I well remember the day in August 2003 when an assistant pastor asked me if I would be willing to pick up a young college student and take her to church for services. I hesitantly said yes, and Bro. G quickly assured me I would not be alone in getting this girl to church services. As it happened, two other families worked it out with me to go get this girl so no one was bearing too much of the load.
I nervously drove to the local college that Wednesday evening, having only (briefly) met this girl once before and not really remembering what she looked like. As I pulled into the driveway in my big, BIG station wagon (I too was a college student and so my transportation was whatever my parents had...), I saw this girl sitting on a gigantic rock, just as nervous as I was. I stopped beside the gigantic rock, gave a smile that I hoped was convincing, and waited for this girl to hop into my car.
I was wondering how I would endure the next 15 minutes as we rode to church.
I smile now when I think of that ride! Never did a girl laugh so much as this girl did! Of course I found out later it's because she laughs A LOT when she's nervous. Boy, she must've been really nervous that night!
Days turned into weeks as I consistently went to pick her up for church. Coming from a good, Independent Baptist family, T kept asking me when she could join my church (T is from Ohio). But I had this *feeling* that something was not right with her salvation testimony. So I kept brushing aside her questions, curiosities, and comments with some vague answer like "doing a Bible Study to make sure you're really sure that you know exactly where you go when you die... you better not join the church yet" statement.
T was confused why I was so vague (especially since she found out in a hurry how blunt I am!!!!!), but it all made sense on October 15, 2003 when T got saved!!!!!!! It doesn't make sense and it's not Biblical to join a church when a person isn't a blood-bought, born-again believer.
Over the next several months, T and I got to be close friends. In December, before she went home for Christmas, she mentioned that she felt God was leading her away from her forensics science pursuit and into the Bible Institute at church. My mouth dropped open because this girl was saved two months and was suddenly experiencing another major life change. But God had a plan. Never, NEVER, NEVER doubt God when He does something abruptly. It always is for our good.
In January 2004, T started Bible Institute. I was pretty happy, because up until this point, there was only one other girl in the class ~ R, the pastor's daughter. R and I are pretty good friends, and then R met T and soon the three of us were known as "The Three Musketeers". The guys usually called us the "The Three Stooges" or "The Golden Girls", and that was usually said with an eye roll or in a sarcastic tone! Whatever we were called really didn't matter for we encouraged one another, made each other laugh, and did tons of fun things together!
As I sat in T's apartment day in and day out, she often would say, "I don't know why God brought me out here. I'm mean, I went to CCC for one semester, so that wasn't it. Now I'm in BI and working at Cappacino Cafe, but why am I here?" My standard response was: "Your husband is here. Just wait."
Then came December 2004. R and I had noticed some "weird" things happening with T, but we thought it was because our (R and I) best friends had just returned from South Africa where their parents are missionaries. We thought perhaps T thought our friendship wasn't as important since our best friends were back.
Nothing could be farther from the truth!
A big shock and surprise awaited R and I one cold Sunday afternoon when we heard the words, "Can I meet with you and R in the library before church tonight?" T was calling from Ohio...
... To be continued