Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I met him years ago when I was a kid. He seemed kind and fun and we became friends. For a long time, I only saw him every once in a while, usually on Sundays at church. We sat near each other. In the pews of my Baptist church with their mustard yellow cushions, I thought about him. I watched him.
In high school, we attended the same youth camp. It was in that West Texas camp that I really started talking to him. I found him so funny and adventurous. My crush bloomed and I started hanging out with him all I could. My friends saw a difference in me. When I returned to the hallways of my school, I talked about him. A lot.
In college, I decided I wanted to not only be around him every day, but I wanted to spend my life helping him with his cause. He wanted to save the world. An idealist for sure. But his fire, his passion ignited something in me. I joined the movement.
In my early twenties, I decided to marry. He wanted to be a part of the decision, but I didn't think it was really his concern. I mean, I told him about the guy, but he wanted to offer his advice. No thank you. Tragically I faced rejection and not marriage. My world collapsed. I blamed him. I don't know why. I decided to go my own way and leave the movement.
Even though I didn't want him to, he followed me. I told him to stop stalking me but at the same time I wanted him to be with me. I needed him.
For years, our relationship looked like two friends who say hello once a day and have dinner twice a week. But our meals consisted of me talking. He listened and occaisionally tried to give me his own take on life. I ignored him. I interrupted him. I treated him badly. He didn't leave. Once I asked him why he stayed my friend when I treated him so badly. He just smiled. I melted.
He introduced me to John. He was the first to visit at the hospital when I gave birth to Noah. He started calling every day asking me to hang out with him more.
I told him our occasional get togethers were enough.
But they weren't. Not really. But it would take such effort to put him into my busy schedule. So I didn't.
My marriage fell apart. The woman I thought I was, the woman I thought I was supposed to be, disappeared.
In my despair, I remembered that he always said he would come if I needed him. I called. He showed up immediately.
For the first time in my life I experienced something I'd never felt. Complete desperation. I knew He possessed the strength, the wisdom, the joy I needed. He would guide me if I let Him.
My desperation led me to a new kind of relationship with God.
I gave up control. I told Him to lead.
We started getting together every day. At first our times together were short, but more meaningful than ever. As my marraige healed, the three of us made a point of hanging out together. Then Noah joined us. John and I asked our friend to became a part of the family. A central part.
Today I cannot imagine life without Him. I cannot imagine experiencing the pain of life without Him to hold me and guide me and give me joy. I cannot imagine enjoying the incredible marriage I do without Him being the glue that keeps us committed and passionate. I cannot imagine raising a son without His wisdom and principles to guide how we teach and love our boy.
I cannot imagine.
I look back at the years and I see that His consistent love and presence has poured lavish grace on my life. And since I choose to live in His presence daily, moment by moment, that lavish grace runs deep in my life. It grows my faith and gives me laughter. It spurs me on to keep writing and follow the adventures He has for me.
The times we have alone are so precious to me. Our relationship has grown into a joyful and dangerous love. It is worth the choices I must make each day. He never forces Himself into my life. I must invite Him.
So I do. Every day.