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While I was on a trip to Russia with the Slavic Gospel Association that fall, looking first-hand at the need for blankets, clothes and food at five orphanages, Amy sent an e-mail to my mother on October 23, 2003.
"I'm sitting at my desk, missing my daily-e-mail-dose from your son. So, I thought I'd drop you a line. The Family Life Conference was helpful, but exhausting, as it's a catalyst to discussions that stir up emotions and conversations about God's will for mine and Adam's life, and whether or not that includes us being together.
"I care for Adam deeply, and respect him like I have no other man. I am passionate about the work he does and want to encourage him toward other endeavors, like writing a column or a book. I know he can do it; I believe in him.
"Because I care for him and know that one of his deepest desires is to marry and have a big family, I'm praying that God reveal to him whether that person might be me or someone else.
"Adam has shown me how to live out my Christian walk in my daily life. My relationship with Jesus has deepened and flourished because of your son's influence on me. Thank you for raising such a Godly man in an ungodly culture. Love, Amy"
Within the day, my mother responded: "You are both to be commended for the amount of thought, work and prayer you are investing in this process.
"However, life is imperfect; we are imperfect, which is precisely why we need Jesus who is perfect. Forgiveness is a key element. Unconditional love cannot exist without it. And only Jesus makes unconditional love possible.
"We shall be praying for both of you during this time of work, exhilaration, stress and joy. May God be with you as you struggle to find His will. Love, Harriet."
Excellent counsel indeed. But, at the time, I just wasn't ready to internalize her admonition not to be sidetracked because Amy didn't necessarily fulfill every point of my increasingly long "wish" list.
Meanwhile, I felt like I was bleeding from a self-inflicted wound. The emotional blood drain was leaving me feeling light-headed.
So, even though, I had officially broken up with her, I invited her to a whirlwind of Christmas activities including everything from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to a Kenny G Christmas concert. I felt whole again.
But, just weeks later, in early January, 2004, I wondered whether I had made the right choice to spend time with her again. My fears had not subsided. My concerns were still there. My hesitation to ask for her hand in marriage was still evident.
On Saturday, January 10, 2004 I wrote her an e-mail: "Amy, I've mainly been sleeping today, trying to ignore my pain and loneliness. It hasn't worked well. Thanks for your concern for me. I feel like a fool over here. Amy, I miss you. I feel empty inside."
The next day I wrote: "Amy, This is really tough. I've been waiting for your e-mail reply like a kid waits for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, longing for that first light of dawn when he's allowed to run downstairs and start tearing open the presents. It's 12 midnight. Yikes! I can tell you're really mad at me. I'm hitting the hay. Oh well."
In a very candid e-mail in mid-January, Amy replied, "I got your e-mails, and yes, you're right; I am mad at you. It takes a lot for someone to upset me, and you did it.
"I know this is difficult for you Adam, but why do you e-mail me saying that you miss me when you're the one that was so harsh in your e-mail on Friday in breaking up with me?
"You're SO sure that I'm not the one. If that's the case, just move on! Yeah, you might miss me, but you'll get over it. And, it's normal to feel empty inside after a break-up, especially if you spend every waking moment with that person, as we did.
"It doesn't make sense. It's so hard in this world, and at our age, to find someone with whom you connect, you understand, who gets you, who's on the same level spiritually, who shares the same sense of humor. We had that, and for some bizarre reason, you threw it all away. It doesn't make sense to me.
"I really hope that you can find someone; I was sure that was me, but as you said, 'Oh well. 'So much for that. You really hurt me. -- Amy"
Amy's anger and pain were totally justified.
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