‘Um, Grayson, that’s all I have to say if you want to come take over that would be great,’ Sierra said as she tried to figure out what he was thinking. ‘Oh, um, yes… thank you so much Sierra, that was an amazing message. What do you guys think, does anyone have any questions for Sierra?’ A few of the less shy kids asked questions about her expert shooting skills, and what it was like in basic training, but most were a bit shy. Sierra was confident that the message she was supposed to convey was delivered, and that was all that mattered.
‘Ok then youth, you did a great job, I am proud of you for listening to Sierra with such intensity. Now, let’s go outside and I will give you the surprise,’ Grayson said. The youth peeled out the door as fast as their feet would take them. ‘Just wait for me right there in the field, I will be out in a minute,’ Grayson hollered as they ran. Sierra asked inquisitively. ‘What is the surprise?’ Well, really there isn’t a real surprise he explained, ‘I am going to spray them down with a water hose after I get them all in a line – then I have about five-hundred water balloons I am going to let them play with. They are going to love it, so if you don’t want to get wet, I suggest you stay back,’ Grayson laughed and went to get the hose.
‘Grayson is a really fun person, on top of looking like Mr. America,’ she thought. Sierra really didn’t want to get wet; she was not into the whole water balloon fight with teenagers she didn’t know thing, so she told Grayson she thought she would just go on back to her parent’s house. ’Okay, well I have to head back to New Orleans as soon as we are finished here; anyway, I have a class at eight o’clock in the morning. Thank you for coming tonight, I really enjoyed what you had to say. ‘Oh, no problem, I enjoyed it. It was really nice to meet you; Grayson, you do an amazing job with these kids.’ ‘It was nice to meet you too. Hey, I will be coming back up on Wednesday evening. Maybe we could get together before church and talk a little bit. Do you think you could come a little bit early?’ He asked. ‘Sure, I can do that,’ Sierra said as she thought to herself, ‘this is funny, I haven’t been to church on Wednesday night in years, but if Grayson wants me here, I will be here with bells on.’
Sierra headed to the main sanctuary to find her Mom. Judith was just about to walk out the door so she decided to wait for her in the car. As soon as she sat down and closed the door, she saw Grayson running over to the car. He knocked on the window of the passenger side door. Sierra rolled the window down with anticipation.
Grayson just stood there looking at Sierra through the car window for about thirty seconds. Sierra could tell he had something important to say, she felt chills over her whole body as she looked into his piercing eyes and waited to hear what seemed so pressing.
‘Sierra, I feel like the Lord wants me to say something to you, and I don’t really know why, but here it is: If there is a window in your life that is open to the world, in order for the Lord to fulfill his desire in you, that window must be closed. Now, I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but that is what God wanted me to tell you. God has something for your life, but you are going to have to give up your own agenda in order for him to give it to you.’ With that, Grayson said goodnight and walked away.
Sierra was stunned, just when she thought the day could not get any more profound, Grayson came to her with words that pierced her very soul. She knew exactly what God was directing his words toward in her life, but it amazed her that Grayson heard from God clearly enough to know what to say. She knew what had to be done. She knew what God was saying. This truly was the beginning of a new chapter in Sierra’s life.
She had to be finished with the parties, the friends, the idea that Christianity was only for Sundays, and most of all, she had to be finished with waiting for PJ to change. Sierra knew the phone would ring at eleven-thirty that night. She had to be ready to be honest with PJ. She had to tell him he was not the one for her. She had to tell him what just yesterday she never could have uttered, that she did not love him. She had to apologize to him for leading him astray, and making him think it was okay for a Christian to date a person who chose not to follow Christ. She had to put an end to her two year relationship on the same day PJ decided to finally say he loved her. What a day!
Though she knew it was the right thing to do. Though she was overwhelmed with the day’s encounter, and felt love for a man she barely knew, Sierra was saddened. She really did love PJ. He was her best friend, like a wink and a smile. She would miss riding on the back of his bike, and hearing him call her his little baby-doll. She would miss his big black eyes with beautiful eyelashes so long they nearly touched his eyelids.
She would have to dismiss nearly every memory of life on the Air Base because most of her memories included PJ. He would drive through the main gate while Sierra was on duty, just to say hi! He would run across the parking lot just to be standing at the door when she got off of work. He would take her to concerts, and for long rides in the country with their leathers on, laughing at her helmet hair. His sweet kisses were also going to be hard to forget.
‘If only he had realized earlier that he loved me, things would have been different,’ she thought for only a second before she shook her head. ‘No, no I can’t go there! I have to remember that it was never God’s will for me to date PJ in the first place. That was my desire, so God, please forgive me for making decisions based on my own wants and desires, help me to step into your desire for my life,’ she prayed aloud.
Sierra battled with these thoughts for hours until the clock struck eleven-thirty. She waited anxiously by the phone, but it didn’t ring. She waited five more long minutes, but it didn’t ring. Finally; at eleven-forty-five, she decided to stop watching the phone and go to bed. She brushed her teeth, and went into her old bedroom. She could still see the stickers on the wall that she put there when she was in the third grade. She got in trouble for that. She could see the dolls in the top of the closet that sat on her bed when she was a child. She was glad to be back home, she was glad God was working in her life, but she was also unable to sleep because she couldn’t stop thinking about PJ.
She felt really bad for him. She wanted him to be happy, and knew this was going to make him everything but happy. ‘Lord, please, prepare PJ for what I have to tell him. When he calls, speak through me so that my emotions do not get in the way of your will, I need you...’ about that time the phone rang. Sierra suddenly felt like she was going to be sick. ‘That has got to be him, oh man I hope I can get through this,’ she muttered as she ran to get the phone.
‘Hello,’ she said as she put the phone to her ear. ‘Hey baby-doll,’ PJ said with as much excitement as he could muster. ‘I have been waiting for this moment all day long. What cha doin,’ he said. Sierra could see his white smile and his cute little head bobbling when he said that, just as it always did. ‘Nothing, I was just getting ready to go to bed when you called,’ she replied. ‘Hey, Guess What!’ PJ exclaimed. ‘What,’ Sierra asked. ‘I took leave for next week. As soon as I get out of this training, I am going to jump on my bike and ride all the way to Louisiana. I have something I want to give you,’ PJ was overjoyed as he spoke those words. ‘What could he possibly want to give me? Probably a ring,’ she feared.
Sierra knew it was now or never, she was going to have to tell PJ the truth about what God had done in her life that day.’ ‘Um, PJ, I have something to tell you and I don’t know how you are going to take it,’ she began. ‘What’s that babe, I can take anything,’ he said in response to her introduction.
‘There is no way I can tell you what I have to say so that it will make sense to you, so I am just going to spit it out. I think I met the man I am supposed to marry today,’ she said. ‘Wh -what,’ PJ said with a little chuckle as if he was waiting for the punch-line of a joke.
Sierra continued, ’PJ, I am not joking, and I owe you an apology. I am a Christian, and for the past two years that you have known me I have not been a very good one. You have not seen me going to church, you have not known me to be a person who prays and studies my Bible, and you have not known me to use discretion with my language. I have been a terrible witness, and for that I am sorry.
‘I have only been home for a week, but today I went to church. My Mom asked me to sing the special during the morning service. You know I used to sing in an ensemble before we met. So; anyway, I agreed and when I got to the church I met this guy named Grayson Raines. As crazy as it may sound PJ, as soon as I looked at him I knew he was the man I was going to marry. I didn’t even know his name. It was literally like cupid shot and arrow and hit me right in the heart. I…’
‘Okay then,’ PJ interrupted. ‘Don’t say anything else. I recognize rejection when it happens. Do you really think you can love a person that you have known for less than a day? Thanks for stealing two years of my life. I guess this is goodbye, oh and have a good life. You will never have to worry about hearing from me again,’ he said with a disappointed tone ‘I just called to say I love you.’ With those words, he hung up the receiver. A dial tone sounded off in Sierra’s ear.
Sierra closed her eyes in an effort to stop the tears from flowing, but it was useless. Her heart was broken. She had wounded her best friend, and now there was not a thing she could do about it. Sierra worried about PJ. ’What would he do now? Would he ever become a Christian, or would her association with him push him farther away from the Lord? She couldn’t prevent the nauseated feeling she had at every thought of that dreaded phone call. She went to bed flustered, trying to ignore the aching in her heart and go to sleep.
She tossed and turned until she decided to pray, ‘Lord, I am sorry for doing things my own way. I am sorry for making decisions without your guidance. It is my fault that PJ is heartbroken right now. If I had listened to you, he would not have come to this point. I would certainly not have dated him. I am sorry and I pray that you will strengthen him. Send people into his life who will be a positive testimony of Christianity for him. Please Lord, don’t let him become bitter.’
Sierra didn’t know how long she had cried and prayed for PJ before she fell asleep. Her last thought was, ‘I will never hear from PJ again.’