Godliness in our Relationship
As our friendship grew we began to spend more and more time with each other - studying, eating, talking, and just sitting in silence. It was blissful. For me, it was perhaps too blissful, because being more emotionally driven, I simply smiled to myself in the joy of having a great and meaningful friendship - someone I could actually call my best friend. You see, in your darkest moments, that someone is willing to spend hours each day in companionship, accepting you in all your faults, even whilst not understanding them, meant a truly loving friendship. And it was true, I openly shared with Vera that I loved her a lot and treasured our friendship.
And by love, I'm not referring to passion, to lust, or momentary emotional highs. No, the love felt was long-lasting and slowly cultivated, a genuine desire to help and serve one another.
But Vera, being more intellectually driven, knew in her head and heart that this joyful friendship wasn't something that could last forever - it had to go somewhere. A Christ-like relationship between a male and female meant that either careful boundaries had to be drawn to not succumb to the temptations of lust and invite careless gossip, or the pair would choose to honour God and one another by covenanting their relationship through marriage.
That's when we met at Daily Scoop, bought two scoops of ice-cream, and talked. We decided that our friendship could not continue, at least not at the level of closeness we were at. It was the most difficult and heart-wrenching conversation we've ever had, but it was also wonderfully in God's long-term plan to help us recognise our need for Him - to guide us in every step of our relationship, to look to Him and not to our fleeting emotions and worldly ideals.
The End of Our Single Lives
I knew Neil treasured me a lot because I was around when he needed a friend to lean on. But did Neil only think we could be BFFs (Best-friends-forever)?
It's hard to trust Neil on this, but I did. Back then, I saw that he was unattuned to social norms, leading him to say and do things that seemed suspect at times. As an example, on the first day I met Neil, at a freshman orientation camp where everyone was rearing to find their new in-group or else flail alone in the vast ocean that is NUS, he was the only one in my orientation group who came in a white instead of red T-shirt. (You are in red house...) Then that night, when the orientation group leaders sneakily revealed that some 'freshmen' in our group were actually 'fake freshies' and we had unsuccessfully guessed who, Neil asked me, 'So it's not XXX. Who do you think is the fake freshie?' in a very suspicious way. (Why are you wearing a white shirt...)
If you're still not convinced of Neil's ingenuousness, no matter. I believed he just wanted to be as nice to me as I had been to him in his hard times. I didn't need to worry whether or not he had set his sights on me as a romantic target, and so I didn't run away from him in fear. (I certainly loved my autonomy!) Yet, as God would have it, that was how I let my guard down, and little by little, our separate lives converged. We got along happily till the time was ripe for us to consider getting together. We pondered and prayed about it before taking the leap. What gave me the courage to make such a terrifyingly irrevocable decision? It was because God told me that I could trust Neil. And I could definitely trust God on His word! So byebye freedom and autonomy!
Ginger tabby cat
Shih Tzu dog
Shih Tzu dog - Vera
Ginger tabby cat - Neil
Five chinchillas - Neil