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My Broken Heart
It was a lonely five and a half months. While I dated other women, I missed Amy.
She could always make me laugh. And, I felt as though, on a deeper level, that she "got" me. I find that the one quality which separates close friends from others is that you feel fully accepted by them despite your glaring faults, and understood for who you really are on the inside. That certainly defined Amy. She had accepted me and she understood me. It was a wonderfully refreshing and almost magical quality to find in a member of the opposite sex.
And now that was gone. That's why it hurt so much. I missed our connection - that wonderful gift of being known and understood.
As a result, I became convinced that we were not meant to be together. So, I was slowly letting go of my feelings for her.
Amy reaches out
She attended Alamo City Christian Fellowship and heard a sermon by David Walker that really hit home. He was preaching about the disobedience of Jonah who went in the opposite direction when God called him to preach to the Ninevites.
On some level, Amy became convicted that she should not have run away from a relationship with me. Not that I was comparable to the evil Ninevites mind you!
On September 13th, 2002, Amy wrote, "Adam, I'm not sure how this will be received by you, but I can't think about that. I have to listen to the voice inside that's been trying to talk to me since you and I ceased communication.
"It's been almost five months now and I miss you! I'm sorry for hurting you Adam. You are a child of God and I know that to hurt a child of God is to hurt God Himself. I'm really nervous in writing this, but I have to be obedient.
"My walk with the Lord quickly became sluggish after you and I stopped talking. I know it's because I avoided what had happened between us. I avoided confronting the issue. I just can't afford to that any longer. My walk is struggling and this is the thing I need to do to move to the next level with the Lord.
"Adam, if you choose not to talk to me, I will respect that; however, my hope is that we can renew our friendship, slowly and on your terms. I want you as a friend. I'm not sure if we can get back to that, but I'd like to try. I'm praying for you Adam and thinking about you. In His love, Amy"
I think I was in shock. On the one hand, I was delighted to hear from my long-lost-friend-on-the-verge-of-becoming-a-girlfriend. On the other hand, I had developed some calluses on my heart because of the pain which she had caused me. I felt split in half.
It took me about two weeks to process the letter and the voice mail. When I had finally internalized her words, I composed an 11-page single-spaced letter on my computer in response.
In fact, Amy Gossett, her former roommate, who was now serving as a missionary in Turkey, wrote me an e-mail.
"Last I heard from her she said she was trying to formulate the letter to you and she was afraid because you're the best thing that ever happened to her. I told her that she was exactly right. You guys were like peanut butter and jelly, perfect complements to each other, not exactly the same.
"Adam McManus, you better believe I'm telling you all this because I love Aims like the best sister-friend I've ever had! Try to work things out. If I were there, I'd invite both of y'all over to the house, make a nice big pot o' coffee and some of that yummy roast beef, so y'all could discuss things."
I was skeptical. I felt as though she had stomped on my heart. I wasn't sure I trusted her now. I told her that while I was open to start a new chapter, that I would need some time.
"Amy, it's like an aircraft carrier. Even when you want to turn it around, it takes time. It can't turn on a dime."
The all-night phone calls
Then, we decided to start talking mid-week as well on Wednesday nights. Those conversations would also last up to 7-8 hours at a time.
Brett Becker, Pastor of St. Paul's Evangelical Church in Cibolo, and who will be one of my groomsmen, was amazed.
"What on earth do you talk about? Don't you run out of things to say?" he inquired.
"No. I could talk with her for days on end and not run out of things to say."
Besides, even though I've been a talk show host professionally, the stereotype is not exactly accurate: I can listen. In fact, I love to listen to Amy in particular. Between her humor, her spiritual insights and her impressions of people, I'm absolutely mesmerized.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, and with Amy's knowledge, I went out on a number of casual dates during our three and a half months on the phone. But nothing was exclusive. I was still warming up to the idea of dating Amy and Amy alone.
We would often talk about the various dates I went on. We discussed the good ones and the bad ones. Outwardly, she talked at ease with me about my various dating adventures. Later I learned that she wanted to reach through the phone and strangle me. In Christian love of course. Throughout those months on the phone, I was trying to determine how serious she was about dating me, since it was such a dramatic turnaround following the David Walker sermon.
One thing became abundantly clear. None of the other women really held a candle to Amy. She was more real, funnier, and, again, we had this indescribable connection.
When she pressed me for a date when we could see each other again for the first time since early June, 2002, I decided that sometime after she returned from her 10-day visit to Amy Gossett in Turkey in February, 2003 would be a good time.
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