Saturday, August 17, 2013
Our Story, Part 2
We left off last time with a seven month silence. That's right. For seven months Claude and I had absolutely no contact with each other. Now seven months can fly by and I can't tell where the time went. But at that stage in life it felt like an eternity...and then some.
Claude will have to weigh in on this to say what he was thinking and doing during that time. I'm pretty sure that my attempts at helping God's plans move along were a tad overbearing. ;) Probably it was a relief to get out from under my pressing on with making things happen.
On my end I was working through a lot of anger and frustration. Looking back I can see that it was a time of learning to trust God, and even though I was far from perfect at it, He was faithful to teach me.
And then one day the silence was broken.
I'm not quite sure how it happened, but one day in August 2004 Claude and I started talking again. At the time of first reconnecting I was in England for a music festival. A few days later, while back in the states, we talked on the phone.
From here I honestly don't remember the progression. It seemed that we were suddenly talking every day, whether by phone or email, although I'm sure it was a fairly gradual process. And before I knew it the prospect of seeing each other in person was looming ahead.
In February 2005 Claude came to the states for an audition trip. Because of audition dates and locations, he made his base in Northern Indiana where I was working for a Christian organization. Convenient, right? ;)
When the day came to make the drive to Chicago to pick up Claude from the airport I was beyond nervous. It had been 1 1/2 years since we last saw each other and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I remember feeling awkward and uncomfortable and I probably talked to myself the whole drive there out of sheer anxiety.
We met at a baggage claim carousel and headed out on our 3 hour drive back to Indiana. On the way we stopped for a late dinner. I was driving my roommate's car with gas that she paid for because I didn't have enough money in my account to cover the cost of gas and tolls to get to and from the airport. So, when Claude suggested stopping for dinner I wasn't really sure how I was going to pay for it. I naively assumed that he would???
When the bill came Claude must have noticed that I wasn't reaching for my wallet and said, "You know I'm not paying for you, right?" My stomach dropped to my feet. What was I going to do? I actually remember thinking of having to wash dishes or something in order to pay for my meal. And I'm not really sure why just being upfront with him even before stepping foot in the restaurant never crossed my mind. My mistake, but God worked it out.
Somehow I got the story out that I had no money. And by that I actually meant no money. Zero dollars in my account. This was not an exaggeration or a misconception of what I could afford. I literally could not pay for that meal.
In the end Claude picked up the bill. And eventually I heard the story as to why he originally said he wouldn't pay, but it's not for sharing here. Suffice it to say that the bill was paid and I didn't have to wash any dishes.
After dropping off Claude at the home of some very gracious friends, we both got a short night's sleep before meeting up for breakfast the next morning. But I found that I did not want to go. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor in tears telling God that I couldn't go.
I know now that when I'm overwhelmed and have a million emotions I just cry and think that things look impossible. But at the time it was very confusing to me. Was I doubting what God had told me about marrying Claude? That morning I didn't even know how I felt about Claude, let alone having any type of certainty of how he felt about me. Going to breakfast seemed like a risk too big to take.
It didn't take long, however, for those fears to be dispelled and for God to take the reins of our relationship and work it out in His timing and His way.
Despite my anxiety, I did meet Claude for breakfast. And within a few weeks we found ourselves going out to dinner again. But this time things were different.
To be continued...