|Photo credit: http://christiwilliams.blogspot.com/|
I was jogging up that hill--I've had more energy this week than I've ever had in my life--when I noticed someone standing in the middle of the snowy field between the temple and the MTC. Someone who looked like Jan. I ran through the snow, excitedly calling her name once I got close enough to confirm it was her.
"We shouldn't see each other anymore," she said as I approached.
"I'm a bad influence on you. I'm a bad person."
I shook my head. "Because you saved my life?"
"You wouldn't have died. You'd just be horribly disfigured and possibly crippled for life."
I searched for signs of a smile but found none. I still think she was joking.
Jan folded her arms across her chest. "The point is, I should have had faith that God would take care of you. I should have waited for the paramedics to arrive. I should have, I dunno, called your home teacher or something. Instead I took things into my own hands." She held out her hands and stared at them like they were vile. "For all I know, it was your time to die. Or it was part of God's plan for you to be crippled or disfigured, because you needed to learn something from that experience. You know how when men give priesthood blessings, they always say, 'if it be Thy will' or 'according to God's will'? My power doesn't give a crap what God's will is. It takes one of the most sacred powers of the priesthood--healing--and does it without regard to what God wants. What I did to you, it's horrible. It's unforgivable. It's..." She turned away from me. "It's why my dad doesn't ever want to see me again."
This made me angry--at her dad and at her. "What, so you just decided for me that I wouldn't ever want to see you again either? Don't you think that's a little condescending? Did it occur to you that I've been worried sick about you? And I'm sorry, but I refuse to believe in a God who wants me dead or crippled. Maybe he would have let it happen, but he also let you happen. He let you be there when I needed you, and he let you heal me. Don't you think he could have stopped you if he wanted to?"
"I don't know. I don't know what God wants. Whatever connection I once had with Him has been cut. That's why I'm here. I'm not worthy to go inside anymore--I still have my recommend but I know I'm not worthy--so this is the closest I can get. But it's not working. I still feel nothing. I pray and pray, but there's no answer."
I touched her elbow. "He sent me."
I smiled and she smiled back, albeit tentatively.
"I just need some time to figure things out, X. Can you give me that?"
Reluctantly, I agreed. We talked for a few more minutes, then I continued on with my jog. Now I feel sick. I fear I made a horrible mistake, and I'll regret it for the rest of my life. Did I give up too easily? Should I have insisted that we figure things out together? Ugh. Why are relationships so hard? Why is everything so hard?