Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Day I Went On A Date With My Pastor (Part 2)

Missed Part 1 of our story? Read it here.


I spent that Wednesday morning in prayer and fasting for the Lord to lead our church, lead me in His perfect way, and to free my mind and heart of the distracting feelings I was having about Chris. It was a busy day at school for me, but I tried to spend every free moment in prayer.

By mid-morning, I could feel the Lord working in miraculous ways. God, in His abundant mercy and grace, was filling me with the most incredible peace I have ever experienced. A great feeling of relief came over me as I felt my Lord speaking to my heart to trust Him. I don't ever recall a time when I felt the Lord speaking to me in a clear voice, but I could just feel it on my heart. As I prayed that morning, "trust me" kept coming to mind. Trust me, trust my perfect timing, trust my leading.

I continued to spend the day praying, but my prayers were focused on the church. I no longer felt the need to beg God to take away the thoughts and feelings about Chris, my desires to be married, or my inward struggles. I wasn't distracted by those thoughts the remainder of the day. My heart felt full and at peace.

We met together for a prayer service that evening at church. I remember the feeling continued throughout the evening. It was a great blessing to meet together with my church family, many of whom had also spent the day in prayer and fasting. It was a sweet prayer service and discussion. I spent a few minutes after services visiting with other members about how the week was going. I don't remember specifically talking with any one about my experience that day. I remember feeling like I wanted to share, but also wanting to keep those intimate moments with the Lord close to my heart. Not only did I want to keep that special experience to myself, but I had not talked to anyone about my feelings for Chris. I didn't exactly want to open up and spill the beans, especially not since I had been feeling such great peace and relief from the thoughts.

As I was visiting, Chris nonchalantly told me he needed to talk to me before I went home. Normally, this would have freaked me out! I would have been torn with feeling total girly excitement, but also anxiety about how this would tear up my heart. But, on this night I didn't think much of it. I continued to enjoy visiting a while longer. For some reason that I don't recall, I had to leave quickly and Chris was busy talking with someone else when I was ready to leave. I caught him on my way to the car and he said he would give me a call later. Again, something that would have normally thrown me into a pure panic attack, but not that night.

Chris and I had gotten to be fairly close friends by this point. We would often ride bikes together with my friend, Shelly. We would also go with a group from church to Sacred Harp singings together. Chris didn't call me very often and when he did it was usually about making plans to ride bikes or go to Sacred Harp. I figured that's what this was about.

My phone rang as I was driving home. After the boring formalities of beginning a conversation, we had a good discussion about the prayer service. Chris then asked me about my experience of the day. I do remember feeling a slight panic at this point. I had a strong desire to be open with him about what I experienced throughout the day, but I didn't want to be too open. I can't remember exactly how our conversation went, but I do remember being fairly open about my experience. I remember sharing with him that I started the day with a burden to pray for the church and also the things I was dealing with in my life. I had talked with him some previously about my struggles with school and with feeling confused about my focuses in life. So during our phone call that evening, I did share with him about the peace I felt in those areas. Our discussion was enjoyable and encouraging to me. It lasted until I got home and for a while longer as I sat in my truck outside my house. We were getting to the end of talking about our experiences of the day and I thought we were wrapping up.

As I was preparing to hang up and head inside to visit with my parents, I heard him ask me something. He asked me what I was doing that weekend. My mind started to go fuzzy, but then I tried to get a grip on reality. My brother was going to Indiana for the weekend to visit a friend (who is now his wife) and had asked me a few weeks back to go along. I had mentioned it to Chris in a conversation, saying that I hadn't decided if I was going to go or not. So, I figured he was asking me in reference to whether I was going with Isaac to Indiana. I told him that I decided not to go with him. I was an expecting him to say, "Good, well I'll see you at church on Sunday then," but that's not what came next.

"Well, I was wondering if you would like to do something with me on Saturday?" (*Note: This is not an exact quote. I'm sure he was much more polished and suave in his questioning, but my memory is a little fuzzy about the details.)

Now, my heart started going crazy at this point and my mind was spinning. I wasn't sure if he was asking me to hang out as friends or asking me on a date. Surely he wasn't asking me on a date, because I had been feeling such great peace throughout the day. Maybe it was just Satan trying to have one up on the Lord working on my heart? That had to be it.

I stumbled around to find an answer that sounded know, interested in doing something but not desperate. Chris that he was thinking of going to see a show at the Fox Theater. He was going to check into the show times and give me an email about the time on Saturday. Somehow, I managed to blubber my way through the end of the phone call and headed in the house. I remember walking into the house and being in a state of shock. I couldn't figure out what had just happened. I visited with my parents a few minutes about the day, then headed up to bed.

As I laid in bed, I closed out my day of prayer. I thanked God for feeling His presence throughout the day and for the sweet peace He gave to me. I also begged God to continue leading me. I wanted so desperately to guard my heart. How could God have so boldly spoken His peace to me just a few hours earlier, yet now I had to deal with the feelings more than ever? Once again I cried out to the Lord, and once again He answered me with "trust me." Trust me, trust my perfect timing, trust my leading.

To be continued....

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