Ever have one of those moments?
It showed up on my news feed, when a mutual friend posted on her wall. A ghost of a smile tickled my lips, but it was doomed to become an apparition shortly thereafter as I clicked on the profile and scrolled down.
Sure enough, as of yesterday: "Holly is engaged to Logan."
My lips split open, smiling wide, as I thought about how surreal growing up can be sometimes.
It feels like ages since I've seen my friends, and since I had the privilege of sharing a tiny part of their story.
Holly I met, while in a darker place.
Disenfranchised, hurt, and angry. I remember nights asking her questions about what this life thing was all about, and what she believed. I remember thinking her answers were ridiculous.
I remember wondering why she even cared, and thinking that she probably didn't, and that she was probably just being nice.
But something about her attitude, and character, told me otherwise. I remember the patient dignity in which she received my drunken criticisms, and the well of grace that overflowed to cover my transgressions. Something was different about this one.
I now know that it was God, working through Holly, but I couldn't have come remotely close to telling you that at the time...
I remember constant encouragements, long talks and did I mention patience? Yeah, this girl needed a lot of patience when we talked. I remember her gentle prodding for me to go on, what turned out to be, a life-changing trip.
God certainly works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?
I was privileged to begin to learn more about her, and was constantly awed by her quiet conviction. Her gentle spirit, and her genuine and sincere love for people. There was no pretension here. It really shook me. I wasn't used to seeing this amount of compassion from a person, maybe I just hadn't been looking before.
And then there was Logan.
Where to even begin?
It was not three months after that life changing experience, that I found myself on the shores of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In fact, I was one of two of the first arrivals. My contact at the airport informed me that we had to meet up with someone named Logan, from Pennsylvania, before we could head back to the projects.
We found him, without too much trouble, and I just remember thinking to myself; "Good lord, this man sure talks funny." Pennsylvanians, you know...
But meeting Logan, right off the bat, wasn't a coincidence. I was drawn to him, much like I was initially drawn to Holly.
Logan is about one of the nicest guys I've ever known. Always a smile on his face, always asking about your day, and finding passages of scripture to encourage you with.
I must admit, growing up in church I was familiar with the Bible, but I don't think in a decade of attending that I'd ever had as much scripture verses thrown at me, as I did the first week with Logan.
But the thing is, it wasn't offensive. I mean, I've had people quote Bible verses to me in the past, and I just want to club them over the head, but not Logan. I always felt that his encouragements were sincere. He's one of those guys that, you can just tell, is driven to lift others' burdens.
I'd never seen someone so boldly, and passionately in love with faith, and Jesus, as this guy. It affected me in a big way in the weeks to come.
Strangely enough, Holly was on that same project as I was...
Do you remember watching Back to the Future, and Marty's stuck in 1955, trying to get back to 1985? Do you remember how Doc and Marty have to do the whole clock tower shenanigans? Do you remember how they pull off, what seems to be, one of the most elaborate jump starts in the history of cinema?
If you don't let me enlighten you. Basically, they have to charge the Delorian, so they hook up a metal wire to the town's clock tower. They wait for about the worst storm in history to hit. Marty has to get the car up to 85 mph, and at the exact time the car hits the wire, a bolt of lightning needs to strike, and blammo! He's back to the future.
Holly and Logan, met like the car hitting the wire, and lightning struck at the exact moment, causing some pretty fantastic fireworks!
I'll never forget when the two of them connected for the first time, there was definitely some electric-Jesus-vibing going on! I mean, let's be honest, two of the most dedicated, faithful people I knew, who loved God more than anything else in life, were within five feet of each other! A reaction was definitely imminent.
And reaction happened!
They started as friends, growing and gaining new found appreciation for the other. I remember seeing how they complimented each other, both getting excited at the other person's stories of the day, both digging in deep to their Bibles, and walking away after ever interaction positively glowing. I'll be honest, I was jealous.
That kind of bond is incredible to witness.
Then feelings began to develop...
It's inevitable when you have such great chemistry to begin to wonder if there might be something more in store. It's just a human thing.
I remember both, Holly and Logan, telling me at individual times that, while they were incredibly interested in each other, that they wanted to focus on the mission of our trip. So they agreed to put off any sort of romantic involvement till after Summer Project. After all, he lived in Pennsylvania, and Holly was a Wisconsin cheese-head. Seemed smart to me. Distance never works anyway...does it?
Apparently something stuck.
They remained in close contact, even after we'd all returned to our homes. They became "Facebook official", continuing to grow in admiration and respect for the other, and the rest, my friends, is history!
I haven't been in touch with them, as frequently as I would've liked since that incredible summer, but they still affect me today. They each have a special place in my heart, and I will always consider them my friends.
Logan, Holly, congratulations!
It's been an incredible privilege to have witnessed a part of your incredible lives. I can't even begin to tell you how blessed I've been by each of you individually, and have no doubt that you'll continue to bless those around you, as one, before God! :)