(This is part 3 of a story. To read the rest of the series, go to Waking Desire.)
Emmy decided to tell her friend (and herself) the truth. She described the dreams. She spoke up about her real desires, the ones she’d kept hidden so long, even from herself. This was the first time she would speak her desires to a friend, her longing to be married again, to have kids. It was terrifying. And powerful. And (she had to admit) liberating.
The next morning, Emmy helped out with the kids at church. The lesson was on Abraham and Sarah having their only child Isaac when she was 90 and he was 100 years old. (Of course.)
Emmy walked the bike trail together with God after church. It was a bluebird Alaskan day, when the snow is still on the ground but the color of the sun has begun its shift from cold blue to warmer golds and yellows. Snow sifted from the trees, catching the sun in glittering clouds around her. This is beautiful, God. Thank you.
What I enjoy most, my love, is you enjoying it.
Contented silence, then…Okay, God. I get it. What you did for Abraham and Sarah, you can certainly do it for me. I trust you. But, um… kids? I need a man. In reality, that was the form desire usually took for her. This time it was a bit turned around.
God responded, but the things He said to Emmy weren’t always in words. The best I can think to put words on this particular expression is something along the lines of “Hold my beer.”
Emmy rounded a corner of the trail and there, walking confidently toward her, was a man. He was wearing silly crocheted hat made to look like a viking helmet and a smile that openly welcomed the day. They got closer, and Emmy saw sharp, laughing blue eyes and a blonde beard that any Alaskan man would be proud of.
Their paths finally crossed. “I like your hat.”
“Where’d you get it?”
“Beardhats.com. It came with an attachable beard… I lost it.” His voice. It was even better than his eyes and hat and beard. He spoke like it was a song.
“You lost it? Where? Is it hiding in your actual beard?”
They both laughed and stared at each other a minute as her dog began to bark her fool head off. Emmy apologized for the noise, the spell broke, and they both moved on.
Emmy’s head buzzed. What was up with that? She hadn’t believed in that kind of thing. Romance was silly (and vulnerable). Attraction that strong in a short conversation was ridiculous. She must have been out in the cold too long.
They were both circling a pond in opposite directions, and she could see him as she continued her walk. He seemed to be seeing her, too, but it was not a small pond and it was hard to tell for sure. They walked a bit until they met again. This time, they stopped and talked over the dog barking. The dog gave up after 20 minutes or so, her vigilance ignored, and they kept talking. For an hour.
“Let’s do this again.”
“What’s your number?…” Number given. “Okay, you’re in my phone as Emmy Trail.”
“And you’re Bike Trail Bryson.”
He texted when he got home, “That was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.”
“Yes, it was. :)”
Emmy went to a Super Bowl party later that day, where she learned that another friend her age was expecting her first baby. Seriously, God? You really like to drive a point home sometimes…
Emmy had been learning not to believe in coincidences. This particular confluence of circumstances–God speaking, other people’s stories, a sexy viking on the trail–was impossible to ignore. Was it really possible that, after writing about walking a relationship path with God before you walk it with someone else, she’d met someone on the bike trail where she liked to talk to God? There was a poetry to that too beautiful NOT to be true. Animated and a bit dazed, she told her friends at the party about Bike Trail Bryson. Most of them thought it was a lovely story, but one friend’s response stuck in her head, “That just doesn’t happen. Are you sure he’s single?” She didn’t know, but she felt certain. With all of those signs, how could he not be?
(To be continued…)