Chapter 28 – The Decision
Nicky had some chores to get done at her apartment and headed home. She planned to return to spend Saturday night with me as well. I was a bit anxious about not being able to move around freely. The bite marks were about a quarter inch deep and due to my desperation to loosen the dog’s grip the flesh was ripped creating jagged cuts on my ankle. I had no choice but to adjust to my temporary limitations. I was going to be home for the next two weeks. The good thing about me is that I was never much of a complainer and found ways to cope with challenges as they arose; I was my Father’s daughter.
Dad came up to my room with Joel at his heals. They looked quite happy to see me and after looking closely I understood why. Dad then revealed the crutches he was holding behind his back and as Joel stepped away from Dad’s shadows I saw breakfast attractively displayed on a tray. Wow, I exclaimed, someone loves me!
I felt really grateful to have caring family and friends. The support at home was always great, something many of my friends wished they had. Dad showed me how to use the crutches and notwithstanding the discomfort experienced, after about twenty minutes, I was able to move around without placing pressure on my ankle. That Saturday consisted of crutch training, reading, journaling and painting. I managed to starve my boredom after all doing things I love.
As I sat in the living room I reflected on my most recent encounters. From the accident at our front yard to the pit bull scare. I couldn’t help but see God’s protection through-out my life and especially in recent weeks. I wondered what it all meant. The phone rang intercepting my thoughts; it was Jason. We updated each other on the latest. Jason was dumbfounded after hearing my encounter with the bad dog. We ended our conversation with a prayer.
That night as I knelt alone at my bed side I prayed asking God to forgive me of my sins and to make me new. I made a decision to be a follower of Christ. I didn’t understanding everything about my decision but I was tired of searching and wanted to experience more of what I already encountered. There was no doubt in my mind about the truth of God’s existence; I had heard and seen enough. My search for something deeper was only escalating and I felt a need to yield to the tender beckoning of that sweet still voice that Jason called “the Holy Spirit”. I had no idea what I was getting into.
Chapter 29 – The Gold Chain
My life as a new believer in Jesus took off as a bullet. Through Jason and Mrs. Jefferson, the Pastor’s wife, arrangements were made for two young women to mentor me. They visited me at home for bible study sessions and life counselling. All this started when I was at home with my injured ankle. My ankle healed nicely but the at home visits continued. My Mentors were Shirley Gibson and Maria Sykes, they were both women in their early to mid-thirties. Relatable and patient; they quickly became my new friends. With both being still single, I found our girl talks to be quite engaging; it really helped me to broaden my perspective on life in general.
Days, weeks and months went by and the changes in my life were growing more and more evident and undeniable. My life was now filled with bible studies and my reading material improved; it went from mere entertaining novels to books and articles that served to enrich my mind and soul. I even took on more responsibility at home, offering to pay one of the utility bills. I grew more understanding of my siblings and my love for them abounded. At work, I felt more purposeful and began actively seeking opportunities within the Company to expand my professional knowledge and experience. When the offer to cross train came, I did not think twice. This opportunity later led to a transfer to the Marketing and Promotions Department. It was a more challenging position and I found myself exploring my creative side.
I also felt my relationships with my friends deepen. I was able to share my faith with my old school mates. Nicky, while acting a bit skeptical, would attend church with me from time to time and that was always special. I was very much aware of the mistrust and hesitancy of many when the topic of “church” or “God” would surface. Because of that awareness, I deliberately sought to learn about the Christian walk and to be as practical as I possibly could, I never wanted to be a talker with no real example to show. I wanted my friends to be drawn to me because of the changes seen in my life.
Jason Emery, the man in my dream over a year ago, grew to be a constant figure in my life. We talked daily about my progress, about our dreams and our future. One Sunday Evening he invited me to his home, it was my first time visiting his family. By then, I had met everyone in his immediate household but it was my first time in their home. We roasted sweet potatoes, breadfruit and fish; it was delicious. Added to the food and the warm company, there was a beautiful moon that shined down on us in all its glory! What a wonderful night it was!
As the evening winded to a close and Jason and I got to be alone, I turned to him and expressed from my heart, my appreciation for all he has been and done for me. From the moment we met, all I received was unquestionable love. He patiently guided me to understand God’s love and to others who can help me do the same. While we were not always in each others’ spaces, he seemed to have taken up a permanent place in my life. We grew to the point where we celebrated each other’s victories and supported each other during the down times. We grew to be great friends and I couldn’t help but be grateful to Nicky for introducing us.
After expressing my heartfelt words, Jason looked at me and smiled and uttered the most beautiful words I have ever heard. “I am confident that our meeting was not by chance, the moment I met you, It felt special and filled with promise. You stood out to me as hope, as a bright light; there was something about you that was drawing me closer. As we talked and spent more time together, I understood why; your desire to succeed and to see others succeed, the way you considered others deeply, putting off your needs to make them happy, your level of maturity and your thirst to find truth, spoke volumes. I remember praying for you and asking God to help me to show you God’s love, and He did.
Jason stood and walked towards me, “It is now over a year since we have met and I know now, more than ever that I want you to be my friend forever.” Jason’s voice began to tremble a little as we were now both standing on his Family’s porch with the moonlight glowing around us. I searched his face, reading his every expression and suddenly there was something dangling from his fingers, glittering in the moonlight with what seemed to be a white stone at the end. I gasp after realising it was a beautiful gold chain with a pendant. “Would you be willing to explore the possibility of marriage with me?” My jaw dropped after hearing the question and I froze, totally caught off guard; I was speechless.
Chapter 30 – The Future
Jason gently placed the necklace around my neck; it was beautiful! I looked up at him still speechless and after seeing his radiant smile I managed to say, “Thank you!” Everything about the necklace and the moment was perfect. Jason pulled me into his chest wrapping his arms around me. It was our first time hugging so intimately. Jason whispered in my ear. “You do not need to answer me now, take your time. “I know,” I whispered back, “You never pressured me about anything, and we have been casual friends for a while now and I respect you for that.” It is just that I was pleasantly surprised and extremely touched by your actions.
We both sat, and I explained to Jason that as a teenager growing up, I have never met a young man like him. I talked about dating two young men, one at 18 and the other at 20 and they both appeared to have no outlook neither were they interested in wholesome activities. I went on to explain that it was the norm for my friends to become sexually active after a few dates with the same person. For me I wanted more, I wanted true friendship, I wanted a commitment with someone who was focused and mature enough to establish priorities. “Jason Emery, you coming into my life was definitely God’s design, you fit the mould of what I desired then and now. I have heard your offer and I would love to explore the possibility of Marriage with you.” I breathed a sigh of relief and we both laughed. We hugged again and as we remained entwined in each other’s arms Jason prayed and asked God to lead us and bless us with a relationship that would draw young men and women to Christ. After praying Jason and his dad drove me home. I can see it was all planned and it all added to a wonderful evening. It was nice getting to know his dad and sharing more about myself. It was somewhere around 7:30 pm when they dropped me off. I felt like I had a lot to share with my family about my evening, but I knew the time was not right. Maybe tomorrow, I thought.
Dad greeted us at the door and were quickly introduced to Jason’s parents who left right away. After saying good night, I retreated to my room. I felt that I needed my privacy to process everything that happened that night, to unwind. Without changing, I curled up with my pillow and prayed. “God my life feels like a roller coaster right now, so much is going on, please help me to understand how to trust you and give me peace…Amen!
As I laid on my bed, I felt the strong impressions of God’s presence telling me, “You are safe! I will never leave you!” That was enough for me. I knew at that moment that I would never have to face life’s joys, sorrows, and uncertainties on my own. That night I vowed to trust God with my future. That night I knew Jason Emery was the one for me; God’s pick for me and I submitted to God’s choice. The dream which I never shared with Jason was unfolding right before my eyes – The Love Dream! I was beginning to understand the true meaning of Love and for some reason God chose Jason Emery to help me understand. As I got up from my bed and prepared to shower, God’s peace overwhelmed me and I was comforted knowing that his plans for me was going to be just right.