Though I knew of his existence, I first actually noticed Joshua when he went on a walk with his three-year-old sister. The battle in my heart had begun.
As a teenager I hoped that marriage was in my future. Until that day though, I wanted to keep my heart pure. If I stood at the aisle one day, I wanted to be free from memories of countless crushes. “Guard thy heart with all diligence,” said Solomon, “for out of it are the springs of life.”
A guarded heart is easier to desire than obtain.
However, I found that if, when I started daydreaming about a guy, I prayed that God’s will would be accomplished in his life and that God would bless him and his future wife, the daydream ended.
That is, until I prayed for Joshua. Joshua was on my heart and in my prayers constantly.
Though he was always kind, gentlemanly and thoughtful, he never seemed to notice me. That didn’t make it any easier. A brief conversation, a glance at the book he had in his hand, or just watching him on the volleyball court and the battle began again.
He left to teach for six months in Taiwan and I thought that would make it easier. Though it “helped” not to see him often, “out of sight” was certainly not “out of mind.” The struggle continued.
I talked to my mom, who encouraged me to continue to do what I was trying to do, guard my heart. It wasn’t easy.
Then, the “problem” escalated. Joshua knew that I had been interested in learning Chinese for quite some time. After he returned from Taiwan, Joshua set up private lessons with a professor from China. He invited my good friend Rebekah and me to join him. We did. After a couple weeks, Bekah realized she was just too busy and dropped out. Now it was just Joshua and me taking private lessons together each week.
We managed to never set an official start time with the professor. Each week one of us had to call the other to figure it out. (You have no idea how much I looked forward to that call. Whether to start at 1:00 or 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon is a big deal, right?)
After lessons, we talked by our cars or headed to the library. He lived out of county so rather than making him pay the fee to join, I offered to check out books for him. As the weeks passed and we got to know one another better, I struggled more and more.
I was falling madly in love with Joshua, but didn’t know if he returned the feeling. My dad knew what a hard time I was having. He was about to step in to protect me (and make Josh get his own library card)
To be continued next Friday…