so i had my answer. zach was dating someone else. he had never been interested in me “that way.”
God was still good. and as much as i was disappointed, i wasn’t heartbroken or devastated. if zach wasn’t the guy for me, then that meant God had someone better and I just had to wait.
we can sort of hit “fast forward” for the 9 months that followed. in a nutshell, i continued to enjoy my single life (traveled to visit friends, kept super active in my singles group, served my church, worked full time in the office…).
and zach and i somehow stayed friends. we still chatted online several times a week and texted occasionally. raigan and i went out for another new year’s eve / rose bowl parade weekend and hung out with zach and his girlfriend, among other friends. zach’s band, west coast revival, did a concert at new attitude (2007) and we hung out during that weekend too. (at one point i did asked zach how his girlfriend felt about us keeping up communication and hanging out; apparently they had decided not to let their dating relationship keep them from their other friendships, plus one of her best friends was a guy, so it was fine by her. ::shrug:: )
so one monday in september i noticed that zach’s “relationship status” had changed on facebook and was no longer listing him as “in a relationship.” whoa. where did THAT come from?? it seemed completely out of the blue, so naturally i picked up my phone and texted him right away. hey i saw the fb relationship status change. is everything ok? it wasn’t. he was a wreck. he was emotional and dramatic and felt like his life was falling apart. i was shocked and had no idea what to do. we texted furiously for the next 24 hours as he dealt with the break up and i attempted to extended some form of care from 400 miles away. coincidentally (ha!), raigan and i were coming out to pasadena that very weekend for a wedding and would be staying at jonathan & nicole’s. i texted zach hey, i’m actually going to be in town this weekend. why don’t we get coffee on saturday morning and talk? he agreed.
that saturday morning i woke up early. zach met me out front and we walked to the local coffee shop a couple blocks away and then took our coffee to the nearby park. and he started to spill. the nutshell version (aka the blog version) is that God had convicted zach that while everything looked fine and dandy on the outside, there were a lot of areas in his life that he was not truly and/or fully submitting to the Lord, and that there needed to be some dramatic changes in his life to get back on track.
i’m pretty sure i didn’t say anything helpful or profound during that coffee conversation in the park. i mumbled something or other about God being at work in his life but i mostly just tried to be a comfort. he was very discouraged… but there was still a glimmer of hope in his heart. i’m not sure he even saw it, but i did. i had hope for him!
(interesting side note #1 – while we were sitting at the park drinking coffee, jonathan & nicole walked by across the street on their way to get coffee themselves. nicole remembers looking over and thinking, “oh what a cute couple! oh wait – that’s zach and andrea. ack! oops! i mean… nevermind?”)
(interesting side note #2 – that park we were sitting at? it’s 1 block away from our current apartment. yep! we live just down the street! looking back, we both shake our heads and think “if you had told us THEN, that in 3 ½ years we would be married to each other, living a block away and zach would be an Air Traffic Controller we would have thought you were crazy!” i love seeing how God works.)
the next couple months were months of intense growth for zach. he worked very hard and very closely with his dad to allow God to grow him into the man he should be – one who submits his life to the Lord and seeks to live fully for Him first and foremost in all areas. we didn’t see each other much in the couple months that followed, but we continued to stay in moderate contact. he came out to arizona in november for a regional men’s conference that my church was hosting and we hung out a lot there (i was part of the administrative team helping put on the conference).
(pictured here with my friends drew and josh who are now married to two very dear friends of mine! see the pink jacket? and the pink bug on my name tag? those were the indicators for the 6 of us girl staff who worked the conference – our boss wanted to make sure we all stood out in the sea of 800 male attendees haha!)
so you may be wondering what my reaction was to zach suddenly being single and available again. did i immediately start liking him all over again and begin hoping that we would get together now? nope. not at all. not even close. by this time i had realized that he definitely didn’t see me “that way” and i had simply become very thankful for the close friendship that we had. i was happy with that and not interested in anything more. honest truth. in fact, i even started dating someone else…