Monthly Archives: April 2016

One Word: October…

Once again, here’s the link to the first part of the story: Our Story.  Now, get ready, because this one is a long one…

Let’s flashback for the catchup!  I just completely made a fool of myself by texting a guy I knew for a week and basically telling him that I liked him, but didn’t want to pursue a relationship with him because we lived 249 miles away from each other.  Probably not the best idea I’ve ever had, but oh well!  What’s done is done and it’s gotten me this far, so I guess it was a decent decision.  On the plus side, he did say that he liked me and agreed with my way of thinking.  So now let’s move into another one of my brilliant ideas about three months later…   It’s known by only one word: October.

October actually started in September of 2012.  Brandon and I continued to text each other throughout the next few months and it was wonderful.  We never saw each other in person during those three months, but our relationship grew slowly as we talked to each other each day.  We weren’t “dating.”  We were just “talking.”  Know, let me define those terms for you quickly: “talking” occurs when two people like each other and want to get to know each other better, but have not moved past the getting-to-know-you phase of their relationship; whereas “dating” occurs when the guy actually asks the girl to be his girlfriend.  I am perfectly aware that there are a million different ways to define those two words, but that is what they mean to me and how I will use them in the future.

So, we were happy “talking” and texting each other every day.  However, the Lord didn’t let me stay in that comfort zone for long.  He wouldn’t let me have peace about our relationship at that moment because Brandon was not going to church at that time or being fed spiritually at all and it really bothered me.  Why did it bother me so much?  My faith is really important to me and keeping Christ first in my relationship was and is the most important thing to me.  So when Brandon wasn’t living up to the “strong spiritual leader” that I thought he should be, I started to freak out.

So I did what any girl would do.  I prayed and fasted for a week and asked the Lord to show me how He wanted me to handle the uneasiness.  I was ready and willing to tell Brandon that we couldn’t continue talking.  But that isn’t what God told me to do.  Instead, the Lord asked me to take a break from Brandon and really focus on Him for a month.  That month was October.

On the night of September 30th, I called Brandon.  I had made lists and written out the reasons why I wanted to do this.  I spent hours praying about it.  I knew that I had to do it and I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy.  But I also knew that the Lord would walk through each and every step with me and I knew that it would be a positive experience for both Brandon and me.  I’m not the girl who dates someone just to date them.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have waited until after high school to even start “talking” to someone.  My goal in dating is to find the man that God is preparing to be my husband, not sample a bunch of different people.

I had told Brandon that we needed to talk, but it had to wait until that night.  He had figured out earlier that week that something was off and didn’t leave it alone until I told him that I needed to talk to him about something.  That week also happened to be when he told me that he loved my laugh.  Now, that may not be a big deal to many people, but I hate my laugh and I had jokingly told God that the boy who told me that he liked my laugh was going to be “the one.”  Remember, I was joking.

The conversation went something like this: “Brandon, I really need a spiritual leader in my life and I’m not sure that you are that person for me right now, but I know that you can be in time.  I won’t marry anyone unless Christ is first in their life and we keep Him at the center of our relationship.  I’m not going to date anyone just to say that I have a boyfriend.  My goals in dating are to find my future husband.”

Brandon then proceeded to talk a little about his life.  He went to a private Christian school for a while, which is where he had gained the majority of his knowledge of the Bible, and then went into public school soon after.  His family was not one that went to church often and he had been forced to go to a few churches that he was not a big fan of.  His spiritual growth ended when he left the Christian school and did not pick back up until 2012, when he went to Chula Vista for that week of camp.  He encountered God again at camp and wanted to know more about how to better his relationship with the Lord, but was not sure how to go about doing that.  And that brings us to his current state on that night.

It was not easy to talk about that stuff.  I see things one way because I was born and raised in church and I have volunteered in different ministries since I was ten or so.  Brandon sees things a completely different way because he wasn’t raised with God always providing the answer.  He never knew that he could rely solely on Christ for anything and everything.  It was a major difference between the two of us and it greatly impacted our relationship.

After that little conversation, Brandon thought that was all I had to say.  He told me that he was worried that I would suggest we start dating.  Yeah.  He really thought that.  Which I guess is totally valid because I am the girl who texted him to tell him that I liked him after knowing him for a week…  Anyway, I didn’t suggest that at all, but I did tell him that we had one more heavy thing to talk about…  The break.

I kept my cool as I explained how the Lord had been tugging on my heart and how much I had prayed about this.  My voice was steady as I explained that the break needed to last for the whole month of October and that it included no talking on the phone, texting, Facebook messages, or any other communication of any kind.  I was fine as I explained how it would be beneficial to both of us: we could better focus on God, make sure that He was at the center of our life as individuals, and to show God that He was our top priority.

The moment that I stopped talking and everything had been laid out there while I awaited Brandon’s response to this impossible request, I shattered.  The tears flowed steadily down my cheeks and my voice cracked from all of the tension.

Now, by this time you’re probably thinking that I’m crazy.  I would definitely agree with you.  I’m completely bonkers.  But when the Holy Spirit nudges you to do something, you don’t just sit there and say, “No.”  (Unless you like having your world fall apart because you decided to disobey God…)  You get up, you put your big girl britches on and you say, “Okay, Lord, but You’re gonna have to help me through this.”  And He does.  He always does.  And He certainly did that night.

Through the innumerable tears and the silent sound of breaking hearts, Brandon did not respond like a normal 18 year old boy would.  He did not walk away from me.  He did not turn his back on our relationship because it was about to get extremely difficult.  He did not question my motives or try to change the parameters of the break.  Instead, he admitted that he was scared.  He was worried that not communicating at all for a whole month would ruin our relationship and tear us apart.  He was scared of losing me and I was scared of losing him too.  He was worried that at the end of the month we would find that we weren’t right for each other; that we weren’t good enough for the other.

I asked him, “What is the worst thing that could happen during this month?  Even if the Lord tells us that we aren’t supposed to be together, it’ll be better to know now rather than after we’ve gotten our hearts more involved.  Besides, we could still be friends.  We would just need to draw a line and stay far from it.”  I’m aware that those are some of the worst things that I could have said to him, but I was also saying it to help reassure myself.

His response silenced me: “That’s it.  I don’t just want to be your friend.”

Of course I didn’t want to just be his friend!  But above all else, I wanted the Lord’s will to be done.  No matter what that was.

We set our parameters for October and talked about slightly lighter subjects until midnight.  His one request was to be able to hear my laugh one more time before October started.

When midnight came, we didn’t say goodbye.  Goodbye is too final, especially when a month of absolutely no communication follows that.  Instead, we said, “I’ll talk to you later.”

Although the night was filled with so much dread and many tears, there was a peace that followed the sound of the phone call being disconnected.  I had done what the Lord asked and I knew with every fiber of my being that He would walk with me through whatever craziness I encountered in that month.  And let me just tell you, there was plenty of crazy during October…

Gentry Bass

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Getting Brave

If you missed the first part of this story, I’ve decided to put it all together here on this page so I don’t have to keep going back through all of the different posts about this particular subject.

Now, before we begin, I feel that it is necessary for me to define something for you.  The term is “talking.”  When “talking” is put in quotes in my writings, it refers to the time that a guy and girl who like each other are texting or talking to each other and getting to know each other better but they have not decided to be “boyfriend and girlfriend” yet.  When that decision is made, then they are dating.  And just for my purposes: if he doesn’t ask, you aren’t actually dating and he isn’t your boyfriend.  But that is really just my opinion and my definition of those words.

Now back to the story!

To give you a little reminder of where our story left off, camp is over and Brandon’s comment on my profile picture sparked a conversation that lasted through to the next day.  He was the very first guy to continue the conversation the next day.

So what did I do once I realized that this boy who lived 3 1/2 hours away was going to keep talking to me?  I got brave.  And I got stupid.  How, do you ask, was I so stupidly brave?  I sent him this text message after telling him that I had a couple of questions for him…  Get ready to cringe.

“Ok.  There may not be any questions for you, but I think you need to know a few things.  I’m sorry if it’s awkward or anything like that.  First, let me say that I love talking to you.  You are the sweetest guy I’ve met in a really long time.  I’ve never been in a relationship before and honestly I think I’m scared of what could happen after I’m not just “talking” to a guy.  I don’t think I want a long distance relationship, but I also know that if it’s God’s will then He will make it work out.  I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I thought you should at least know some of that… Sorry if I’m rambling.  And feel free to ask me any questions you have.”

Did you cringe?  I did.  Many times.

Now, what you need to realize is that this text message didn’t come a week or two after we started texting.  No.  This happened 2 days after we started texting.  Two days.  That, my friends, is how I got stupidly brave.

After I hit send, I started to panic.  Those few minutes between the moment I hit send and I heard my phone go off again seemed like an eternity.  I was freaking out because there are about a million different ways that Brandon could have responded.  I’m just happy that it paid off and I just so happened to find that one guy who didn’t read that and say, “Whoa, you’re crazy.  I’m just gonna go over here and pretend I didn’t read that and never respond back to you because you’ve lost your mind.”  I found that one guy who responded like this:

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I don’t know if I want a long distance relationship either.  But I’ve also never met someone like you.  I’m not a person to force someone into something or hold grudges after the fact.  I really don’t know.  I want to tell you that the more I’ve talked to you I’ve started to like you more.  I don’t know if you feel the same.  But I just want to get that off my chest now.”

Needless to say, I literally breathed a sigh of relief and my jaw probably hit the floor.  Honestly, I can’t remember much about that moment other than feeling nothing but anxiety while waiting and a massive wave of relief when I realized that he felt the same way.  There weren’t really any eloquent words, but then again, how many 17 year olds in today’s society are found speaking with eloquence?  Not many.

The thing is, my love story is not an eloquent one.  It’s just the story of how a guy and a girl met at camp and decided to give each other a chance even though they lived 249 miles away.

There are much greater love stories out there.  There are couples who have loved each other from much farther distances.  There are certainly more eloquently spoken exchanges.  The thing is, I like my story just the way it is.  Just the way the Lord wrote it.

Next time, I’ll tell you what happened that October…

Gentry

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