Cassandra hung up the phone, wiped the lone tear falling down her cheek and rushed to her bedside table. All the papers and junk that were contained in her drawer dumped to the floor as she searched for the picture she hadn't looked at in over ten years. Finally she found the pink envelope she remembered putting the picture in that long ago day when she vowed to never think of him again. Carefully she slid her finger under the flap and unsealed it. She then withdrew the picture but didn't immediately look at it. Holding it to her chest she said a quick prayer, “Lord, you know how much I love this man but if he's about to enter my life again and cause me pain, please protect my heart.” Cassandra sighed before holding the picture up to view. There he was, just like she remembered him. Dark curly hair and deep green eyes. His smile could still pierce her soul. No longer could she keep her tears at bay, she let them flow. She allowed her thoughts to take her back to the days of their friendship.
Cassandra was fourteen when Ben moved next door. They were fast friends and by the time they turned eighteen, they were in love. Though they expressed their love for each other on numerous occasions, she had also been firm with him that they could never be a couple unless they shared the same faith. Cassandra knew that as much as she loved Ben, she wanted a man who loved God. Her marriage would be built on Christ with her husband at the head. Her children would grow up in a loving Christian home, just like she had.
It seemed that not a minute went by that she wasn't asking God to change Ben's heart so they could get married but her prayers were never answered. When they parted ways during their college years, Cassandra tried to keep in contact with Ben but one day he told her he was not going to wait around any longer for her to change her mind. It was difficult for Cassandra to let Ben go but she knew she could never turn her back on God for him.
The doorbell rang bringing Cassandra out of her daydream. After ten years she was finally going to see Ben again. When she opened the door it was as if the years between them never existed.
“Cassie.” He said holding his arms out to her.
She didn't hesitate but went willingly into his arms. “I've missed you Ben.”
“I've missed you too.” He took her face into his hands.
She pulled away, trying to guard her heart as much as possible.
For her sake he changed the subject. “You're not an easy person to find.”
“Why were you trying to find me?” She said trying to rub the chill from her arms.
“I have to tell you something very important.” Ben's smile started on his lips and didn't stop until it reached his brilliant green eyes. He continued, “I want to thank you for your friendship. And most of all for being a person of strong faith. You're faith always touched me Cassie. I was not only in love with you but I admired you with all my heart. I always knew how much your relationship with Jesus meant to you, but never once did you force it on me. I really appreciate that. Who knows, maybe if you did, I wouldn't be where I am today.” Ben brought her cold hands into his warms ones. “When my life reached it's all time low, I thought of you and the life you and your family led. I wanted what you had. I finally admitted it was God that made you different from anyone else I had ever known.” He paused before saying, “I'm a follower of Christ now too. I accepted Him into my heart and my life and I'm a different person because of Him.”
Cassandra almost collapsed from the realization of what Ben was now telling her. He steadied her and looked into her eyes. “I still love you and I hope you still love me.”
She didn't speak but nodded “yes”. God had finally answered her prayers in His time. It didn't matter to Cassandra how long it took to get to this day. What mattered was God was faithful and she was grateful for that.
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