From the time Devon shared his testimony with Jessica, their bond grew stronger every single time they talked, met for lunch or exchanged emails. There was nothing that they couldn’t talk about and they became the best of friends. Feelings grew so intense that pretty soon Jessica and Devon could sense that God was calling for them to take the relationship to another level. Since they already knew so much about each other’s ways and habits, dreams and goals, it is natural to think it would be easy to make the transition; but because they knew each other so well, it was actually more difficult. Jessica decided that she had to go see her mom to get her advice. On the train ride home Jessica’s stomach was in knots. When she got to her parents’ house, she knocked on the door. After a few minutes her mother answered the door.
“Honey, what a nice surprise!”
“Can I come in?”
Jessica followed her mother into the living room.
“Would you like something to drink?”
“No thanks.” Jessica took a seat on the couch and her mother sat beside her.
“How is everything?”
“Everything’s fine I guess.”
“Work is going well?”
“Yes, work is okay.”
“How about school”
“School is great.”
“How is Devon?”
At the mention of his name Jessica fell silent.
“What’s wrong honey? Did you and Devon have a fight?”
“No mom, that’s not it. In fact it’s exactly the opposite. He is the most wonderful man I’ve ever known: he’s intelligent, hilarious and, most importantly, he loves Jesus.” Jessica took a deep breath. “I think I’m in love with him.”
“Honey, that’s wonderful! Congratulations! Have you told him?”
“No, not exactly.”
“I guess I’m afraid that he will reject me.”
“Why would you be afraid that he would reject you? You two have been best friends for almost five years. You have better communication with each other than most marriages I know. Frankly, I was waiting for this to happen.”
“I know mom, but being friends, even as close as Devon and I are, is very different then being married to each other.”
“How do you figure that honey?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, how is it different than being married to each other?”
Silence fell over the room.
“You know honey, if more people were as open and as honest with each other as you and Devon are, people would not be getting divorced as often as they do. I believe that the perfect person to marry is your best friend. So many people get married without knowing a thing about each other but you and Devon will have a much happier marriage than those people.”
“Thanks mom, you’ve really shed some light on the issue.”
“You’re welcome honey, anytime.”
A week after Jessica went to see her mom, Pastor Benson heard a knock on his door.
Devon walked in and closed the door behind him.
“What can I do for you Devon?” Pastor Benson said, looking surprised to see Devon.
“Well pastor, I need to talk to someone about something. It’s kind of personal.”
“Sure son, anything.”
“Well, it’s about Jessica. I think I have fallen for her. In fact, I’m sure I have.”
“Have you told her about these feelings?”
“No I haven’t.”
“Why haven’t you?
“Because to tell the truth, I’m terrified about my past.”
“What do you mean?”
“Jessica and I share everything. There’s probably next to nothing that I don’t know about her and there is absolutely nothing that she doesn’t know about me. Jessica grew up in the church; generations before her went to church all their lives. I just came into the church a few years ago. I guess I feel that she’s too good for me. Being friends is so great, having that person to share all of my secrets with, to cheer me up when I’m feeling down, to pray with me when I need prayer, is an absolutely amazing feeling. I’m just afraid that if I take the next step and become more serious, that she won’t want me and if she doesn’t, our friendship and all that we have now will be ruined.”
“Have you prayed about this situation?”
“I have and I know it’s in line for what God wants to happen but I am still afraid.”
“You know, son, when I was in high school I did feel that God was calling me to be a minister but everyone else in my family were doctors of some kind. In my childhood I was always told that being a doctor was what I was meant to do. So I carried that with me until I grew up. When God called me to pastor, I was so afraid that my parents wouldn’t love me anymore if I went to Bible College instead of medical school. As afraid as I was however, I enrolled in Bible College. I decided to stay on campus because I couldn’t handle the disappointed looks of my parents.
“When my graduation came, after the ceremony my father approached me and said that he was sorry that he had not supported me and that I was going to be a great minister.
“Fear is one of the most debilitating emotions known to man. If I had followed my fear instead of my calling, I wouldn’t be pastoring such a great group of people. Whatever happens between you and Jessica, remember that God will always be there for you and he’ll never steer you wrong.”
What God put in Devon’s spirit that night was a little unusual but he was going to trust God as his Pastor had said.
One night, a week before Christmas, Jessica heard her phone ring.
“Hi, what are you doing?” Devon’s voice said on the other end of the phone.
“Just doing some present wrapping.”
“Oh really! Anything for me?”
“Well, I don’t know, I guess you’re going to have to wait and see.”
“Awwhh…. just a little hint.”
“No and stop whining!” she said with a laugh. “Tell you what, I’ll tell you what I got you, if you tell me what you got for me.”
“No can do! I’m sorry.”
“Well then, I guess you’re going to have to wait.”
“Okay, I guess I can wait two more days. So are you excited to see your mom?” Devon asked. Jessica was going to spend Christmas with her Mom, Dad and sisters, and would be coming back shortly before New Year’s Eve. She would then be spending New Year in church for the annual New Year’s Eve celebration.
Jessica couldn’t believe it had been five years since she had met Devon and since they had begun getting really close. She knew that Devon was feeling the same thing that she was but both of them were too shy to speak of becoming more than friends. Jessica had one Christmas wish that she would tell no one except the Lord, something for which she prayed almost every night. She knew it was in the hands of God, but she hoped that He would answer her prayers soon. Jessica was so lost in her thoughts that she almost forgot that Devon was on the line.
“Hello, are you there?”
“Oh yes I’m here, sorry I was just thinking about something.”
“Oh really, what?”
“Oh nothing, just life.”
“What about life?”
“Just how funny it can be at times. I was just thinking how somebody can come into a person’s life and turn it around, even when the person has all the blessings that they could want. They didn’t realize that anything was missing until this person came into their life.”
Devon said, “I was also thinking about life and how people just show up at a person’s door without them knowing.”
Just as Devon said those words, Jessica heard a knock on her door.
“Hold on a second Devon, there’s someone at my door.”
Jessica went to answer the door. When she opened it, there was Devon with his cell phone in hand. A big smile appeared on Jessica’s face when she saw him. Before she could say a thing Devon, after putting his cell phone back into his jacket pocket, spoke.
“Jessica, since I met you my whole life has done a 180 degree turn. You are the one with your shining example and gentle personality that led me to the Savior. You taught me how to have compassion and truly care for people. I can honestly say that God used you as the vehicle to show me His love and teach me that there’s much more to a person than beauty. I’d like to say thank you for allowing God to use you to save my life and once wouldn’t nearly be enough, it would take a lifetime for me to say thanks to you.”
By this time tears were streaming down Jessica’s face.
Devon continued, “You asked me what I got you for Christmas; well, what I got you is more of a gift for me than you. A chance to spend my whole life saying thank you. Jessica Louise Silverman, will you marry me?”
Devon got down on one knee and pulled out a small velvet box and handed it to Jessica. She opened it and inside was the most beautiful ring that she’d ever seen. Devon had had the burrstones put together and surrounded by tiny diamonds. Jessica couldn’t speak. It seemed like hours but it was only a couple minutes until Jessica managed to say “Of course I’ll marry you!”
Devon got up from off his knees, embraced his fiancée and put the ring on the middle finger of her left hand. After they had finally let go of each other she playfully slapped him on the shoulder, “What took you so long?”
Devon laughed “I’m a man! We’re kind of slow on these things.”
After the newly engaged couple said their goodbyes, Jessica went inside her house and called all her family members. They were thrilled and congratulated both her and Devon. In bed that night the air around her seemed to be different. She thanked the Lord for granting her Christmas wish. Before she turned out the light she looked at her left hand; she saw the ring Devon had given her and she had to pinch herself to make sure that her engagement to Devon was for real