January 20th

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There came a day when I found myself sitting in my parked car, sobbing to my mom. It was Friday, classes were done. Northwest January with its weak sun and oppressive cold was upon me. All of my 20 year old problems had washed over me and I felt hopeless to stay afloat, or more like it, unable to stop crying to my mom.

Things still unsolved and in the abyss, I got off the phone and trudged into our apartment. I was going to a fancy dinner that night, but right now that was the very last thing in the world I wanted to do. What if I cried there, and people saw? What if they knew how much I was struggling inside? What if people only knew the real me, would they want to be my friend? Where was God and why wasn’t he helping me? Didn’t He care? He said He cared the most, but it sure didn’t feel like it.

With these questions and doubts, I got ready anyway and sat in the back of the car with my cousin and uncle who had picked us up for the dinner. We slowly passed the gym – piled-up, dirty snow lining its doors. The sun was beginning to set.

I heard the familiar ring on my phone. Annoyed and not wanting to talk to anyone right now, I glanced at the number. It was unknown. Hm, I am definitely not picking up, I thought. But then again, life was so hopeless and hard that a random call from someone I didn’t know couldn’t make it much worse, so my curiosity took hold and I flipped it open.

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Jill?” I didn’t recognize the voice but it was a guy. This was different.

“Hi this is Elliot.” Elliot… Elliot Dickison? The cute guy I had secretly liked for the last few years?  The guy I had desperately wanted to talk to whenever our paths crossed, but to whom I could never quite work up the bravery to actually say hi? Why would he be calling me?

“Oh hi!” was my chipper response, as if I hadn’t just been sobbing my heart out 30 minutes ago.

“Well…this is kind of awkward…” he stuttered.

“Oh, no it’s not awkward!” I replied, realizing what this was all about. My friend (who also happened to be his cousin) had wanted to go sledding with me and had suggested we borrow her cousins’ sleds. Elliot Dickison was calling about us borrowing sleds. No big deal. I vaguely wondered why he would call me since we barely knew each other and he could just call his cousin.

“Well, I really like you and was wondering if you would want to grab coffee with me some time.”

My heart suddenly felt all fluttery and out of control. My fingers gripped the phone as I broke into a sweat of disbelief. Elliot Dickison was asking me out. The Elliot. The sweetest, kindest, funniest, most handsome guy I knew who I was always dying would even say hi to me just asked me, Jill Becker, an emotional girl with so many problems, on a date! It may sound dramatic, but, well it was dramatic. His and my future life together flashed before my eyes, sitting in the back of the car on that cold January day. I knew without a doubt somewhere deep in my soul that this – this phone call – was a miracle. This was a gift from our God who is so true to His promises and gives us exactly what we need when we need it. And sometimes it comes with something very happy when we are least expecting it.

Shakily, shyly I answered, “Um…sure! I would really like that.”