“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” G.K. Chesterton
Last February, I did something I hadn’t done for one year, since my whole world turned upside down.
I didn’t want to spend the morning in bed again, so I decided to rummage through my drawers for a set of matching black fleece gloves, the turquoise scarf that was soft and not too fuzzy, and that old backback I last threw into the corner of the closet.
I went through my pencil cup and found my favorite pen that writes smoothly from a wide tip point and searched the house until I finally found my camera sitting in the dark on a shelf, where I forgot I last left it.
It was foggy when I first started driving and my head was rushing tumbled with a cascading wall of thoughts to turn back. But, I kept my foot on the pedal and I tried my best to reign my thoughts back where I wanted to go.
Even if it ended up raining when I got there, I told myself I’d do as I’d done when I was single. I’d back up my SUV and sit in the trunk, with my legs propped up like my desk. I’d sip my decaf cup of coffee and I’d crack the windows open a bit, so windows wouldn’t fog up with my breath. Even if the raindrops blew in sideways a bit and the seats got pelted to one side, it wouldn’t matter.
I’d hear the rolling of waves, as foam crawled onto the sand.
I’d smell the sand after the sun baked the ocean into the land, as the wind carried its scent up into crags and crevices, into my breath.
I would look out into the large expanse of blue, gray and white.
And I would return to the place where my heart would always hear God, even when it felt like a house that was empty, except for the whispers of prayers.
This place was the ocean.
As I stepped out on the sand, shiny with the surf high, into the air wet with winter morning spray, I found my voice remembering and asking Jesus —
You once heard me whisper a dream. Will you hear me this time again?
I want to bring you back with me — to a story I recounted to myself two mornings before, as I wandered, looking for rest in my soul.
It was just a couple days from Valentine’s Day today and God brought me back to another chapter in my story — how in my thirties, I believed I had the gift of singleness. Not because I didn’t want romance or a husband. But, out of sheer logic. I just hadn’t met anyone who had been “The One”.
Today, I’d like to share this post with you – as we are, each of us, journeying to those places deep within us that are still waiting to be loved and to be cherished.
Even with a husband who loves me completely, those places within me are still whispering dreams, that I honestly wish would stop calling for me.
Because these are deep waters, where only Jesus can venture and where only He can recover.
Life seems so much easier, so much simpler, if I had no more dreams left to remember.
But, Jesus is saying —
These dreams are meant for you, even if they have been broken.
Because even though they can’t seem to be repaired in this moment — even if for very long —
I am standing in the midst of them, to whisper to you –
I love you.
The Dream You Dare To Whisper
If today you are making that return to those tender places in your heart — don’t hesitate to open up the parts of yourself that are still waiting to be touched back to life. To remember and to honor the you who Jesus loves deeply and will not forget.
Because when Jesus remembers the dreams you were meant to live, though it seems they are so far removed from you today, He remembers your pain.
And He honors it with His arms of love.
Even if no one else can hear or see it.
And He loves you.
Just like Ruth never expected she would find a Boaz while gathering leftover in the fields for Naomi, you are not forgotten.
You are not overlooked.
The dream you dare to whisper in private — God hears.
Like Ruth, you are focusing on the gathering — the work that’s right in front of you. You get up and lie down, faithful to encourage those around you, being thankful for the spiritual provision you find everyday.
Among my purpose-filled days as a single, there were sometimes deep, long nights, when the ache in my heart tore down into my gut. In those moments, I wondered if I would run into someone, the way Ruth stumbled onto Boaz’ fields….
Never Been Kissed
I don’t know if dogs and cats dream of getting their first kisses, but one thing’s for sure, humans are different.
I remember wanting my first kiss so badly, I thought I was going to die waiting. I did not want to get to college and be the only girl on campus whose only kiss was her bathroom mirror.
Luckily, despite my mother’s best efforts and my propensity to like books and play in the orchestra (the cool kids were in band and track-and-field), I did get my first kiss before donning cap and gown.
The kiss was just as magical and dizzying as it appears in the movies.
But, it wasn’t true love.
Not for him, anyways.
It was a bummer. The box for My First Kiss was checked off the same year as Dumped For The First Time.
Missing The Boat
Some people talk about not kissing anyone until they’re engaged, to end up marrying the first person they kissed. Real fairy-tale like.
Too bad, I always thought.
Why didn’t God have the first guy I fall in love with be my husband?
It was the first of many why-questions I’d start filing secretly away.
Many years passed. I could never find the magic of that first kiss again.
After some time, I grew up and got smart. I stopped believing there was “The One”.
If I missed the boat with “The One”, then I’d rather just be by myself and God.
It’s just you and me, God.
I liked it just fine.
There was enough to keep me kingdom forward and connected with people. Eight years fly by when you can serve with abandon, lots of friends to make and enjoy.
Then, one day, I met him.
He Was Different
Unlike other Christians guys who always stayed behind the lines of just being “friends”, he was different.
He wrote me digital letters every day for a month. Then, he asked me out on a date. Not to grab a bite to eat. A date.
In line for a flick, we found out our #1 favorite food was pizza and we both loved coffee. We couldn’t stop talking and we were laughing even though there were no jokes being told.
I decided to put out the “No Kissing” edict. My last kiss was many annual moons ago. I didn’t want to kiss any more frogs.
That’s how long we’d have to date exclusively before we could kiss.
He was smart. He smiled and nodded.
I didn’t make it past six weeks.
The kiss I received that day under a willow tree was the best kiss ever. It felt like my first kiss.
It didn’t bring me back to my kiss at seventeen.
It felt as if I had never been kissed.
… Until that moment with him.
Turn Back Time
If you’ve ever stopped believing that anything could be new again, God’s perfect timing can turn everything back to the first time.
The impossible happened that day we first kissed.
God became a lot more powerful than I imagined.
~ He works in mysterious ways we can’t explain.
~ He stirs and rearranges our hearts, when we’re not looking. When we don’t think anyone else is home, except us, He makes a space for love.
~ He is more capable than cupid, more magical than the most beautiful of fairy tales.
A Kiss To Your Soul
I’m old enough to understand that nothing lasts forever.
But, there are some things that happen only once, that remind us that there is eternity in our hearts.
The one I call my husband was him. He was brought into my life, even though I gave up looking for love.
God knows what you may have given up on.
The One who knows you can bring a kiss to your soul, like the one you’ve always longed for and forgotten about.
Mine came through a person, but remember, God is not limited by our ways.
Why didn’t God have the first guy I fall in love with be my husband?
… So that I could believe in miracles again.
“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.”~ Isaiah 62:5
Where are your thoughts today on Valentine’s Day?
Do you need to believe in miracles again?
Pull up a chair. I’m here at our table at the cafe, later than usual, but I’m so glad you’re here.
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