(Sorry for the delay in getting back to this. I finally graduated and can, for the first time in a long while, get back to writing.)
The ministry newsletter told me that Linda and Ernie were doing well, had bought a townhouse in the suburbs, and the group was still together and meeting for church on Sundays.
I was reluctant to attend meetings, given my condition, but was happily reconnected with Linda and Ernie via phone. I was invited to join them for Thanksgiving dinner (an invitation eagerly accepted) and apparently turkey has labor-inducing properties, as I, and 23 other women found ourselves in the labor and delivery ward of Lutheran General Hospital the next day.
I made the decision to place my child for adoption, and, after several weeks of recovery, headed off for college. From there we continued the ministry as best we could: Publishing a newsletter, getting together on the occasional weekend, and making plans for the future.
As so often happens, however, members of our group began to drop out. The complaints were vague, but most often had to do with the fact that we weren't like a "real" church: We had no building, elders, deacons, or somesuch. The irony of all this was, of course, that it is a bit difficult to put all this structure together without a core group of dedicated people. So in the end our crazy community was made up of Linda, Ernie and myself. And, after some poor choices on my part, I ended up also leaving the ministry, (though remaining friends with Linda and Ernie).
I recently spoke with Linda about the "old days", and as we laughed together about some of our blunders, I mentioned that I now wish that I had had more faith during that time. Linda said "Well, actually, I wish we had had more sense.". I think that we were both left a little confused and shaken by these revelations. Should we have had more sense? Did we make the stupid mistakes of the young and immature? Yes. But should we have had more faith in God, and in each other? Yes.
Here I am now, twenty years later, sitting at a desk in a downtown high-rise, wondering what happened to the zeal I had in my youth. I look back on the wasted years, damning myself for my bad choices and unfaithfulness, and wondering if I can ever manage to pick up the pieces.