We continued studying, attending vespers, and other school functions together. Physically I wasn't doing well and lost 50 lbs during that period - in short I was very miserable but had to keep pushing through it now that I was working part time and going to school. I did miss one whole week in March while the doctor's tried to reset my body to function properly which had some success. God had to sustain me on a daily basis which He did and I learned much about trusting Him.
It should have been easy then when Philip approached me after service one Sunday the middle of March and said that in praying about the direction our relationship should take felt very clear that he should ask me to begin dating. He was very kind and there was no pressure of any sort. Just a simple, "will you?" and a request that I pray about it and give him an answer when I was absolutely clear about God's leadership. He followed that by telling me that he wasn't going to ask again, he would not bring the subject up again until I had made my decision. Like I said, it should have been easy - I'd just seen God work miracles to open up the possibility of this happening, the way I could see God working through Philip in the way he related to me - God knew my hang-ups and as Philip walked in the Spirit, I saw God caring about those issues. But I wasn't yet willing to risk the hurt!
I prayed - and prayed and prayed! But the answer was always the same. I was to begin dating Philip Brown. I gave God every reason in the book why this wasn't going to work, every incompatible aspect was brought to His attention, my fear of hurt and rejection and pain, .....I made a very convincing case! I even listed other girls I knew that would have been very good matches for him! But the answer was always the same. "I want you to step out, trust Me, and have faith that I know what I'm doing." I couldn't believe it!
One week went by, two weeks went by, then three, and then four and five. March passed, April passed, and we entered May - Philip was a very patient man of his word. Not one hint of asking or pressing ever crossed his lips. One Friday evening Philip and I had planned on going to an event on campus but I was too ill to attend and so he came to Mrs. Tomlinson's to spend the evening with me. He'd already purchased flowers for the event and so he brought those along (I think that's the first time he got me flowers :o) and we sat in the living room and talked about our week and the fact that school was soon going to be over for the semester. Philosophy was going to be over and at that point it looked as though I had indeed flunked out of the Master's program because I'd just gotten back my paper that week that was worth a good percentage of the grade and I'd received an F. At that point I'd not made any plans for leaving - just waiting for the final word.
I finally brought up the subject of dating and told Philip how impressed I was that he'd kept his word and that I'd admired his patience. I was honored that he had asked and that if the offer still stood, I'd be honored to date him. He momentarily seemed at a loss for words....I think he was probably preparing himself for a rejection but then he asked if we could pray (after letting me know that the offer was still good) and we took the time to again tell the Lord that to the best of our knowledge we were following His leadership and as long as He was leading, we were going to follow. It was a very special time and all of the sudden our focus which had been a common interest in front of us shifted to interest in each other. WOW!! I can still remember that feeling - pretty heady stuff!!!! Still makes my heart pitter-patter :o)
Philip then asked me how long I had prayed before God had given an answer. He had been saying after week two, "Okay Lord, how long does it take You to make it clear to her?" And he had no way of knowing that by week two I knew what I had to do but spent the rest of the time arguing and posing all the objections I could think of. And thus started some very happy days :o) I figured since God had put His seal of approval on all of it then I might as well enjoy it for as long as it lasted. No value in being miserable until it was over :o)