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I apologize if it seems all I write about any more is my wedding. It’s consumed my thoughts and thus my writing. That said, I’m going to talk about it some more.

A week from today, I’ll be getting married. A year ago at this time, I was dealing with the emotions of realizing that it was going to be at least a year before I got married. At first, it made me upset. I was finally engaged, and now I had to wait some more?!

It made me angry, and a little bit sorry for myself. I’d long ago learned that complete honesty in prayer with the Lord was better than half-hearted but religious platitudes. At the time, I couldn’t pray that He would make me happy to wait. I just couldn’t.

So instead, I prayed that the longing I felt to be married to Clay would teach my heart what it really means to long for Jesus’ return.

If that seems like a non-sequitar, let me explain;

Throughout the Bible, God’s relationship with his people is depicted as being like that of a husband and a wife.

In the very beginning, in Genesis, it is said that God created humans, both men and women, “in the image of God,” meaning that they, at their very essence, reflect key things about who God is and what He is like. Man is made first, and then women is created for man, to be his mate.
“The man said ‘This [woman] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:32,24:

Later, God continually refers to himself as a “husband” to his chosen people, Israel.

“In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.'” (Hosea 2:16)
“For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name” -(Isaiah 54:5)
“”Return, faithless people,” declares  the LORD, “for I am your husband.” (Jer 3:14 )

In the New Testament, the references continue, now with Jesus being referred to as the “bridegroom” to his faithful people. Paul even goes so far as to say that the major reason that God created marriage like He did was to provide us with a living picture of himself;
” ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery – but I am saying it refers to Christ and the church.” – Ephesians 5:31,32

Finally, the references conclude in the final book of the Bible, Revelations. In this book, the future return of Jesus is described as  “wedding” – where the Groom, Jesus, will finally, once and for all, be fully united to the people who have chosen to love Him – His Bride, the Church.  (Revelation 19, 21)

This picture has long been one of my favorites. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine the day when Jesus returns;
A triumphant Groom, the long, weary battle won, comes to claim His radiant bride and take her away to live with Him forever.

But for now, we live in the waiting period. As His church, we are engaged to Him – but the final marriage hasn’t come yet. And it is oh-so-hard.

I know that feeling.

I’ve been engaged for over 14 months now. I understand what it means to wait. Fortunately, God has been kind to me, and I actually really enjoyed the majority of my engagement.  In fact, I often wished it would slow down – I was comfortable being engaged. Liked it, actually. I didn’t see the need to hurry my wedding! Sometimes, in the middle of all the “engagement” and wedding planning activities, I would forget I was even getting married! But still, I often prayed that it would teach me what it meant to really long for Jesus’ return. And for most of my engagement, I felt like that prayer went unanswered. In the past two weeks, though, something changed.

Two weeks ago, I moved home to begin working on support and finish up wedding details, while Clay stayed behind in Athens to work. Of course, I miss him terribly. And somewhere, in the middle of that, my heart started to shift.

This past week, I’ve acutely felt the longing just to be with Clay. I want my wedding to hurry up and get here – not because I want to wear a pretty dress, or put my hair up, or even to celebrate with loved ones – but because my wedding will mean he’ll be here, with me. I’ll be able to not just hear him – but see him. Touch him. Be with him. And I won’t have to say goodbye.

That’s what it means to long for Jesus’ return.

So often, we get trapped up in the insignificant and the momentary, we lose sight of the eternal. We get comfortable on this earth – enjoy it even.  We occupy ourselves with things, good things even – family, church, ministry, jobs – and forget what we’re really waiting for.

How often have you heard someone say, (or perhaps even said it yourself) “I’m not ready for Jesus to come back, I haven’t (insert unfulfilled desire here) yet,” ?

What silliness! What bride should say, “I’m not ready for my wedding, I haven’t cleaned the grout in my bathroom yet,”?!?

None of the things we think we’re waiting for could be better than spending eternity in Heaven with the God who loves us more than any groom has ever loved any bride. 

I don’t long for Jesus’ return the way I should. I don’t ache for Heaven with the intensity and the fervor that I should. And this side of Heaven, I probably never will.

But in this gift of my year-long engagement, I have learned a little bit how I ought to. A little more of my heart everyday is learning to cry, “Maranatha! – Come, Lord Jesus, Come!”

Yes – Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

I’m getting married in 2 months. Actually, 69 days to be exact. On May 24, 2014, I will make the most solemn vows of my entire life, and officially become Mrs. Clay Selway. I will commit to not only share, but entirely give my money, my possessions, my future, my body, my soul to one man. Forever. No way out.

And he’s not “The One.”

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I love Clay with everything I have. He makes me laugh. He makes the bad days good and the good days better. He challenges me to be a better person, and comforts me when I’ve failed that challenge. He’s the kindest, gentlest, sweetest person I know. He’s my best friend, my hero, and the only man I’d ever want to be my husband.

But he’s still not my soul mate, and definitely not “The One.”

Not that I didn’t spend the first 18 years of my life longing to meet my “One.” Growing up, like any good midwestern girl, I was fed a steady diet of the idealized American romance. One boy, one girl – two star-crossed lovers who fight across space and time to fulfill their destiny of being together. From Disney movies to romance novels, I ate it all up. I had my own copy of “Romeo and Juliet,” that I read until the pages started to fall out. I literally watched “The Princess Bride” so many times I could have recited it in my sleep. I loved it. And I wanted it.

But no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t seem to find it. Even the best boyfriend I had failed my weighty list of expectations. No man in the world seemed like they would ever fulfill the ideal I’d built up. I sat around and lamented to my girlfriends ruefully, “I think God made me a man, but somewhere along the way he got hit by bus.” The humor was a thin veneer for some very thick disappointment.

After wading through the smoking rubble from a broken relationship with someone I thought was “The One”,  I met my now fiance, Clay, through some mutual friends. After a year of friendship, we began a careful dating relationship. 2 years after that, he asked me to be his wife. And in just 2 months, we will become one. But he isn’t “The One.”

You see, Clay will never be “The One.” In fact, I don’t even think there is a “One,” not on this earth at least. The very concept of a “One” implies that there is one, singular person out there that will fulfill every single desire of my heart, meet every single need, and heal every single hurt.

What an incredible burden! Actually, what a crushing burden. No man, not even Clay (and I admit I think he’s the best man out there) could do that. Think of who many needs, wants, desires, and hurts you have – could just one person ever take care of all that?

As a Christian, I believe that human beings have eternal souls. Souls that are filled with an immense, infinite amount of desires and wants. We need to be loved perfectly, to be known perfectly, to be cherished perfectly. But, as the they say “no one’s perfect.” And thus, no one, not even your spouse, no matter how well matched, will ever be able to fulfill you fully.

But our culture has told us this lie, and we’ve ate it up. And so we date, and break up, marry and divorce, all the while searching, searching, searching for someone, anyone to fill this aching hole inside of us. But they can’t. And they don’t. And they never will.

I think C.S. Lewis got it right when he famously said, ““If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

You see, I think we were made for another world. A world with no longing, no sighing, no searching, no pain. No disappointment, no unmet expectations, no broken relationships, no emptiness. A world with a perfect relationship with a perfect God; an Infinite being to fill an infinite need. And though we haven’t lived in that perfect world since Genesis 2, I believe that through Jesus, we can still have that relationship with God. And through Him, even while I struggle through this broken world, I have an infinite source to fill my never-ending need.

This is something Clay and I came to realize before we dated each other, and something we realize a little more every day. Because we both have a relationship with Jesus, we have all of our infinite needs, wants, and desires fulfilled. We don’t have to turn to each other for them.

This means that while I still receive things like love, affection, friendship, and affirmation from Clay, I don’t have to. I don’t demand them, but rather can receive them as a gift. On the bad days (or weeks, or months, or years), I don’t have to receive anything from Clay. Fulfilled in my relationship with God, I can choose to serve Clay when he’s not serving me, give when he’s only taking, and love when he’s nothing but unloveable. And on the good days (which, by God’s grace, will outnumber the bad) I will receive his gentle service, gifts, and love with a sense of undeserving joy and gratitude.

He’s not “The One.” The unchangable, unshakeable, never-failing God is “The One.” And Clay is a wonderful, beautiful, completely undeserved gift given to me by The One.

On May 24, 2014, I will become one with someone I love more than my own body. I will happily join with the one God has given me, and together, as one, we will serve The One.

I’m getting married, and he’s not “The One.” And I’m grateful for that.

I just this really great article at Relevant, and it really made me stop to think.

Now, I don’t have Instagram, but I have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and a blog. I use all of them every day. And I will admit that I often leave my computer defeated, feeling as if I don’t measure up. Like, my life isn’t as cute, or as romantic, or as wonderful as everyone else. And I start to wonder where I went wrong, or, even worse, I begin to question God.

The article hits it spot on; “I so easily fall prey to the seduction of other people’s partial truths and heavily filtered photos, making everything look amazing. And their amazing looking lives make me feel not amazing at all.”

Partial truths and heavily filtered experiences. That’s the nature of the Internet. Just today, I posted these photos of my engagement. They are everything that moment was; Sweet, surprising, beautiful, and so full of love.

But that’s what it was. A moment. A 10 minute span of time. What those photos have failed to show is the long 2.5 year relationship, and agonizing 6 month struggle that lead up to that moment. This is the reality.

Clay and I have been dating for over two years. We’ve known each other for three. Our relationship has been wonderful, but it’s also been really hard work. Back breaking at times. You don’t bring two people together with 20+ years of history, much of it difficult, without conflict.

The past 6 months alone for us were, quite frankly, awful. We’ve been long distance. We weren’t communicating well. There were lies we both believed about how the other felt and thought. We harbored hurt feelings, bitterness, anger, resentment. For three months, we had disagreements just about every time we talked. There were two months where I lay awake at night every night, worrying. There was a moment that I thought we might not make it.

But we did. It was hell, but we did. We struggled. We cried. We prayed. We sought counsel. We read the Word. We prayed, and prayed some more. We (ok, I) cried even more than I prayed. We WORKED. And it was hard, but it was so worth it, because it brought us to the moment when those photos were taken.

And that’s what it was. A moment, preceded by a billion others filled with blood, sweat, and lots of tears. So remember that, when you look at my photographs (or statuses, or Tweets, or blogs, or whatever) or anyone else’s.

One moment, proceeded by a billion other happy, sad, and mundane moments. That’s life.

Image

So my friend Hanna wrote this really awesome blog post about married/single labels and feeling alone. (You should probably go read it here.)

The post got me thinking a lot about something I’ve been feeling, but haven’t been able/haven’t wanted to articulate. I haven’t been able to articulate it until now because it’s been so painful, and haven’t wanted to because I’m afraid people will think I’m immature/bratty/dramatic/etc. But here it goes. //Start soapbox.

Feeling alone is a peculiar feeling. Elisabeth Elliot describes it as a fundamental distortion of who man was supposed to be: A creature in full, perfect harmony with others and its Creator. But, because of sin, we feel disconnected. Unattached. Adrift. Alone.

My friend says she feels alone sometimes because she is married. I feel alone because I am not. We’re both in different places, yet feeling the same way for me. To be honest, it really is hard for me, (and probably for the well-intentioned woman who wrote this article,) to look at my married friends, and fathom how they could be lonely.

(Side note: This might look different for people whose friends have been married for quite some time, or especially for those whose friends are not yet married. But this is coming from my perspective, in which a great chunk of my friends have gotten married in the past year, or are getting married in the next year.)

It’s so hard for me to look at married life from my angle, and not simply see all of the positives: A real home, furnished with things not found in the basement of a rental house (not at all an example of my life…) A constant partner, a friend who is always there (literally and figuratively.) A warm bed shared with a best friend. 

That’s where my (and I think most single people’s) imagination ends. And then we wallow and feel sorry for ourselves and cry on the pink and teal giraffe bedsheets we bought when we were 18 and can’t get rid of because we can’t afford it. (Totally a made up situation right there…)

And I’d imagine that it runs somewhat in the other direction as well. Married people see all of the hard things about marriage, and long for the parts of singleness that were actually pretty awesome.  So there we both are, feeling hurt, misunderstood, and very, very alone.

But maybe the real point is that we feel often alone because we let ourselves feel that way. 

I’m totally preaching to the choir here, but we feel alone because we let ourselves imagine that no one can possibly understand how we feel. And that’s just dumb.

Single people: I echo Hanna – stop feeling so misunderstood. Remember your married friends were single once. Remember they still like pretty much all the same things they liked when they were single. Remember that they’re a human being, and if they’ve hurt your feelings or made you feel isolated, you should probably just tell them. In short: Be a loving friend.

Married people: This goes for you too! Stop feeling so misunderstood. If you’ve forgotten, then try to remember that you were once single. Remember that your single friends probably are hurting in one way or another, but it may not be how you think. Remember that your single friends definitely want to share in your life, but probably feel really awkward in conversations about things in which they have no experience to share (sex, husbands, wedding planning, etc.) Remember that they’re also human beings. Like I said, in short: Be a loving friend.

I don’t think I’m anywhere near done feeling alone. I don’t think I’ve got this all right and figured out. I’m sure I’ve hurt my married friend’s feelings with insensitivity to their feelings of aloneness as often as I’ve had mine hurt. The point is, feeling alone, at least in many cases, is a solvable problem.

“Turn your loneliness into solitude and your solitude into prayer.”

Ok, end soapbox.//

I’m going to go back to my pink and teal giraffe sheeted bed and drink some tea out of a crappy mug I found in the basement of the house I’m renting….

“Your romantic relationship, is meant to make Jesus look big more than it is meant to provide you personal fulfillment.”

That quote from an article  I read on The Gospel Coalition the other day really stuck out to me. The idea that my relationship with my boyfriend is meant to make Jesus look good more than it is meant to make me feel good is nothing new. In fact, that idea was something that we outline as one of our primary goals in dating each other before we even began dating. On our list of boundaries, we even listed 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 (“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body,”) as one of the definitions of the way in which we would relate to each other.

So, at least on paper, I had an understanding of this idea.  However, in this season of my life, it’s been becoming more and more obvious. Now, before I get started, I want to make it clear. I love my boyfriend. He is wonderful. He is kind, funny, gentle, loyal, patient, thoughtful, humble, loving, and affectionate. He has one of the biggest servant’s hearts I’ve ever seen. He is a man of God I’m blessed to be dating, and yes, he makes me very happy. I have a ton of fun with him. Our relationship does provide me with an immense amount of satisfaction.

BUT (there’s always a but), that’s not the point of our relationship. And I’ve been seeing that play out. Clay is a year older than me, and just graduated. We’ll be spending this next year (at least) in a long distance relationship as he lives Columbus and I live in Athens. We’re stuck being far apart. We don’t get to see each other like we’d like to. Because I’m school and he needs to work, our relationship can’t be at the stage we’d like it to be.  We submit ourselves to boundaries and restrain our affections.

Those things aren’t fun. I’m not going to lie. They just aren’t. I’ve cried about all of them. Sometimes, I really hate them. But we do them because we believe that making Jesus look good is more important than making ourselves feel good.

But there, in obedience born out of our deep love for Jesus, is something very sweet. There is a deep, surpassing, unfailing grace. Grace that makes me able to say “no” to myself, and “yes” to glorifying the Lord. Grace that enables me to get through the days when missing him seems unbearable, and savor the days that we’re together. Grace that allows me to praise and give thanks in ALL circumstances, even this one. Grace that enables me to say, “Not my will, but thine.”

And that is love. Not what our culture says of love, which is made unbridled passion, shirking responsibilities, or breaking rules. But real, true, deep love. Love that is willing to give up what it wants for the good of another.  Love that is willing to wait, for a season, for a sweeter and greater reward. Love that is patient, kind, gentle. Love that bears all things, even when it means separation. Believes all things, even when the belief is that it is best to be apart. Hopes all things, even when that hope seems so far off. Endures all things, even when the thought of a year of this seems unendurable, because there is a far greater Love we submit to. 

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
(1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV)

I’ve been debating this post for some time now, unable to decide whether it would be appropriate and beneficial to publish it.  Of course, I mean all that I say within it, and it’s all true.  However, as a sister in Christ, I do care about my brothers – and I think too often, we resort to bashing them as they learn how to be men, instead of encouraging them.  I pray that this post will not be of that sort. I pray that this post is written in humility, love, and sincerity, and that it is read in a similar manner.

That being said, I’m going to attempt to move on to say what is burdening my heart, however clumsily I express it. And it is this – it never gets any less painful to see women that I love broken and defeated by men. It never pains me any less to hear stories of women bruised and hurting from mistreatment. And I will never cease to get tears in my eyes to see a woman of God in tears over a man in her life who isn’t treating her like the daughter of the King that she is.

All of this might be a tad bit easier if the men involved were not believers. If this were so, what they did would still be wrong, but at least understandable.  How can you expect a man who is blind and lame to lead a woman without damaging her?  But these men are Christians, or at least claim to be.

And lest I misconstrue anything, I want to say that I realize that I am absolutely blessed to be surrounded by the men that I know.  You are godly, and growing, and encouraging, and I appreciate you. That being said, much of the damage being done to these women that I love is unintentional.  Hurt caused by men who had no intent of doing so.  Pain inflicted by men who, in all honesty, were probably desperately trying to discern God’s will in their lives.

I get that. I really do. We’re all young. We’re all growing. We need patience and grace.  But here is what I think many men fail to understand –

Women. Are. Fragile.

I’ll say it again. We’re fragile. Delicate. Fine. Fragile.

Sure, sometimes we have backs of steel (or at least we pretend we do). But we have limbs of porcelain and hearts of much finer material.

Understand this, please. We are much, much more breakable than you, or your guy friends. Don’t break us any more than this world already has, enmeshed in sin as it is.

Don’t flirt with us if you aren’t going to pursue us. Don’t even start. If you want to pursue a relationship, pursue it. Don’t leave us hanging.

Don’t begin to pursue us, and then back out. Be serious. Good intentions aren’t enough.  Many Christian men with good intentions still hurt their sisters because they rush into pursuing her before they really think about it, and then have to back out and leave a crushed woman in their wake.

Don’t date us if you aren’t ready. And by all means, don’t marry us if you aren’t ready to love us like Christ loves the Church!

Please, in all your dealings with women, remember – we are far more fragile and easily hurt than you can even imagine.

“live… in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ”
(1 Peter 3:7 ESV)

I’m a Christan. And I’ve been single for 1 year, 1 week, and 3 days.

It sounds like the introduction for some sort of support group. A little cheesy, a little rehearsed, and definitely ridiculous. But, according to what appears to be the prevailing attitude in the Christian subculture, it might be necessary.

As a member of the Christian subculture, I am part of the problem. This I will openly admit. So please, in the post that follows, don’t misunderstand. I am critical if only because I care.  I’m seeing (and experiencing) the damage that this subtle attitude does to our young men and women, and it makes me sad.

At the surface level, the preoccupation with relationships is natural.  Christianity is a faith that emphasizes relationships above all else.  At the head of our lives is our relationship with our God and Savior, Jesus.  Through his love, we are enabled to form rich relationships with others – spurring them on to turn to a relationship with Christ, or further one they already have. All relationships, whether filial, familial, friendly, or romantic, are beautiful and enriching when centered on and formed through Christ.

The subtle tendency to emphasize marriage relationships, and therefore dating relationships, though, has somehow crept into American Christianity.  Maybe it’s a backlash to the tragically high divorce rate.  Maybe it’s a reflection of our secular American culture, which emphasizes the idea that without a significant other, you have nothing of significance.  Most likely, it’s a combination of both.

This idea of the “hurry up and marry so you can have a family and be a ‘Proverbs 31 Woman’ ” is a trap that I have fallen into over and over again.  I lose sight of my love for Jesus because I’m so focused on finding a man to love.

But here’s the truth. The “Proverbs 31 Woman” isn’t blessed because she has a husband and children to serve.  She’s blessed because she serves. She serves with skill, wisdom, strength, courage, and humility.

And whether single, married, widowed, or divorced, those who have been covered by the blood of the Lamb are always blessed.

I may be single. But I’m not cursed. I’m blessed.

The concept of forgiveness is a tricky one.

Certainly, it is one mandated by the Bible and a step in experiencing the joy of God’s forgiveness for us more fully.   But, like I’m realizing with a lot of Biblical concepts, the tough part is figuring out how to apply it to daily life.

Right now, I’m wrestling with forgiveness.  Forgiving people who have hurt me in the past used to be a struggle I could barely overcome.  It was too painful, too stinging.  I was hardened by 17 years without Christ.  I’d like to think that I’m making pretty good progress in that avenue, through prayer and some good old fashioned surrender.

The question for me now, though, is this – what does forgiveness look like when the person you have to forgive continues to hurt you, again and again?  When you’ve done all you can – loving confrontation, changes in your own behavior, prayer, and forgiveness for the past – and the hurt continues to come, what do you do?

Of course, I agree that you need to prayerfully and thoughtfully extend forgiveness with each new transgression.  But what about that person’s rejection?

Do you continue extending invitations for interaction and relation, even when 9 times out of 10, it is going to be met with a rejection that will sting?

Or do you withdraw, and avoid contact unless that person initiates?

Part of me keeps telling me to withdraw, to run.  And the other part keeps reminding me that Jesus continually extended invitations for interaction and relation, even as I not only rejected Him, but acted in rebellion against Him.

What would you do? I really am at a loss here.

Forgiveness is hard.

Photo used from http://www.saintdunstanschurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/reaching-hands.jpg

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self control.

The Fruits of the Spirit. Out of all of those, only two have ever come naturally me – love and joy. As long as I can remember, I’ve been gifted to be (for the most part) naturally joyful. Some might call it “easily entertained”, but I prefer to think of it as taking delight in the smallest of things. Even when things are hard, or even downright awful – it doesn’t take much to inspire at least a small moment of joy in me.

Lately, though, this hasn’t been as easy for me. In the midst of spring quarter, joy hasn’t been the easiest emotion to come by.  I’ve had to work for it.  Struggle for it.  Fight for it.

But in doing so, I’ve realized all of the things that I really do have that are reasons for joy. I have more reasons for joy than I deserve. So, here they are. Why I am fighting for joy;

  • a wonderful group of friends who know me intimately (and love me anyway)
  • a beautiful campus to call home
  • a great Bible study to bring encouragement to my Tuesday nights
  • a dorm filled with friends
  • the opportunity to join with 400 other college kids on praise God on my Thursday nights
  • a great job with hilarious co-workers
  • the wealth of opportunities for growth, friendship, and fellowship that Campus Crusade for Christ has provided me
  • plenty of laughter
  • deep discussions
  • books!
  • flowers
  • coloring books and 152-count crayons
  • picnics by the Hocking
  • bright green ESV pocket Bibles
  • laughter. laughter. laughter. – Never hard to come by

This is worth fighting for.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Is 55:12

I really wrestled with whether or not to post this, simply because it is so personal and vulnerable. After sleeping on it and getting it proof-read, I finally decided that it would be worth it to post it, because of this – in the past few days, I have noticed a trend among my friends in our conversationsAs women, we have a few similar desires. We want to be loved. We long to feel beautiful. We ache to know that we are worth it. But everything in this world is fighting against us, trying to distract us from what will ultimately fulfill those desires. It’s good to be reminded of the truth. So, here it goes.

Sometimes, life is really hard.

Maybe it’s being in a secular college setting, or maybe it’s taking a tough double-major course-load, or maybe it’s just life. But sometimes, it’s really hard – I feel lonely. I long for love. I battle with myself as I fight the temptation to attract inappropriate attention to myself with the way I dress. I want to be beautiful.

But, in times like this, it is wonderful to come to the Lord and be in His presence.

To come to him and remember first knowing Jesus as my savior, and recalling how his perfect love finally filled that hole in my heart.  Remembering how, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel alone.  When my longing to love and be loved finally had a place in which to be fulfilled.

To counter the lies with the Truth, and realize that I am so desirable and so worthwhile that Jesus suffered and died and bore the wrath of God’s sin for me – even as my rebellious soul hated him and wandered.

To read his Word and realize that I am already wanted. I am already being pursued.  And nothing I can wear or do will ever change that.

To come to the Scriptures, and hear the words “You are beautiful, because I am beautiful,” whispered between the lines on every page.  The message ingrained in between every word in a book that describes a God so mighty that he could create the vibrant cosmos out of nothing, move the mountains with his hands, tell the sea to calm with his voice. A book that describes the same God working every moment of history to bring his people to him, to save them. To know them personally. To love them intimately.

To come to realize that in Jesus, I have everything that I long for – A man who stands in front of me, with more love in his eyes than every man in all the world – past, present, and future combined – could ever muster, and thinks more than “Wow,”.  He thinks, “Yes. This one is mine. I formed her before she was born.  I watched her as she grew.  I predestined her to know and love me.  And on the day that she came into my arms, I and all of heaven lept with joy.  Yes.  This one is mine.  Forever.”

On days like this, I am speechless. What words can describe a love like this? He is good.

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Past Musings