to hear him say that I could have Katherine.  He assured her that he was fine and that I was getting Katherine.  I wasn’t even sure which classroom was Katherine’s.  Thank the Lord for Lindsay Lee!  She walked with me to get Katherine and explained that I was picking her up.  Katherine’s face lit up, she took me by the hand, and we went up the hill, got her stuff and got in my car.  I called Moma to give her the heads up, but had to get off the phone with her to answer Will again.

“Hey, have I already talked to you today?”

“If you mean, do I have Katherine?  Then yes.”

“You have Katherine?”

“Yes, and we’re headed to my house.  Where are you?”

“Sitting in the back of an ambulance right now.”

“What?  Where?  Do we need to come to you?”

“No, no.  Go on to your house.  I’ll see y’all in a little bit.”

I rounded the curve to get on 95 and could feel my heart drop.  What if he’s not okay?  I loved that I had the cutest kid ever talking up a storm in my back seat, I hated the feeling I had about her dad right now.

Twenty minutes later, after getting home and trying to explain it all to Moma—my phone rang again.  Will was calling again and I asked God to please let him be okay while I answered the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hey, have I already talked to you?”

And we proceeded to have the exact same conversation as the last call, and I could feel my heart drop even more.  I didn’t like this at all.  Especially since, this time, he was in the Emergency Room.  I was starting to feel really torn between wanting to go and be with him and staying right where I was with Katherine.

About an hour or so later, Natalie texted me from class to check out WRAL.  I logged on and found a wreck on 64 involving two SUVs and tractor trailers was the Top Story.  I wanted to throw up.  There’s no way it wasn’t the same one.  I debated whether to call him or not until I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I left little Katherine, my mini-me, in the kitchen with the family and called him.

“Hello.”

“Hey.  How are you feeling?”  I swallowed hard.

“I’m okay.  Do you have Katherine?”

I swallowed hard again.  “Yes, I have Katherine.  But do I need to come to you?”

“I don’t know.  I can’t remember anything at all and it’s really starting to piss me off.”

“I’m sure.”  I took a deep breath.

“But you have Katherine, good.”

I went to ask him what I could do and if he would be able to drive himself home when I realized our call had been dropped.  So I went back to debating: do I go to the hospital?  Would he want me there or would my being there just add to his being pissed off?  He called me first in a “crisis”—what’s that supposed to mean?  I wanted to see for myself first that Will was okay.

********************************************

It wasn’t too long after arriving to the Emergency Room before I looked up and saw Will’s friend Danny walking towards us.  We met each other at the sliding glass doors and he said that Will was okay.  He asked if I wanted to go see him.

“Can I?  Is that okay?”

“Yeah.  Just know that he’s having a hard time remembering anything, so you may have to repeat yourself a lot.”

He put his pass on me and told me to go on back.  I made my way down the hall, but found the preacher was with him, so I waited in the hall.  Besides, I hate hospitals!  The preacher spotted me and invited me to come on into the room.  We introduced ourselves to each other, and I took the seat by Will’s bed.  I noticed a lot of blood on his pillow and then the white board caught my eye.

Katherine is fine!  She’s with Stephanie Brown. 🙂 

Will was sitting up, holding his cell phone and drinking a cup of water.  He looked up at me and said, “I called you today?”  “You did.  A couple of times.”  “I see that now.”  He looked up at the preacher and me and looked so perplexed when he said gently, “So, what happened??”  The preacher told (what we think was) the story again.

 I could tell Will was trying so hard to piece it all together.  For the first time ever, I was seeing him not have it together.  He started to look around the room, “I wish I had something to make notes on”.  The preacher had business cards and Will started jotting stuff on the back of one.  Guess the only two things he wanted to remember was:

1)     Katherine’s at Stephanie Brown’s.

2)     It’s okay to take Tylenol.

We learned that the hospital was discharging Will with the understanding he wouldn’t stay alone.  The preacher took him by the restroom while I went back towards the lobby.  I came up on Danny just before having to face everyone else and he gave me the game plan.  I was to take Will to his house, where he would later meet us and stay with Will for the night.  I would get Katherine’s stuff and she would stay with me.  I wondered who would make that announcement to those in the lobby.

We walked out to find the crowd of those waiting to hear something had grown.  Amongst the many faces of Will’s family, I spotted Lindsay.  She walked up to me, gave me the biggest hug ever, and reminded me that I had this totally under control.  “Katherine is exactly where she needs to be right now and you will be just what she needs tonight.  You’ve got this!”  Thank You, Lord for a friend’s face amongst the others.

*********************

I walked into our house to find the cutest kid ever, in the rocking chair with my mom, reading books.  How much of today’s story do I actually tell her?  Before I even went there with her—I went to the bathroom, emailed the boss, and texted Kara.  As usual, I got nothing but encouragement from Kara; just what I needed.

I was absolutely emotionally exhausted, but still needed to put the cute kid to bed.  It was too late to start with a bath, so we opted for pajamas.  She continued to sit with her “Ms. Meyum” and I began to explain that Daddy wasn’t feeling very well and how she would have a sleep-over with us girls.  She liked it, I went with it.  While she continued reading with Moma, my emotions caught up with me and I sat across the room, in my little sister’s lap and just cried.  Eventually, we put her to bed and I was right behind her.  I woke up around 11:15 to the sound of Will calling me.

We talked for a few minutes and I was incredibly thankful that it was a relatively “normal” conversation; I thought it was a good sign as far as how he was doing.  We hung up and I tried to go to sleep; I mainly tossed and turned all night.  I found myself lying in bed, just praying.

I thanked God that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  I begged Him for a quick recovery.  Thanked Him for allowing me to be the one that Will called, the one Katherine’s staying with tonight.  I asked Him to please use this to grow mine and Will’s friendship.  I even remember asking God to make whatever sleep I did get—feel like I’d slept for hours.

Katherine and I would eventually end up in the rocking chair in the living room, falling asleep together as we held onto each other and cried ourselves back to sleep.  I would go on two hours of sleep the next day but still felt well-rested.  (God totally honored that plea!)  I would sit at my desk the next day, trying work, but most of my mental energy would be spent trying to define all of the feelings that I had felt over the past 24 hours.  My heart would wrestle and struggle and somehow survive all that it went through.

Day 26: Texas Chicken Valentine

Just two weeks ago, I had prayed over a handwritten, heart spilling note in a hot pink envelope just to receive an e-mail that I analyzed and reanalyzed that led to an awkward conversation that ended with me learning that my falling for the blonde boy wasn’t a mutual experience.  Yet today, on February 14th, Valentine’s Day—I was finishing up a Texas Chicken Tenders lunch that he paid for.  By most people’s standards, going out together on Valentine’s Day would mean you were on a date.  I’m sure he had no idea that today was Valentine’s Day!  To him, it was just a Tuesday.  Maybe he did, I don’t know.  I don’t even know why he still wants to be friends with me.  What I do know is that I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the day with anyone else.  I also know that, the more that boy talked– the harder I was falling.

Day 25: 25 Days of Christmas

I figure nothing will tell the next few “big” events quite like entries from my journal. I do not filter when I journal, so welcome to my most intimate thoughts.

 

Today my friend Will and I took his precious little Katherine to see Santa.  Maybe I should say that we attempted to take her.  Really—we should have known better, since Katherine won’t even hug my Dad.  Ha!  She was doing great until it was her turn.  At that point, she grasped onto her Dad for dear life and cried like most kids her age would do.  Most of me couldn’t help but get excited for the day that I go with my husband and kids to see Santa.  A small part of me secretly hoped that today was just the first of many days that Will, Katherine and I will go to see Santa.  Especially when she wanted to hold our hands and swing down the sidewalk.  It’s hard not to love those two!  She snapped me back to reality though when she proclaimed “my mom’s in heaven”.  I drove home reminding God that He was going to need to keep preparing my heart if marrying into a situation like that (Will or not) is to really be part of my story.  Being patient seems to keep getting harder.

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Today, Will and I went to the NC State versus Syracuse Men’s Basketball game at RBC.  I had scored tickets weeks ago and hoped he would go with me; he decided he would.  We had agreed that he would drive and that we would leave somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00.  He came closer to 5.  Normally, I would be stressing that we were going to be late or worried about the plan for eating.  For some reason though—I didn’t care about any of that.  I was in the bathroom when Natalie yelled that he was here.  I walked out in time to open the door and find him standing there.  I could get used to this.

“So, change of plans,” he said.

“Okay, what?”

“We might need you to drive.  My Check Engine light just came on.”

“That’s fine.  Natalie, I’m gonna need my GPS back.”

“Mine’s in the car; we can take it.”  We turned and walked towards our cars.

“What if we take my car and you still drive?”  I so did not want to drive.

“Okay.”  He seemed okay with that.

“I can’t stand event traffic and you might not like my anymore if I drive.” 

He laughed as he locked his car I moved the driver’s seat back and walked around to the passenger’s seat.  Oddly enough, I was really comfortable the whole time.  I always feel allowed to be myself with him.

For the most part, we talked the whole way there.  He jokingly asked me if I had my list, the one I’d been keeping of stuff that we’d been “going to talk about later” for weeks now.  I laughed and said no, knowing that I had it basically memorized.  What is it about this guy that made me want to know everything about him?  I was impressed by what he remembered from previous conversations.  I sat there praying, “Lord, if this isn’t it, please don’t let my heart be so distracted.  And please let ‘the one’ be just as easy to talk to about everything.

We came up on what we thought was parking, just to find out it was for Permits Only.  That happened to us more than once actually.  At one point, his phone went off.  He reached in his pocket, looked at the message and then handed me the phone to see it.  It was from another girl and I felt completely washed over in jealousy.  Jealousy’s my least favorite emotion, but I sure had no problem feeling that way in that moment.  We went on towards the RBC Center for the game, continuing to talk the whole way there.               

The game ended with a State loss but the Syracuse fans next to us were so excited that it was hard not to be excited for them.  We made our way back to the car and I made fun of him for being so impatient with the lack of traffic-flow to get everyone out of there.

The ride home was a lot quieter, not because I didn’t still want to ask about a million questions, but I didn’t really want to be annoying either.  It was during the ride home when I learned he’s started writing letters to Katherine, almost like a journal I guess.  What I do know is that I sat there praying: Lord, remember the time I asked to not be distracted?  Well, this really isn’t helping!

When we got back to my house, I invited him in while secretly hoping he would decline.  He did.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hang out with him anymore.  My heart was just in a really funny place and space was probably best right then.  He hugged me and got in his car.  I walked in the house with a struggling heart…