Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Day She Said "Yes"

We met for the first time a few years ago. I only noticed her from afar and never thought that I would quite get near. I had a friend who knew her well and detailed many of the desirable qualities that she possessed, but still, I did not know her myself. And so, thus remained the state of our relationship and continued as such for a lengthy period of time. During this time, I would check in on her progress, the comings and goings, just so that I could somehow be involved with the details of her world. Alas, I could only observe from the edge. I could only peer in through the gate or over the fence into a world in which I knew nothing about. A world that I desired to be apart of, but was prohibited access. In fact, access is only permitted to a privileged few and the rest, like me, could only ponder the mystery of the undiscovered.

As time wore on, eventually I had my first official encounter with her. We met, we spoke, we even exchanged our information. I already had her essentials, but now she had mine!! My hope was elevated, my expectation awakened, and my heart imagined the possibilities of our future together. Not just my future or her future – our future. This was exciting, but my excitement quickly diminished as my phone did not ring, my mailbox did not ding, and I assuredly had not been crowned king. I contemplated the possibility of pursuing another but the muse did not amuse and I found myself wanting the original all the more. Thus, I lingered at her door for what seemed to be eons until I finally decided to make contact. This would be my chance. My one opportunity to make the best impression I could, for in this business, the impression really does matter.

Before I could take my plunge of contact, I decided that I would choreograph this waltz in order to dance in concert with her rhythm. Timing being essential, I delayed as long as I was able. This may not seem to be the most orthodox of all tactics, but since this was my one shot, I decided I better make it count. I rehearsed. I wrote letters and I wrote more letters. I even had friends write letters and detail all of the best facets of this diamond we call me for it was matter of dire straits that she saw the best side glimmering in all its glory. (And since there is not much glory to glimmer, we had to set the polish just right!) I ordered my affairs, dressed in my best suit (of two) and marched past her gates into the very bowels of her being. I wanted her to know me and I her, so we sat face to face for the first time. Before we were mere amalgams of information; now we were personal, sharing information about ourselves that is reserved for those of the “in” crowd. And since this was a close encounter of the first kind, I pulled out all of the stops. Without further delay, I popped the question. "So soon?" you ask. Maybe for some, but not the case with me. All this observing from afar had proved beneficial and my studies had been confirmed. She was the real deal and I could not let this opportunity pass. “What next?” you say. Silence. Deafening Silence. Silence so thick no sound could pierce its being. Silence of the black hole variety. Silence that has a sound all too itself that can not be described because you can not hear it, only feel it.

And more silence.
And more silence.
And more silence. (Do you get that it was silent?)

I did not hear from her.
No phone calls.
No e-mails.
No fax.
No smoke signals.
Silence. Mystifying, doubting, silence.

And then yesterday, twenty-six days after I first dropped the question that would forever change the future course of my life (and possibly our life) the silence broke…. She said “Yes.”

No, I’m not getting married to another woman – my wife and I secured that everlasting knot June 4, 2005. No, I do not have a secret family, nor am I a covert operator for the CIA. The “she” referenced is more like an “it” or a “they” at least. This “She/It/They” is Beeson Divinity School, the graduate seminary of Samford University. I have been extended an invitation to begin graduate studies with her/it/them in the spring following my degree completion in December. It is quite an exciting time around the Armstrong household and we have much to be thankful for by means of God's sovereign grace. He has opened "to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ" (Col 4:3) and this calling includes the educational preparation needed to rightly handle the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). More updates to come...

In the meanwhile, if you would like to help support Beeson in their vision to see a fully-funded student body, click here.

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