Walking away is never easy. I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect me to do so but I know, without hesitation, that the growth in me, and in Steven, during that time when we were ‘no longer friends’ … the growth in our faith alone … was worth it!
But it sucked. No, not gonna lie. It sucked big time. My heart hurt every day. Funny thing is, I didn’t know it until much later but so did his. Isn’t that funny? That when we think that we are alone in our heartache, we rarely ever are?
Back to the story of us…
I handed off all handling of the lawn and landscpae management to Jesseca and hid myself away in the office whenever Steven would appear … which started to be frequently once he realized I was really going to walk away. For those of you not keeping up: that was God working on his heart 😉
We both played on the respective softball leagues for our church that year. The Saturday after Steven ended our friendship, I was leaving practice as his was starting. I took a deep breath and said a prayer for strength as I prepared to blow right by him. Yeah, right. He stopped me and asked me to meet him after his practice so we could talk. I’m pretty sure I vaguely recall being pretty snarky to him about his choice to end our friendship and him being very humbled and asking me to meet him anyway.
Of course, I went. I din’t stay long and I’m pretty sure all I said was ‘well, I’m here … what do you want?’ (insert the face of current me thinking ‘geesh, I was really angrier than I wanted to admit back then’). I remember sitting in that booth at Subway and seeing his face. He looked like he was hurting too. I didn’t want him to be hurting. I couldn’t be mad at him if he was hurting! Darn him. Darn him, darn him, darn him!! Ugh.
Steven used to hold the bible closed in his lap and pray. He would pray for whatever was on his mind and then he would open the bible and see what the answer to his prayer was. He told me that night when I came home from Ohio and let him tell me that we couldn’t be friends was one of the hardest nights in his life. He told me that he went inside and cried and prayed and when he opened his bible his eyes fell upon John 13:7. Of course, when I asked him what it said, he told me to look it up and know that he never intended to hurt me. That was it. Our big conversation in 3 minutes.
Here’s what it said (because, yes, of course I went right back to the hotel and looked it up … who wouldn’t?!):
So there I was, more confused than ever, without my only non-work friend and realizing that I’d been living in the hotel for over a year. How was I going to find a life while living in a hotel? So I found a house to rent. Then I realized that all of my earthly posessions were in a storage unit 90 miles away and the only person I knew with a truck was Steven.
Tomorrow: My most memorable moving day ever … as ‘the story of us’ continues!