"I pay very little regard...to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person."
-- Jane Austen (1775 - 1817), Mansfield Park
If you need a reminder of where we left off, you can catch up by clicking HERE. In the meantime you might recall...
OH. MY. GOSH.
I didn't find this part of the story out until later, but I think it's important to share it with you now. When my mom called Peter just before 7 AM to tell him he had a green light from me to "try" to woo me, he wasted no time. He went upstairs and told his folks what was going on. His mom gave him a single pink carnation from a floral arrangement she had and Peter was out the door. He parked on the backside of the "mountain" where my folk's house is located and HIKED/RAN up and over the mountain, through the woods, and to our house. He still had a key from house-sitting and that's how he let himself into the basement to place the flower on the bench. He then ran back to his car and drove to school (Moody Aviation) for his first morning class. He had thorns stuck in his hand from brambles he ran through and a pounding heart...what if Dr. G found the flower instead of Carrie? All the way to school he prayed that the flower would be used like a fleece (similar to Gideon in Judges 6:36 - 40) and that if the Lord wanted Peter to speak to Dad immediately about us, then He would allow Dad to find the flower. If it was not the right time for Peter to speak to Dad about courting me, then God would allow my dad to walk by the flower and not pay any attention to it. Well, you already know what happened with that! :-)
The evening of the flower and note, my father came home and for the second time in my life, we got into a major argument. In the heat of battle, I blurted out, "Peter loves me Dad and he may just be your son-in-law someday!" [Let's just go ahead and insert an awkward silence here...] My mother's eyes opened wide and her mouth fell open. My poor dad. I have to give him a pass here because I love him dearly and because I think if any child of mine (at 16) said the same thing I would physically remove them to their room...and lock them there for an indefinite amount of time. :-) Based on my potential reaction, I would say that my dad handled my explosive comment as well as could be expected.
Mere moments after I dropped the son-in-law bomb, the phone rang. Oh no. "Hello Dr. G, this is Peter. Is this a good time to talk?" My father was very gracious to him - all things considered - and they set up a meeting at our house the next day after work. Peter, bless his heart, thought he would be telling Dad of his intentions towards me, not knowing that I had presumed his intentions and informed Dad in a very unorthodox fashion. [After 12 years I can finally chuckle about this...but it took the full 12 years to find it remotely funny!] After the phone call, Dad and I exchanged a few more heated words before I headed up to my room for the night. I was fuming. Although I didn't love Peter and I really had no plans to marry the man, it made me livid to hear him unjustly attacked. I prayed for Peter that night and tried not to think about what the next day would be like when he talked to my dad.
Peter showed up after school to see how things had gone the night before. My mom told him what I had said to Dad and Peter's heart dropped. He really wanted to be the one to talk to Dad about his feelings, but as it was already out there, he trusted that the Lord still had a plan. Mom told him how upset my dad had been and all about the argument the night before. Peter's meeting with Dad was scheduled at 7:00, so he got back in his car and drove around for an hour after hearing all this news. He prayed and cried and asked the Lord to give him the right words. At 7:05 he showed up for his
execution meeting while Mom and I waited downstairs and prayed. I think the hardest thing for me was that I still had no romantic feelings for Peter, and I hated for him to be going through all of this when I wasn't sure anything was going to come of it. But that was his decision and, I won't lie, it was flattering that he was willing to "walk through the fire" in order to find out if we could have a future together. It blew my sixteen-year-old mind. Understandably.
The meeting lasted about an hour and the end result was that Dad had asked Peter to put the brakes on for now. He requested that we not go anywhere together (alone in the same car), and that Peter, as the older part of this equation, rein in his feelings for me until a later date. Peter asked if we could still be friends, and Dad allowed for that to happen. He also told Peter that he liked Peter a lot, but I was too young to be in a serious relationship - I still had two years of high school to finish and then four years of college. He didn't want Peter getting in the way of my education and Peter told him he respected that. As Peter headed down the driveway, he gave a slight wave in my direction (my face was pressed against the basement window) and headed out to investigate being frozen in carbonite (a la Hans Solo in Star Wars: Episode V) for the next six years while I grew up. ;-)
Over the next couple of weeks we tried our best to not spend too much time together, but when you are best friends, it is a hard habit to break. It was during this two week period of time that two major things happened in my life: 1) I heard Ravi Zacharias for the first time and and 2)I prayed a very scary prayer. I could tell you about listening to Ravi and the scary prayer, but I'm realizing that there is more background information that must be given before we go there...so it will have to wait for the next installment. :-)