Almost overnight, there was something different about him – everyone could see it. The prayers I’d been praying over his life had finally been answered! Even now, I praise God for His faithfulness. He never gave up on him. We were personal witnesses to God’s radical transforming power and I feel so humbled to have been a part of His plan to ultimately bring my friend to the end of himself, to bring Him to the point where there was nowhere else to run but into the loving arms of the Father.
We settled back into our friendship but with a difference… I could see a light in His eyes as he spoke about God and shared his own experiences of God with me. He has encouraged me so much and at times, I feel like he has surpassed me in my understanding of who God is – which is awesome.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. It took 5 months for me to realise what a big mistake I had made by entering into that first relationship. We broke things off on mutual terms but I was severely brokenhearted when the other boy started seeing his old girlfriend again and then a few months later was engaged (ah, I said I would leave it for another post!). But it allowed me to feel the pain that I had put my friend through the months before and it was such a comfort to know that if he made it through, surely God would bring me through it as well. I was so thankful that he stood by my side even though I had hurt him so much in the past.
Even though God had moved in his life in such an amazing way, that did not necessarily mean that his feelings for me were automatically extinguished. Through my own personal pain, I could not see his words and actions were clothed in an unrequited love for me. Actually, that’s not true. I knew he still cared for me but I knew that it would be entirely unfair to him if I was to just fall into his loving arms to ease my own pain. I didn’t want to put him in the position that I had just been in – not only would that be unwise but it would have been entirely selfish of me. So I left it for him to get his feelings sorted – it was not something I could help him with. All I could do was reassure him that we would be ‘Friends for life’ and in my heart of hearts and I knew that’s all we would ever be.
Now, 4 years on from that first summer day, we’re both doing well :). He is dating one of my dearest sisters in Christ and I think it is for the long haul. We don’t talk as much as we used to but that has been partly due to my own personal decision to distance myself so that I do not interfere in their relationship in any way (and also moving to another church has meant I don’t see him on a weekly basis anymore). However, he remains one of the sweetest, most generous and kindest guys I know and what’s more is that he has a solid faith in God to back it up. He is one of the finest guys I’ve ever met and I’m so thankful to call him friend.
Our lives have taken different paths but I’m thankful they crossed and know that (if you ever read this) I am so proud of you, happy for you and love you very much. I pray that God continues to do great things in you and through your life to inspire others to pursue the things of God more.