{Worth the Wait: A Love Story Part VIIII}

We began our walk through the neighborhood.  It was dark and the stars were out.  A few college kids sporadically shouted into the night. 
I can’t actually remember how the conversation began, or how Scott opened up the tender subject that we both new must be broached, but he did.  I do remember that we talked of less important things at first while mind raced ahead and my impatient nature wrung my heart painfully.
Then, the explanation began. Scott wanted to explain “his process”.  He wanted to tell me what he had been going through since the break-up.  He explained the insecurity in his feelings that led him to end our relationship, the doubt and sadness afterward, the desire he had to not hurt me further by rushing into a reconciliation.
He explained how the long detailed letter I had written had not convinced him of anything, that only God could do that, but that it made him think.  It made him confused.
I wasn’t too shocked by anything he said.  I had known deep down through it all that he loved me, even though he couldn’t recognize it himself.  I had experienced multiple break-ups and this time had been different.  This time I knew it felt so wrong, so unexpected.
Scott told me about the prayers he had been praying and the desires that had begun to creep back up.  He told me how that day at breakfast he had wanted so strongly to be with me again, but that he hadn’t wanted to let his emotions get the best of him.
Although my eager heart would have loved an earlier reconciliation, I was thankful for his praying nature and for his desire to please the Lord and do His will first.
We drifted to a curb where we sat in the darkness of the night.  He asked me if I wanted to give it another shot.  He told me he wouldn’t be getting back together with me if he thought he would end it again.  He asked me what we should do differently to make our relationship stronger and purer this time around.
I held him so tightly on that curb.  I thanked the Lord with such genuine gratitude.  He had taken my heart, crushed in the most extreme way it had ever been, and restored it.  He had given me the man I never wanted to live without.That second “first kiss” was a trembling, shy, and redemptive one that was full of promise.
That night, as we walked hand in hand back to the apartment where my family waited (on pins and needles I am sure) I couldn’t help but stare greedily at Scott, drinking in all that I had been parched for in the past few months.
Two weeks later was our friends’ wedding.  He a groomsman and I a bridesmaid, we had a blast.  We fell seamlessly into our relationship, proving how perfectly we fit and how clearly God had destined for us to be together.

We even performed this routine with finesse.
There was only one problem remaining.  Scott was still holding onto his ideal that “I love you’s” should be reserved for engagement.  I had already blurted my feelings out in desperation during the throes of agony that constituted our break-up, but I said it no longer.  Not with words, that is.  My eyes, his eyes, our intertwining hands; all spoke of our love.
One evening, we gathered up some blankets to go star-gazing.  We had done this a few other times.  We’d drive the truck to some unlighted location, climb to a high spot or sit in the bed of the truck and stare up at the miracle above us.
This particular night we drove up a local two lane road that twisted and wound through old oaks and along gurgling streams.  We parked at the peak, near a fenced off hillside of lush springtime grass.  Then, crawling between the fence posts, we spread out a blanket for a perfect star-gazing spot.  
I am not a rule-breaker by nature and my fear of getting “caught” prevented me from relaxing at first.  But, the milky way can mesmerize and watching for falling stars supplanted handcuffs in my imagination.  I was soon happily tucked into the crook of Scott’s arm, looking at the twinkling beauties above me and dwelling in happiness.
There, in the blackened night, lit only by the gems across the sky, I heard what my heart has desperately been aching for.
“I love you,” Scott whispered it in a the sweetest tones.
The tears that began welling prevented an immediate response from me, but the head that nuzzled into his side and the arm that squeezed him, and the salty drops that soaked his shirts answered for me.  Then, with a trembling breath I told him freely, “I love you, too.”
God is so good.
{To be continued . . .}
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