Friday, May 25, 2012

Keep Hoping

I had this strange experience a few months ago. But I should give some background.

When I was 14, I met this guy at church who I was immediately smitten by. He was everything I had never known in real life and just my type (I didn't know I had a type back then but I acknowledge it now). He was wounded and jaded, dramatic and loved books. He played guitar and was edgy, with black hair and the bluest eyes I've ever seen in my life.

Over the next 3 years we had sporadic interactions at a local coffee shop that were not really all that impressive, but it was my first step outside of my Christian world so they made a giant impression on me. I had never talked to someone who didn't believe in God or go to church before. I'd never known a non-Christian could be so fascinating or smart. But, this guy was in pain. He was starting out on the first steps of a terrible journey of drug abuse and people who knew him much better than I would warn me away at every turn. I was too stubborn, soft-hearted and naive to care (my dad calls it my "Wendy Complex". He says I'm always looking for lost boys to mother). I believed that God had given him to me for a reason and that I was going to change his life. I told one of my friends who was especially adamant that I distance myself that I could see his potential, I believed that God could change this life and bring healing. God had given me this vision and I would not lose hope, no matter what he did.

Then, one day, he disappeared, never to be seen by me again. I was devastated. He haunted me. I would think about him regularly and pray for him often. Over 10 years passed and I would still think about this person I barely knew. It didn't make sense but I think once I got it into my mind that I was responsible for him, I could never shake it off.

Then, one day, a few months ago, something crazy happened. He came to my mind and I typed his name into Facebook. I'd done this years before with no results so I didn't really expect one now. But, there he was. I was astonished. Completely floored. I was shaking. Here he was, over 10 years later, alive and well. A Christian. A father of two adorable children. He had survived through everything and become a Christian. What did it all mean?

For the first time in years my doubts fell silent and I just sat in awe, whispering to God, "Was it all true? Did I really hear you back then? Did those prayers really matter? Had you really given me a vision of that hurting, confused boy's future? Of who he could be? Did I help? Are you trying to give me back my hope and faith?"

It's been a lot to process. But it's become something of a light to me. A momentary rest. Something I can look at and say, "Wow, my hopes came true."

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