Friday, December 19, 2014

Chapter 37, part 1: Pay it Forward

“Oh Jesus, we’d love to spend more time in your presence like this,” Sylvie finally said, “but I’m hungry and the dining hall is going to close in 15 minutes. Thanks for understanding! And all God’s children said…”
“Amen!” I finished.
When we entered the dining hall, I saw Zoey sitting alone at a table in the corner. Not really who I wanted to see.
“Giselle, can I make a suggestion?” Sylvie said as we made our way through the cafeteria line.
“Sure. What is it?”
“You know how you can really make sure you never forget you’re forgiven?”
“How?”
“Forgive someone else.”
“You mean Brad?”
“Well, sure, eventually. But that’s not who I was thinking of.” She glanced pointedly over to Zoey.
Did I need to forgive Zoey? I guess I hadn’t ever officially let her off the hook for the situation in Europe.
“OK, I’ll do it. Pray for me!”
Sylvie joined a table of CSF regulars, and I made my way to where Zoey sat.
“Mind if I join you?” I asked her.
“I guess not,” Zoey said warily.
“I feel like we have a lot to talk about,” I began. “About Brad, and this past summer. I really don’t understand everything that happened, but I wanted to say I’m sorry for my part again, and also to tell you that I forgive you. I hope we can be friends.”
“I’d like that,” she said.
We ate in silence for a while.
“Are you still with Brad?” Zoey asked.
“Actually, we just broke up. No, it’s OK. In fact, a wonderful thing came out of it.”
“I’m relieved to hear that. You can do better. That guy messes with people’s heads. He was playing such a mind game with both of us in Europe, trying to pit us against each other. We’re both better off without him, believe me.”
More silence.
“So what’s the wonderful thing?” Zoey asked.
I searched for the right words. “God used the situation to teach me about his wonderful grace and love. I know for sure He’s real, and I’m not scared of his judgment anymore.”
“That is so awesome! I’ve been praying for you.”
“You, praying?”
“Surprised? It’s weird, but in a way, it’s because of you. Your humility on the train in Germany and what you said about God caring for us really got to me. I started going back to church with my mom on visits home, and it’s been a totally new experience. My Delta sisters were a little shocked at first, but some of them are coming to church with me now. We even started a sorority Bible study.”
God’s love really was overwhelming. It was so exciting and humbling to be part of His plan.
Zoey smiled. “Hey, why don’t you rush Delta? I’d love to call you sister.”
Me in a sorority? Why not? There was no reason to be scared of them; they were just people in need of God’s love, just like me. “I’ll think about it.”

Now I just had to confess to CSF. Or did I?