The immediate response I got from The Letter was to “never be afraid to love.” There were obviously some big things going on inside me. Things that needed to be addressed. A couple of days after I had given her the letter I went out for a long walk in the adjoining woods to our property. I asked these questions of God:
- Am I beautiful?
- What is my worth?
- Do I delight you?
- Am I lovable?
- Can I trust you?
- What are these feelings I have for her?
I walked for what seemed hours with just my dog, who frolicked alongside me. These questions plagued me, especially the last one. I felt very unsure and confused. I was searching for answers but unable to hear any. Slowly my eyes seemed to open and I noticed even the minute details. I walked in an area that was covered in moss. I reached down to touch it and was overcome with the need to take my shoes off. It felt weird to be walking in the woods with no shoes on but somehow I felt more connected then before. All of my senses seemed heightened and I was noticing things that I had never noticed before even though I walked in these woods on a weekly basis. It was late spring and I saw young leaves on a Sassafras tree. I reached out absently and felt one of the leaves. Abruptly I stopped and took in the fact that it was so soft. I was so astonished that this leaf could be so soft and downy that I had to take it with me.
Again I asked my questions hoping to gain some clarity. Deep inside me I received one answer, “I created ALL of this for you!” This wasn’t the definitive answer I was looking for. I wanted concrete answers not vague generalities. At this point I hadn’t figured out what He meant by this but it did bring me some measure of peace.
For weeks I couldn’t sleep. I just kept thinking about what those feelings meant. All the while trying to prepare myself for the upcoming move. She had asked me if I was questioning my sexuality. I lied to both myself and her as I responded, “No.” Every time I would think about being romantically attracted to her, I pushed those feelings down and said to myself things like, “I’m married, I’m a good Christian, I’m not supposed to be that (whatever “that” was), etc.” I became so frustrated that I decided to imagine what sex with her would be like and I couldn’t even picture it. I just kept picturing our souls as being connected.
She wrote to me and told me it was my spiritual duty to share my gift of friendship with others. She loves quotes and wrote me this one from Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, “Can miles truly separate you from a friend? If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?” And this one, “Overcome space, and all we have left is HERE. Overcome time, and all we have left is NOW.” We were both trying so hard to live in the here and now and not think about the future. We are still learning this lesson.
I prayed all the time, asking for wisdom to understand what was going on. We saw each other as often as we could during this time. One day she came over, delighted. She told me that I was feeling confused because what I was feeling was like that of a sister. I only have brothers and I am not really close to them but she is super close to her one sister especially. She thought she had it figured out. I was devastated. I wanted it to be something more but this answer was definitely more practical. God led me to the words in 1 Samuel 18:1-4. “Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.” I don’t know if David and Jonathan had a romantic relationship but I do know there was a depth of intimacy that isn’t found everyday and now I was experiencing that myself.
You see, there is one more thing that bound her and I together. A short time before I wrote her the letter I found out that she had this deep spiritual relationship with God. She knew I was a Christian but I had never wanted to make her feel uncomfortable so I didn’t ask much and she didn’t offer much on her views of God. This was the final knitting together of our souls. We both were striving to live our lives in ways that brought us home to God. In both of our marriages we were definitely unequally yoked, as the saying goes. It put a huge strain on our marriages. Now, I had found out that my best friend was also trying to figure her way along the path of life leading home. We were connected on all other levels and now we had this final connection, the most important one.