26 – Searching for Answers – Feelings, Promises and Commitments

Joe had picked himself up off the ground and was sitting on his lounge chair next to Sarah. After a couple of amusing comments were exchanged neither said another word to the other for what seemed like hours but was in reality only minutes. Both Sarah and Joe were deep in thought about what just happened. Sarah’s mind was bouncing back and forth thinking about how wild it was for them to have a dream that was very close to the same dream – at the same time – and while they were together. Things like this don’t just happen she continued to contemplate. Joe’s mind was screaming out – not another dream. I though these were behind me. Maybe it was not a bad dream like before. This dream was with Sarah right from the start. What is it about Sarah anyway? Why does she have such an effect on me? I know I’m falling in love with her but it’s more than that. She was the calm one. She is always the calm one

Joe looked over at Sarah with a smile on his face which jolted Sarah out of her thoughts. What are you smiling about Sarah questioned as she returned the smile with one that generally would melt Joe heart into mush. I was just wondering when I will comprehend what you have that is so special. I don’t think I know what you mean, Sarah responded with a puzzled look on her face. I mean you are always calm about everything. You’re always fun to be around and people always seem to accept you. You have a personality that lets people into your life and you have yourself so together in your thoughts and beliefs. Your confidence in God and your faith is rock solid. Well, you’re what some people would call the real deal and I love you and I want what you have and I am not sure how to get it. Well Joe, first of all you know I love you too. You are not just a friend but you are a very special person that I… Sarah stopped short of finishing her sentence as she could feel the emotions building and she told herself she would not give into them until the time was right and this was not the time. Joe looked at her knowing the feelings Sarah was feeling because he had the same. Somehow words were being said without any being spoken. Joe sat quietly thinking to himself how much he wanted to be with Sarah for the rest of his life when Sarah interrupted his thoughts when she slid over next to him and took his hand in hers, gave him a soft kiss on the cheek and then laid her head on his shoulder. You know Joe; you are new at being a believer in God. You have so much to explore just like I do. But you are way ahead of me Sarah. Not as far as you think Joe. But you are the one who helped me figure this out. You have been there for me even when I was a little crazy with the dreams. You had such a solid foundation in what you believe even when I challenged you with information that kept me believing that you were a little crazy to believe in God. How do you do that? I am not sure I can handle the same things if someone was to challenge me. You mean someone like Tom, Sarah quickly responded. Well maybe. I really wasn’t just thinking about Tom, but he is one that would probably ask the hard questions. But Joe, you have figured it out so help Tom figure it out if that ever happens, responded Sarah as she continued to think about things other than just Tom. Sarah added, that is what it is all about. I love God more than anything. I know what Jesus did for me and I can’t wait to see him someday in Heaven. Whenever that happens, it will be the greatest day on my life. But I am here now and the issue I am struggling with is that my feelings for you are growing and I can’t give into my emotions until things are right. Well I have the same feelings for you but I am not sure I am totally following you. When you say things are right are you talking about sex or something like that? Well maybe a little I guess Sarah admitted. I promised myself and God that I would save myself for the right person, the one I would marry someday. And so far I have. I want you to know it is really important for me to wait until the time is right. So see Joe, I have my struggles to deal with also. Joe sat quiet for a while thinking about what Sarah had just told him when he finally laid his head on hers that was still resting on his shoulder. Sarah, you know what. I agree with you and I will never pressure you into anything. And just so you know, I have never been with anyone either. Sarah began to smile as a tear tricked down her cheek. Picking her head up she looked Joe in the eye and she could tell he was have a bit of a time with the emotions as well and said; you know this is going to be hard for both of us. Yes it is Sarah. But I love you and I will wait. So if I get a little out of hand, just give me some signal that we need to stop. Don’t think you are the only one Joe. You have to help me too. Sarah and Joe looked at each other as both had a couple of tears sliding down their cheeks and made a pledge to each other that they would wait, and that if someday they were to get marred that would be the time they would truly share what they both felt about each other.

Joe leaned his head back on the lounge chair and after a few minutes had passed Sarah lessened the intensity of the conversation when she asked Joe; you were going to ask me something else when I got us off track a little. Yes, but I am feeling really good about our talk… well you know what I mean. I am too Joe. It is something that we needed to talk about before it was too late and I am really glad we can talk about these things. But let’s get back to your original question. Well, I guess I would like to know how you have been able to wrap your arms around everything in the Bible and God and Jesus and this part about the Holy Spirit. It is all a little strange to me and I am not sure how it all works. I just know that I believe in God and I know I have personally accepted Jesus and I feel different. I knew it when it happened. I want to know more. I want to have what you have. You already have what I have Joe. The rest will come as you start to study the Bible and talk to others that can help you. In my eyes you have figured out a very important part. Through your research you have concluded that this world we see and live in couldn’t have just happened without some help. The deeper you dug into it you decided that it must have been God that created everything. If God created everything then the Bible most definitely can be true also. If God was the inspiration to the writers that wrote it, if it is His way of communicating with us, then He has things to tell us that are in the Bible, and what’s in it is important to read and understand. The more you study and dig into it, the more it will all make sense. Pastor Dan is great to talk too. Every time I have some question bothering me, I just ask him his opinion or if he could explain it to me. That’s a good idea Sarah. Maybe we can go a little early tonight and I will see if he can find a time we could get together. You know Joe; you should talk to him about these dreams. I have been thinking about all them and I am not sure why you have had them or why anyone has them. Sometimes I believe God is trying to tell us something that we just don’t realize on our own. I never thought about it that way, Joe replied after giving Sarah’s comment some thought. Maybe you are right. Wow, that would be a big one to drop on Pastor Dan. I wonder what he would think about that. Probably that I was a little crazy! No he wouldn’t Joe. He already knows you’re a little crazy if you’re with me! Both Sarah’s and Joe started to laugh when Sarah’s mom walked out the back door.

I think I better get going. What time should I pick you up tonight? Well it starts at 7:00, so maybe 6:30. Pastor Dan should already be there so you could ask him then. Joe got up and reached out for Sarah’s hand helping her up out of her chair. The momentum pulled her close and as they looked at each other their lips came together as they held each other close. Sarah’s mom tried to act like she was a fly on the wall but could see that they had become more than just really good friends. Joe slowly released his embrace on Sarah and they both turned and headed towards the gate leading to the front yard and Joe’s car. After a quick goodbye kiss, Joe slid into his car, fired it up and was on his way back to his place.

Joe’s mind was cruising faster than his car and before he knew it he was sitting in his favorite chair with a fresh IPA in his hand wondering how he got home so quick. He leaned back allowing the events of the afternoon to sink in. Meanwhile Sarah was sitting in her room feeling a bit of relief that she and Joe had been able to be open with each other especially the promise she made herself and God about sex after marriage. She looked over at the window where the sun was trickling through the wooden blinds and the breeze was making the curtains move gently back and forth and said; God, if Joe is the guy you have picked out for me, I pray you will be with both of us. Thanks for giving me the courage to talk about it. Please help both of us to keep our commitment and fight any urges when they happen. I sure hope Joe is the one God. You know how I feel about him. I am not sure why he walked into our church that Sunday morning or how I managed to run into him the next day on the street. If you were the one, thank you. I sure like him a lot and… Sarah leaned back on her pillow and closed her eyes embracing the feelings she was having as a warm sensation came over her and a smile radiated from her face as she drifted off in thought.

“To be continued”


25 – Searching for Answers – Dreaming Together

Joe fired up his car and before long they were headed back to Sarah’s place. Joe reached over and turned the radio on and hit the scan button in search for some good music. Several different songs and talk shows popped on as it bounced from station to station when one of Sarah’s favorite songs came on and she reached over and hit the stop so the search would end. Joe smiled saying that is one of my favorite songs. Mine too. I love this song. I have it on my iPod, Sarah commented back as she was thinking that it was nice to have some music in common with Joe. Didn’t you played this one last night at the bonfire? Well I wouldn’t say I played it very well, Joe replied. They talked a bit as they drove along but all Joe could think about was Sarah and Sarah couldn’t get the words “someday” “our future” “still in love” that Joe had said to her before they left the restaurant’s parking lot out of her mind. It seemed like only a short time had passed by when they pulled up in front of Sarah’s place. Turning the car off, he looked at Sarah saying; sorry for being so quiet the last few miles. Things are changing so fast for me I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with it and I get lost in my thoughts. I understand Joe. You have had a lot on your mind and too many things to search for answers too. Sometimes I feel like I would like the world to just stop and let me catch up with it Joe added. I can relate to that replied Sarah. Hey, you want to come in for a while and I can make some ice tea and we can just relax and maybe play some badminton in the back yard. Maybe that would take our mind’s off everything for a while. Joe quickly opened his door while responding; that would be great. He walked around the car and took Sarah’s hand in his as they made their way to the front door.

Sarah’s mom and dad had already arrived home and were sitting in the family room and Carl had just turned on the TV to see if there were any sports on. Hey Joe, are you into sports, Carl asked? Sure am, Joe said with a little too much enthusiasm for Sarah. Dad, you are not going to steal Joe away to your sports programs yet, Sarah said as she chuckled and her mother joined in. Joe and Sarah walked to the kitchen and Sarah opened the fridge and grabbed the tea as Joe got down two glasses from the cupboard. Let’s go sit in the backyard for a while unless you really want to watch TV with dad. I think I would rather sit with you replied Joe as he followed Sarah out the door and they pulled up two lounge chairs next to each other. They both leaned back to enjoy the shade of the willow tree that swayed back and forth making its own special kind of music as the wind played its leaves and the sun tried to poked its head out from under a small cloud and the limbs did a small dance as the breeze move them slightly one way then the other. They both tipped their heads back to check out the chattering noise above them just in time to see a squirrel make a jump from one of the limbs and make a quick scatter high up the tree trunk. Before long Sarah and Joe were holding hands, both with their eyes closed taking in the romance of the surroundings and the connection they were both feeling. Neither of them realized they were slowly drifting into a quiet sleep as their bodies attempted to make up for the lack of it that they both felt.

It wasn’t long and Joe was walking down a smooth dirt path following Sarah as they made their way through the forest. Winding around each bend they continued in silence until they came to a fork in the path. Sarah stopped as Joe walked up and took Sarah’s hand. Neither of them had to say a word as they both were surveying the area trying to make a decision which way they should head when they heard a noise coming from behind them. Joe jumped to the side and pulled Sarah with him as they hid behind some big bushes. Before long three men and a women dressed in strange clothes passed by chatting something that neither Joe nor Sarah could understand. One of them had a small animal hanging over his shoulder as they headed left at the fork in the path as if they knew where they were headed. Joe looked at Sarah and motioned for her to follow him as he quickly took the fork to the right and headed down the path. It wasn’t long when they came to what looked like the end of the trail. It stopped at a river that was too wide and deep to swim across. Joe turned to Sarah saying we should follow the river upstream and look for a place where it is narrow so we can cross over to the other side. Sarah nodded in agreement and motioned to Joe to lead the way. The going was slow as they made their way through the brush along the river bank when they found a narrowing in the river. They quickly jumped in. The water was a little deeper than either of them expected and they almost had to go into a full swim to get to the other side. They quickly scrambled up the bank, found some bushes to hide behind and tried to wring some of the water from their clothes. After emptying their shoes and drying off the best they could, they began to follow the river upstream when Joe quickly stopped and Sarah ran into the back of him as she was looking backwards because she thought she had heard something following them. They fell to the ground with Sarah landed on top of Joe and they both covered each other’s mouth as a signal to be quiet. Before long they could see two people running down what looked like a trail off to the left of the river sounding like they were laughing and having fun. Joe motioned to Sarah to stay put and he quietly made his way over towards the trail. After a few minutes he motioned for Sarah to join him. Sarah quickly made her way towards Joe and once she arrived Joe said; I think we should follow them and see where this leads us. They seem to know this area and by their sounds they are not too worried about anything. Sarah quickly responded yes, but we better be careful. They made their way up a hill and as they crested over the top they could hear more voices and could see what looked to be twenty or thirty people milling about and several children jumping around and dancing. There was a large camp fire burning with what looked like a large pot of something hanging over it and a small animal that looked like a pig also roasting over the fire. Sarah grabbed Joe’s hand offering up; they look peaceful enough. They continued to look at the group below them, listening to the singing and trying to make a decision if they should go any closer when the four people they had seen earlier walked up from behind startling them. Joe quickly turned, his mind was racing as he was searching for a quick plan of escape when the lead person the party motioned with his hand and spoke in some language that neither Joe or Sarah could understand but what looked like a sign of friendship for them to follow them. Sarah looked at Joe saying, do you think we should go with them? They seem to be friendly and what other choice do we have right now. Maybe they will give us something to eat and we can make a better plan of escape if we need one. Ok replied Joe, but make sure you stay on your toes and be ready to make a getaway if we have too.

Joe and Sarah follow the lead person and the other three of the party followed close behind them. They reached the outskirts of the camp and as they made their way towards the camp fire the others came over to see these new people. No one acted like they were going to hurt them. They looked a little different but Sarah had a feeling they were friendly people and Sarah pointed at Joe and said this is Joe and I am Sarah. Joe, Sarah as she pointed at Joe and then herself again. One of the ladies of the tribe then pointed at herself and said Mia and then pointed at Joe and said Joe and then at Sarah and said Sarah. Yes Sarah said with a smile. The lady motioned for them to come and sit down by the fire. She quickly had someone get them some water and she pointed at the pig roasting and then pointed at her mouth and rubbed her stomach as if to say do you want something to eat. Sarah nodded her head yes as she rubbed her stomach in reply. Before long they were eating and trying to converse with their new friends. Joe was reaching over to pick up his water when he accidentally slid off his handmade chair and hit the ground. Everyone started to laugh and when he looked up he could see Sarah’s house staring at him. Sarah heard the noise as Joes chair slid into hers. She opened her eyes and could see Joe on the ground.

Are you ok Joe? I am not sure Joe replied as he looked like he had just seen a ghost. Joe got up off the ground and sat back down on his chair when Sarah said; I had the strangest dream. I was with you and we were lost someplace in a forest. Joe blinked his eyes and quickly looked at Sarah and said; you had a dream and you were where? Wow, that got your attention Joe. Yes it did. So tell me more about this dream, Joe replied with a serious look on his face. Well you and I were lost and we found some people who were really nice to us. What else happened in this dream? Well I don’t know any more or how it ended because you woke me up when you fell out of the chair. But they were nice people and they gave us some food to eat and…. You aren’t going to believe this but I had the very same dream and when I reached over to get my water to drink, I fell out of the chair and hit the ground and here we are. Are you kidding me Joe? No I’m not Sarah. Wow! Now you got me pulled into these dreams of yours Sarah quickly replied with a look that Joe was not sure what it meant.

“To be continued”