As I mentioned previously, I spent two semesters in Fort Worth. My third semester in seminary I moved back to Oklahoma. I moved into my parents home with the intention of going overseas for two years the following summer. I wanted to spend extra time with my family knowing I would be leaving them for two years. By the grace of God I was part of my little brother accepting Jesus and getting baptized. I also began substitute teaching.
The application process for the International Mission Board began in the fall of 2011. I was accepted into the journeyman program to serve in Asia. Around the same time, my pastor’s wife made me aware of a mission opportunity in Nepal. Our church in Velma had a partnership with a pastor in Kathmandu. I felt the position in Nepal was a much better fit. Thus began preparation to leave for Nepal the next spring. No longer needing a seminary degree to serve as a missionary, I decided to take the spring semester off and use that time to continue to prepare for Nepal.
While in Oklahoma, Chris and I spent lots of time together. Neither of us were dating anyone at the time. One night in the fall, Chris and I were celebrating my decision to serve in Nepal. We went to eat then went swimming at his parents pool. International missions meant so much to me. But, it was something we had never been able to share together. I longed to see Chris experience the world like I had. I wanted him to be a part of missions like I had been, because I knew his heart. I knew he wanted to serve and I knew if he would just go, he would fall in love with it like I had.
I also knew that if I could convince him to go, then we could finally be together. Because honestly, at that point the only thing keeping me from Chris was the fact that he didn’t want to move internationally. I even told my brother that if Chris would do mission work with me, I would marry him. I was struggling between my love for missions and my love for Chris. I just would not give up overseas missions to be with him. That put a mental block in my relationship with Chris which kept me from letting the relationship go any further. And there were so many times I wanted our relationship to be more.
That fall night with him, I worked up the courage to face the block and be open with my best friend. I asked Chris to come to Nepal with me. I told him that I wanted him to be there with me, and we could be together serving alongside one another. That was my dream. I wanted to share it with my best friend. And even though my persuasiveness was compelling, he denied the offer. Chris declined due to responsibilities with his job and family. Of course I had meant what I asked. I wanted him to come so much. But, I expected him to say no. So when he did, I hid my emotions. I felt a deep sense of loss again realizing that my relationship with Chris Sanner would never be more than friendship. Though I did care for him beyond friendship, that limit remained. I accepted it once again and kept moving forward.
Again, I began the search for a boy who would travel the world with me. Chris and I continued supporting one another in our separate pursuits. He began dating a girl he met in Norman at church. I also began dating a boy I met at summer camp. Despite us dating other people, we still went to eat together every time Chris came home. He remained one of my biggest supporters for my trip to Nepal. And we remained best friends.