Friday, December 19, 2014

Chapter 37, part 2: Moving Forward

I woke up at 4:30 Monday morning, mind racing and sleep elusive. Confessing to CSF and quitting leadership had seemed the obvious choice in the midst of the spiritual high of Sunday evening, but it started to feel like less of a good idea when I was back in my room alone, and a downright terrible one this morning.

God’s love needed to be shared, and I was willing to share it, but did I really have to humiliate myself in the process? Maybe the details of my sin would be better kept private. It was OK that Sylvie knew the whole truth, but did I want my sister Kirsten to know? Did I want Ian to know? For that matter, was it even proper to talk about such things in front of a mixed audience?

After dinner on Sunday, Sylvie had shown me a Bible study technique she used to better discern God’s will. I thought it was worth a try, so I got out my Bible and used the concordance to look up verses about testimony. 

I wrote out one that seemed most relevant in a notebook, then began writing my thoughts about it and how it might apply to my situation, and then wrote out a prayer asking for God’s help. By the end of the exercise, I felt certain that I should share my story with the whole group. 

I was less certain of what details to include, but decided to take the first step of obedience by faith. When it was a reasonable hour, I called Becky. “Do you think it would be all right if I led Soulfire tomorrow? I have a testimony that I’d like to share.”

“We already have a guest speaker lined up for tonight, but a testimony next week sounds great! Your story of healing last year is so powerful.”

“Thanks Becky. See you tonight.” I didn’t technically lie, but that still small voice told me I misled Becky all the same. I considered calling her back to give her a heads up that my testimony was on a totally different subject.

But what exactly was the subject? I still didn’t know for sure what I would be saying. I decided to put off calling Becky back until I had it settled.

Tuesday afternoon, I saw Zoey across the quad and ran to catch up with her. We stood chatting for a minute.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

“Not so good. Today’s been hard.” It was true, but maybe not for the reasons I expected. I missed Brad, but I was surprised at the amount of grief I felt for the baby that I thought had been there.

“I’m so sorry.” She gave me a hug. “You need to talk about it?”

I nodded, though I wasn’t sure I could put what I was feeling into words.

“I’m done for the day,” she said. “We could go back to the German House, or to Main Street to grab a coffee.”

“Coffee sounds great on a day like this,” I said, pulling my coat tighter against the brisk wind.

“So why did you and Brad break up anyway?” she asked when we settled into the booth of the coffee shop with our steaming drinks.

I looked down into the mug. “Just before winter break, we started having sex.” I said quietly.

Zoey looked surprised. “Really? You don’t seem the type.”

“Appearances can be deceiving I guess. Anyway, to make a long story short, I had a pregnancy scare.”

“And he dumped you over that? What a jerk.”

“Yes and no. What happened was I tried to talk to him about changing our ways. That’s when he started calling me names and punching the wall and told me to get lost.”

“Whoa. Punching the wall? I knew he played games, but that’s just plain scary. Now I know for sure we’re better off without him.”

“Maybe I exaggerated. He just lost his temper, that’s all.”

“If he came in here with a bouquet of roses and a sweet line, you’d take him back in a heartbeat, wouldn’t you?”

I looked down into my coffee mug again. “Well … ”
“Giselle, this is textbook. He didn’t just lose his temper. His reaction tells you something about him. It’s a big red sign that says RUN!”

“I don’t know if it was as bad as all that.”

“Listen, I know it’s hard on your pride to hear something like this. You want to think you’re smarter than that, right?”

I sighed. “It’s a moot point now, anyway. He’s not returning my calls and I haven’t seen him anywhere on campus the past few days.”

“Don’t worry, he’ll find you again soon and say whatever he thinks it will take to get you back.”

“You really think so?” The thought struck joy and dread in my heart all at once.

“I could almost bet on it. Just please promise me that if he does, you’ll at least come talk to me about it.”

“You make it sound like he’s dangerous,” I said. “Don’t you think you’re blowing it out of proportion?”

“No. Promise me. Pinky swear!” she demanded.

I locked pinkies with her with a sigh of resignation. “Fine, I promise will run it by you before getting back together with him. Thanks for looking out for me, Zoey.”