Ooops! I left out one very funny incident (which really should be told by John Parker! - he does love to tell it!) that happened in January. Right after I got back from Christmas break I thought it would be nice to have Philip and John and Cathy Parker over for supper some evening as a "thank you" for all their prayers, calls, and concern for my mom over the holidays. Since they had never been there before I showed them "my corner" of the house. There were kindly remarking how nice it was, homey, etc. when Philip's eye landed on my Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (I'd taken two semesters of Hebrew in Bible college) and his eyes about popped out of his head (When Brother Parker tells this story he exaggerates)! Philip says, "What are you doing with a Stuttgart?" John says I replied, "Oh, I took some Hebrew in college." I was thinking, "That was a stupid thing to leave out!"
Let's see -where was I? Oh, THE Wednesday evening Philip let me know he was asking for God's direction in our relationship. I walked into my apartment that evening, sat down at my desk, and tried to make sense out of everything that was going on. Over the past six months I'd seen God working in my life on a scale that I'd never before experienced - doors that opened and shut, answers to prayer, grace beyond measure and my heart was full of gratitude. If you know Philip then you know the passion he has for loving God and living all of life by God's Word and teaching others to do the same. I'd met people with a lot of head knowledge but no passion for God's Word and others who had a passion for God's Word but no training to help them stay balanced. Here was someone who was near my age who had both and I had the privilege of "tapping" into that resource. The lessons I had learned in those six months would be invaluable for the rest of my life and that was exciting.
But I was certain I knew what was going to happen next. Our friendship, the time spent sharing and studying were leading us closer to each other. I saw the possibility of two things happening but the same result for both options. Either we would halt the process of the developing relationship and to do that would mean draining the life out of the relationship and it would die or, we'd take the next step and realize how incompatible we really were as people and the relationship would die. It was that night I realized that there wasn't really any way for us to remain friends for much longer. And I remember crying. It was one of those, "just had a really good time but now it's over" kind of cries.
Philip and I were going through some of the very same thought processes at that time. Our friendship had always centered on studying the Word together - Sunday afternoon at the Parker's home he would answer questions I'd always had and also took me through his dad's Christian Belief's notes (anyone remember the permanently attached notes?:o). But that seemed to be where our common interests ended. I was majoring in Elementary education, was excited about learning to teach children how to read, had dreams about teaching and gardening and country life. Philip was pouring his life into seminary level theology and dreamed about teaching Biblical languages under his dad. Our backgrounds were very different, our ways of dealing with situations - world's apart, and in both of our minds - there was just no possible way for this to work. At this stage in our relationship the differences weren't something that we talked about because it wasn't necessary to do so but they were there!
Philip was (and he's freely told this) very upset with God at that time. He liked me very much, but I wasn't what he thought he was looking for and it made him angry that God would lead us together, I would get my emotions involved and then be very hurt when it was all over. He tells of pounding the steering wheel in his car and saying, "God why would you do this? She's going to get hurt and I don't want her to get hurt!" During one of those times God gently asked him, "When have I made a mistake?" sighhhhhh......
And that's where I was at that Wednesday night - I too had felt God leading us together and it made me sad! I knew the routine of feelings and emotions getting involved, the time would come when the differences were too much and it would all be over - and it HURT! I didn't want to hurt like that again. Philip wasn't what I was looking for either - if I ever did envision getting married it was to a mechanic, farmer, "man of the earth" type of guy. Philip didn't fit that paradigm - at all!
So I began praying too, for wisdom, clear leadership, and a sense of peace but I did not like the answer I was getting!