Regarding giving Sam advice on girls, I was actually quite annoyed with his methodical approach. I had stirring passions and strong opinions on the subject, as I tend to do on almost every subject that crosses my path. Perhaps it was God Who helped me not say what I thought the moment I thought it, but to write it down for him to digest on his own.
From: Sarah CrutchfieldMonday October 11, 1999
Subject: a thought for you
I wrote this on the bus to school this morning, you can take it or leave it:
Sam, don't pursue marriage because you want to get married and there's a nice girl that wants to marry you. Get married someday because there is a girl so precious to you that you can't imagine life without her. You, as a man, must be fully convinced of your love for her - it is even more essential than she being fully convinced of her love for you. You must be confident and know that you love her, without a doubt in your mind. Your heart will bear witness and give you assurance or not. I don't mean to say 'let your heart guide you' and throw caution and rationality to the wind. I'm just saying that you should really know and be sure of your love for her. Love is a choice I believe, but in my experience, it is a choice that cannot help but to be made. A parent cannot help but to love his/her child. Yes, he chooses to love the child, but instinct and whatever else there might be, dictates that this choice ought to be made. I challenge you to be patient and wait until you know you love a woman. You will need to make such a woman to be secure in your love. In order to do this, you must be fully convinced yourself that you do love her.
There you have it. Hey, I said something in less than five minutes. And you didn't think that was possible!
Sam to me, discussing girl issues...
I've known you such a short time, but you are such a great friend already. (For the record, this was about 1 week after the burglary, after the first weekend when I threw up). That may sound like such a hackneyed (that's the biggest word you'll get out of me today, but it is probably spelled wrong) sentence, but I really mean that.
I said that I probably wouldn't email you much because of being so busy with other things like work or Chinese, or emails to other friends. But I want to email you back. Things may get really busy in our lives, but we always make room for the things we want to do. I don't know why you are taking the time to write me and tell me about your thoughts on relationships, but I want to say thanks, I want to say thanks for giving me advice.
Looking back at friends who have gotten married, I have seen some who have been so madly in love with each other. I told myself that I wanted to do the same thing. I was going to give my all to my girl and love her with all my heart. I wasn't going to have some half hearted relationship with her.
Why do I talk about pursuing marriage when my heart isn't in it? I guess because I told God to take away my desire for marriage, and now that desire has come back first time this trong in the last several years, so I thought that now was the time in my life to get married. I was never ready to get married before. I was either in school, on a motorcycle trip, or waiting from God to show me what He wants me to do with my life. Now all those are done, and it is the first time I feel ready...
I was so glad to be able to help you Sunday morning. I felt so helpless, wishing I could do more for you. It was wonderful to kind of return your help to me exactly one week before that.
Are you going to be busy next Saturday afternoon or evening. It's great talking with you, but not so good getting to bed at 4:30 Sunday morning. I'll come down earlier on Saturday or stay later Sunday afternoon depending on when you are free. Let me know. Also, I could give you the couple hour version of the motorcycle trip with pictures if you wanted.
(Then he throws in a bit about another girl he was hoping to hear from... - of course I'm leaving that out!)
I need to read your emails from today again. I'm sure I'll have more comments.
Oh, I want you to give me a verse each day that jumps out at you. You said you were reading in Neh. I love that book. I was impressed this morning with Ex. 14:14: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." So hard to be still. I always want to be busy and running hard, not sitting still with God.
Thanks again friend.
To Sam, after he stayed with me when I was throwing up:
Subject: Thank you
I want to thank you for staying with me last night when I was feeling so wretched. You didn't have to, but you did and I think it helped calm me down a little. I very much appreciate you Sam, and I hope you know that, even if I do tease you about fixing strollers...
If you don't want to email much that is fine. Please know that I am completely confident that God 'gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him' (to quote a cliche - which I hate to do, but in this case, so true!) I do not doubt that He has His best in store for both you and me, so lets not jump ahead of ourselves and continue to trust Him to show us His way, okay?
I had two songs come to mind. One is a children's song. Cathy and I sang this when we were 6 and 8 at a meeting. I have the tape somewhere. The words come back to me now and again and bring me comfort and encouragement, perhaps they will do the same for you?
Did you ever talk to God above? Tell Him that you need a friend to love!
Pray in Jesus name believing that God answers prayer.
Have you told Him all your cares and woes - every tiny little fear He knows -
You can know He'll always hear, and He will answer prayer.
You can whisper in a crowd to Him, You can cry when you're alone to Him,
You don't have to pray out loud to Him - He knows your thoughts!
On a lofty mountain peak He's there - in a meadow by a stream He's there,
Anywhere on earth you go - He's been there from the start.
Find the answer in His Word - it's True! You'll be strong because He walks with you!
By His faithfulness He'll change you too - God answers prayer!
The other song I thought of when discussing these things was:
"God is too wise to be mistaken! God is too good to be unkind! So if you don't understand, if you can't see His plan - if you can't trace His hand, trust His heart."
I'm reading Neh. about rebuilding walls.
I enjoyed talking with you last night, even if you had lots of questions. There are still a million thoughts darting around my brain but I don't know whether to share 1 or 99,999 with you :) So for now I'll just keep processing what I'm thinking and if any seem particularly enlightening, I'll be sure to let you know.
I queried my Mom last night about her 'matchmaking' and she explained herself. I don't think she's matchmaking, she says she knows I'm lonely and don't have many friends here my age, and that you are in a similar situation and so it would be good for us to spend time together. She's certainly not thinking romantic stuff, so I think everything's fine.
(Comment: ha ha, yeah right, whatever!)
More Correspondence - the NEXT Chapter!
More Correspondence - the NEXT Chapter!