To this day, it truly blessed Anna to think that Cailyn had led hundreds of people to the Lord with her testimony. Especially young girls who struggle with low self-esteem or who try to measure up to the world’s stand and image of what a girl should look and act like. Anna always wondered just after that thought, what if she hadn’t been nice to Cailyn at first? What if she had been just as mean and cruel back to her? It would’ve been so much easier, and that thought always twisted her heart with painful understanding.
“Here’s the truly amazing part. To show you just how good God is, that evening, Cailyn was planning on taking her own life. She was a drug addict who hated herself and her life. She was miserable and wanted me to be as miserable as she was. At the time, she didn’t know that’s what she was doing. Only later she learned that hurt people, hurt people. That was why she was trying so hard to shut me down. But when she saw that nothing she said or did robbed me of my joy, she had to find out why.
“So, before she took her life, she came here first to find out why I was so happy and she wasn’t. I told her that my happiness wasn’t based on my circumstances no matter how hard things got, but instead, it was based on Who Christ was and what He had done for me and for her. I told her that happiness was a choice I had to make. She said that was easy for me because I had a business and money. I told her none of those things mattered. What mattered was how much Jesus loved me.
“That’s when she told me what others had said to her about being worthless and that she was so awful even God couldn’t love her. I assured her He did. I even shared how bad I was before giving my life to Christ. She was shocked to find out the things I had done.” Things Anna wasn’t proud of to this day, but also things she knew she had been forgiven for and chose to let go of because God already had. “We talked a little bit more and with tears in her eyes she asked if she could have what I had. She asked the Lord to come into her life and now here she is, working for me and sharing the gospel right alongside me.”
Nicholas looked over at Cailyn standing only a few feet away from them now with her hand rested on top of the mop handle, smiling over at them. “She told you about me, didn’t she?” Cailyn asked.
“She did.” Nicholas smiled. “What an amazing testimony.”
“Sure is. God is so good.” Cailyn looked at Anna. “Thank God for Anna. If it wasn’t for her, I would be dead.” Love and admiration flowed from Cailyn to Anna. The feeling was mutual. Anna loved and admired her too.
“Well thank God Anna was here.” Nicholas switched his attention from Cailyn to Anna. Warm approval not only occupied his gentle smile, but his blue eyes, as well.
Not wanting the glory to go to anyone except the Lord, Anna tore her gaze away and quickly interjected, “The glory belongs to the Lord, and Him alone. ‘No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him’.” Anna knew as well as anyone that those were Jesus’s words, not hers.
“John 6: 44,” Nicholas whispered, his voice full of reverence.
“That’s right.” Anna’s eyes jumped up to him, her heart skipped that Nicholas knew scripture.
From the corner of her eye, Anna saw Cailyn disappear into the back room, leaving her alone with Nicholas in the quiet store.
Nicholas noticed her leaving too, and he fell wordless for a long minute. “Anna, I know we’ve just met and all, but my uncle’s law firm is having their annual masquerade Christmas party, and I was wondering if you would go with me.”
Shock hit her, dropping her mouth open. Even so, without much debate, she knew her answer. Of course, she would love to go with him. Anything to spend more time with Nicholas so she could get to know him better. “When is it?”
“This Saturday evening.”
Saturday. Three days away. “I’m sure I can work something out with Cailyn so that I can get away.”
“I’ll take care of things,” Cailyn hollered from the back. Ah hah. So she hadn’t completely disappeared. She was still close enough to overhear their conversation.
Anna couldn’t have stopped the smile even if she wanted to. Her friend was a character and a half and Anna loved her. Every day since giving her life to Christ more and more of Cailyn’s personality and who she truly was when she wasn’t trying to please people was coming out. She was like a spring flower blossoming in to what they were created to be. “Well, I guess that means I can go.”
“Great. I’ll pick you up around seven-thirty, if that’s okay?”
“That’s fine,” Cailyn hollered again. “We’re usually closed by then anyway, and I can clean up and take care of anything else that comes up.”