February 13, 1994 – 11:30 p.m.

Oh my gosh!!!

This can’t be happening!  There is no way!  I must be dreaming.  Somebody pinch me.

First of all let me say that Jenna and Tenielle didn’t go to youth group Saturday night for the same reason I didn’t.  Jenna gave me a letter today in church.  It was sweet.  I wrote her a letter back but she wasn’t at church tonight so I didn’t give it to her.

Now let me tell you what I am excited about.  But before I do, go back and read a few entries of my Book of Days.  Read August 2, 1993, and August 11, 1993, and November 8, 1993, and December 1, 1993.  And then there’s December 23, 1993 and finally Feb. 8, 1994.

Did you read them all of them?

Now what do all of these entries have in common?  Sure, a few of them are just a few lines here and there, but all of them have only one person in common.

One girl.

Christi.

When the day began, I didn’t know it would end this way.

Mom let me drive to church.  Very shocking.  Scott asked us to go to McDonald’s with him.  We did.  But afterwards, for some odd reason, Marcus and I decided to go visit Christi.  We did exactly that.

Christi answered the door.  She hugged the two of us.  We went in; the Olympics were on.  I hugged everyone else.  It had been two months since I’d seen Christi.  But I did send Christi a Christmas card.  I can’t remember exactly what I wrote word for word, but I believe it went something like this:

Christi,

I’m wishing you a merry Christmas.  Everything is changing and nothing is like it used to be.  I don’t see you as much as I’d like to now, but things happen.  Christi, through everyone I’ve ever known you have always stood out.  I feel like I could trust you with anything.  And Christi, when I say this, I’m not asking you to marry me or anything, but I love you Christi.  And Jesus loves you too.  Merry Christmas.

Jacob

Tonight I had forgotten that I had written her this letter.  But we talked about stuff, about theatre, about music, about church, about the past, and then we had to leave.  It was getting late.  As I was leaving, Hank, Christi’s dad, pulled me off to the side.  This was our conversation:

“Jacob,” he said.  “Let’s talk man to man.  To this day, Christi has never dated a guy.  She has always gone out with her girlfriends.  And she knows that each guy that comes along has to answer to us.  But if you are willing, I will let you take Christi’s hand and you can go out with her with our permission.  Her mom and I will not say no.  I have never given my permission to a young man until now.  We feel we can trust you Jacob, so all you have to do is ask her.”

Needless to say, I laughed and my whole body got really hot.

“Jacob, this no laughing matter.  Her mom and I both agree.”

What he said did not hit me just then.  I told everyone goodbye and left.  Once Marcus and I got in the car, I couldn’t help myself, I just screamed as loud as I could!  That was when it hit me.  You would have to know Hank to know how amazing this is.

Christi.

I have her dad’s permission.

I didn’t even ask.

He gave it to me.

Oh my gosh!

CHRISTI!!!!

Christi and I have practically grown up together.  We have never had anything not to talk about.

I told Hank thank you and that I would think about it.  I mean, you just read how I used to feel, right?  On the way home, I just prayed and prayed.  My whole body was shaking and every fiber in my being, my soul, my spirit, my flesh, wanted to say yes.

Then I began thinking.  The first person to come to mind was Jenna.

Christi is 16.

Jenna is 13.  Then I thought about how everyone got into our business at the Skating Ranch on Monday night.

I compared that to Christi and I.

I don’t go to her church.  She doesn’t come to mine.  I don’t go to her school.  She doesn’t go to mine.  The only people she sees that perhaps I see is her family.

No one could get in the way.  Just me and her.

Guys, her dad practically asked me to!

DANG!!!

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know what to say.

I don’t know what to think.

Dear God!  You always told me that I would never have to do anything.  It would just happen.

Lord, I didn’t even ask.  It just happened.

Seeing her tonight brought back so much.  I didn’t want to leave.

When I got home, I called Jason, her brother and my old youth pastor, now away at college.  I just called to say hi.  He is wonderful.  And he told me, “Jacob, when I was down for Christmas, you sent Christi a Christmas card.  And I want you to know that that really touched her.  She said that she felt like crying and it was so sweet.”

I never thought I would see her again.

For some reason I did not see it there before, but in time’s bitter garden there is one flower that did not fade away.  And still it stands, growing slowly while another begins to bloom.

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