“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” G.K. Chesterton
Last week, I attended my dear friend Carol’s wedding. She was just a twenty-something when her husband left her with a baby boy and a little girl — and a house and heart empty, with only tears as her prayer.
She walked through the darkest season of her life by hanging onto a God she believed saw her pain and would never leave her. She grew into a woman of encouragement — a shepherding pastor, coming alongside others on their journeys of faith. Privately, she tucked a dream of hers away: Is there someone she can grow old together with, side by side in rocking chairs?
Nearly three decades later, I witnessed her radiant with joy, exchange wedding vows with a husband that lives on a ranch in Montana, where my dear California-girl-of-a-mentor now calls newlywed-home.
As I sat there in the pew with tears of joy, I thought back to my own 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 a post to encourage those who have the gift of encouragement, who may be wondering if God can bring love back in your life.
You’ve encouraged so many around you.
Just like Ruth never expected she would find a Boaz while gathering leftover in the fields for Naomi, you are not forgotten. Your needs 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
Do you need to believe in miracles again?
The winners of DaySpring’s Premium Greeting Card 10-Pack are Bekah (#12) and melissa C. (#18).
The winners of Kathi Lipp’s “The Me Project” are Adaykis Betancourt (#6) and Victoria (#44).
This month’s series is “Shots of Encouragement”. Yes, I’m thinking of you — the ones always lifting others and keeping others in mind. Let’s encourage each other as we fill each other’s cup.
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Let’s encourage each other. Add your voice. Swap our stories.
Today’s Topic 6/9:
It’s the month of classic June weddings. A reader who is single asked me how I met my husband. She said it always encourages her to hear the different ways God leads people to find true love.
In the spirit of encouragement, I’d love to hear from our community. Write on the topic: Finding “The One”.
Share your post by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link” or just comment directly.
Next Thursday’s Topic 6/16 :
Share your thoughts on Father’s Day.
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
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It’s a jam session. As time allows, say hi & drop a comment when visiting the community faith blends!
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