“No, I’m sorry. I’m busy with homework right now.” He was used to this response from me, but for some reason, he kept pursuing me. After being rejected three times within a two year time span, he was almost to the point of giving up. I pushed him aside and put him in that dreaded place we all know as the “friend zone.” I entered college with a broken heart from a recent break-up and far from home. I only knew four people, and I was afraid, timid, and off-standish. He was one of the four people I knew from my little neck of the woods attending the same college as me four hours away. Brad and I met while we were both in high school through FFA (Future Farmers of America), and we competed against each other in a couple different contests. I always saw him as the person I needed to beat to get to the next level although I always thought highly of him and recognized that he was a sweet, kind person. Whenever you come from small towns, those towns talk and word spreads like wildfire. Everybody really knows everybody, what they’re doing, and where they are. Thankfully, I knew Brad was already at the same college from around the same place, and it eased my mind. My parents always told me if I got into any trouble I needed to go see Brad, and he would take care of me. So I did…but it wasn’t because I was in trouble. We would go horseback riding from time to time, he would always offer to cook for me, and we would just talk to each other for a couple hours or so. As soon as I was confronted to make a decision about going out on a date with him, I kinda freaked out and backed away. I didn’t want to lose a good friend because of dating. I finally agreed to go on a date with him close to my junior year of college. Brad never TRULY had a girlfriend or dated anyone before he started dating me. He told me that when he saw me at college for the first time, he knew he was going to marry me. He waited, waited, and waited for me to give him a “yes” for a first date. He prayed for me during this time of rejection. What endurance, patience, persistence, faith, and LOVE! Can y’all imagine the hurt and pain of rejection and just waiting around for a prayer to hopefully be answered? I CANNOT. The beautiful hidden message behind our story is that Jesus watches us pursue worldly things. He knows some of us are keeping Him only in the “friend zone” when we need to have a more intimate relationship with Him. He’s waiting for us to call on Him for His guidance. Brad most certainly called to God to help him understand if he should keep pursuing me, and for that, I am so grateful. The Lord had His hand in our relationship from the beginning, and now, we are two months from being married. Don’t keep Jesus waiting to have a more personal relationship with Him. He looks down on our sinful lifestyles but is loving and forgiving when we ask Him for those things and turn away from it. I know that my Brad isn’t Jesus, but just as Brad was faithful and patient with me yet became discouraged and disappointed in me at times, he still chose to love me and pursue me anyway. Jesus is like that with us! Get Him out of that “friend zone” to go into a deeper relationship with Him.