“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” G.K. Chesterton
I decided to do something I hadn’t done in over a 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 ago, 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.
Click to comment and read each other’s thoughts.
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I can relate about the kiss. My husband was not my first kiss, yet he might as well have been. The first time he kissed me, I got weak in the knees and saw fireworks. We didn’t know Jesus at the time–in the way we now do–so we didn’t have that aspect of the revelation.
Thanks for hosting Faith Jam. I always appreciate the realness of everyone’s posts.
A beautiful message to those who haven’t had their one and only yet. Days like this can either be greatest or the worst reminders. Your message gives a lot of people hope.
I never tire of hearing stories about the way God moves His hand
He had His perfect plan all along
and so much still to unfold in your life, dear friend…
A beautiful reminder of miracles and dreams. I have had so many dreams crushed and given up on (not on love, I have a wonderful husband as you know). I don’t know that I know how to dream any more. I have given up wanting dreams. Even my current dream of growing old with my husband seems to me may not happen due to his heart issues. The fear of him dying is overwhelming at times. Thank you Bonnie for the reminder to rely on God and his love, my kinsman redeemer.
This very thing you write about is what makes my soul ache so much and what I have whispered to God. I let go of a relationship just this past weekend that I had hope might be “the one”, but he didn’t feel the same. So I’m left standing at 47 years old wondering if love (my whispered dream) is ever in the plans for me. Thank you for your encouragement.
Sorry for your loss, Sonya. I feel for you. Sometimes it seems the possibilities are only teasing, whether it’s a relationship, a date or just a single guy paying attention to you more than another woman. I’m 48, never-been-married and not so much as a date in several years. Never expected or thought to prepare for dealing with these kinds of issues at my age. I imagine you didn’t, either.
Saying a prayer for you to be healed. In the Lord you are complete, and so am I . I pray that each of us could remember and becelebrate edified by that even when we don’t feel it.
In the last sentence above, please ignore “celebrate” stuck to “be”. My Droid seems to randomly stuff words into strange pockets of my sentences.
Keep being brave and speak your words, Bonnie! :o)
Oh me, when my husband to be kissed me the first time, I thought to myself, “this guy has a lot to learn.” 🙂 Through the years we have both learned to give and take and share. We must always be willing to learn and grow and mature. Thanks for sharing out of your heart.
Hazel Moon: I love it! “This guy has a lot to learn.” Thanks for a needed laugh!! And for the insights.
Very cool name.
I believe in miracles, Bonnie!!!!!!! Dreams are so important, whether they be about love, marriage or career. I love this post! God can and will work miracles in your life! You only have to ask and not be afraid to sail. I grew up being apprehensive about starting anything new. You can imagine the blessings that passed me by. Things that were enjoyable couldn’t be fruitful. Right? That’s what I used to think! It took me forever to turn my thought process around and wrap it around what the Lord will do, if I trust my heart o Him. In the last 3 years, I retired early, immersed myself in prayer, praise, meditation and The Word. And, I opened a Christian shop on etsy. My family thought that I had lost my mind! NOPE! I found it! And, I am learning to give more and more of myself to Christ. So, whether it is health, love, career or something else, place it in His capable Hands. I am a living testimony that He will answer your prayers. Peace and love, Bonnie…and to everyone!
I love hearing your stories, Bonnie. My first kiss (2nd, 3rd, …) didn’t end up being with “the one” either. Thankfully God didn’t make me marry those guys. ha. So glad your True One guided you to the right one at the right time.
As I say often, you are a brave woman to keep healing, keep writing, keep sharing. Your courage encourages us all. Thanks for your gift.
Love your Chesterton quote!
“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.”
Happy Valentine’s Day Bonnie! I’m so glad you pushed yourself and drove to the ocean. That is a special place for me too. Watching the waves, the smell of the salt air, the wind …amazing!
I’m also glad God had a plan for your life that included your hubby and children. He knows exactly what we need and He always has perfect timing.
God knew my private desire was to have children but I was unable to have them. I find it amazing that I am working in a private school teaching Pre-K 3 children. I have twenty of them every day and I love it. And I’ve found that I enjoy giving them back to their parents at the end of the day too. 🙂
I continue to remember to pray for you.
Blessings and love,
Beautiful, raw, and amazing, Bonnie. You continue in my prayers.
Thank you for this reminder… Actually, it is third reminder this week, as I’ve struggled (oh, still!) with the end of a relationship a few years ago, to once again accept my singleness, to believe there could be the right person somewhere in the world. I have tried to work in the every day, to rejoice in the mundane, but I constantly come across triggers and fall into depression. But it’s not all bad I guess. In the devastation left behind, somehow my heart made room for the dreams God planted long ago in my heart, dreams that I now run toward because I’ve realized how the expression of my life is not really complete unless I am living in those dreams. Little by little, God is watering the seeds and paving the way, until that day those dreams burst into the world and do what they were meant to do. Is it the same with a relationship? Any way, thank you Bonnie. You may be in dark times now but God is working mightily through you <3
I’m just rather speechless at this post, Bonnie. Your words touched something deep inside of me. It’s made me ponder how many people I love in my life, including my wonderful husband. But sometimes, deep inside my heart, I still feel lonely and unloved.
Today I need to remember the little girl that lives inside of me – the one who met Jesus a long, long time ago. And I need to remember that *first love* yet again. My Miracle-Maker is still in touch with my dreams, and still holds my heart as precious.
I love Him.
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beautiful reminder of how awesome our God is!
i, too remember my first kiss… and asked for a number of years why did he have to be snatched out of my life. sadly, my choices in life took my away from what my heart knew was the desire my Savior had for me… into a toxic relationship that i didn’t know would nearly destroy me and would leave 3 innocent young lives relationally, emotionally, and spiritually scarred. it was very difficult to share Abba father’s love when their biological father didn’t model love in our life.
but gratefully. . . His Grace rescued me . . . and He sent the one who gave me my first kiss back to me!
i am thankful every day for the man who loves me as he loves God!
thank you for sharing . . . and thank you for your continued transparency . . . God bless 🙂
What a journey you invited us into, Bonnie. Thanks for this. 🙂 Hope you’ve had a wonderful Valentine’s.
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Hello dear, how are you holding up? Well my first kiss came when i was 30 years old, then i told myself i want my kiss before my 30th birthday, yes indeed it happened. We became friends, but i find out he never seems to care for me, never given me a gift even on my birthdays, up till yesterday’s Valentine, not even a word or a text. i felt so heart broken, i fill as if my heart want’s to come out of my chest. Before i met him my life was hell, at some point i contemplated committing suicide. So when he came he gave me a reason to live. But later, he start’s backing-up, won’t call or text. can you believe we’ve been going out for close to 2yrs now he has only taken me out once? In midst of our quarrel i find God, I went into relationship with him, and indeed he has been faithful to me. I know this man don’t love me the way he claimed he said he does, i have even beg God to take him out of my life and give me the one for me. But notting seems to be happening, thus, my head is telling me this man is not for me, but my heart can’t seems to let go, each time i hear his voice my heart just start doing 360. I love God so much, but i don’t understand the silence, because this silence is tearing my heart. you know i was asking him (God) that i don’t know who is tearing my heart, if it him or the other guy. Please help. Give me your advise. thank you
Your words were like a breath of fresh air to my weary soul this morning. Thank you, friend.
“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.”
Thank you for this Bonnie. Thank you for voicing this for us that find it so hard to even begin to acknowledge that we need loving, because we’ve never believed we’re worthy of it/don’t know how to receive love.
Ahhh, Bonnie. I needed this today. I need to believe love is possible. I need to believe God could send that love my way. I need to believe I’m worth a lifetime. I need to believe in all sorts of different miracles. Thanks for the reminder.
Oh, Bonnie, your story has struck home today! Just as you had given up on finding “the one,” I HAVE given up on music. I haven’t opened my mouth to sing in over a year. Singing in my head and/or heart, sure. But out loud? Not a chance. Being told that you “can’t sing” does a lot of damage, and pretty much ruins any joy you used to have in music.
So thank you for this – you have made wonder if I dare to hope again……
Believe in the promises God has made. Believe He is good and is working always. Dont Listen to the world.We are to believe and stand in His redemptive power sure of His Love and Grace sufficient for the day.
Thank you, Wendy. 🙂
Hi Bonnie. It’s my first time to link up here – thank you for the opportunity! Today, I linked up my post “Under the Shadow of His Wings”. I wanted to share the LOVE and mercy the Lord Jesus had shown me through the dark valley. I hope it will be a blessing to everyone.
Bonnie, love Isiah 62:5!
Bonnie, this post stuck with me the first time I read it, and this time I got a new meaning out of it. I do believe in miracles, and I’m reminded that they are what God specializes in and I don’t need to do everything on my own effort. I’m so grateful that you shared this again. Thank you, Bonnie!
Thank you for writing about hope in the midst of tough times. It’s like warm light in chilly darkness. There is so much sustainable depth in your writing–not religious froth. The blessings it sends forth are so healing and nurturing. Thank you!
Thank you,thank you& bless you for the never been kissed post! Boy,did I ever
need that encouragement! Thers so much I want to say about how God just ministered to me thru you,but my heart is too full of amazement right now. I will keep you in my prayers,keep encouraging the “encouragers”. Be blessed,exceedingly&abundantly! Thank you!
Thanks for this. I had a terrible break up after dating for 7 years and at times i do feel like giving up and wondering if God has forgotten me ..yet somehow God always uses people like you to reach out to me to let me know that He is still on the throne and that He has not forgotten me and that He has my husband ready and is just waiting for His perfect time to bring us together that Christ may be glorified in my marriage and in our lives. Thanks again.
I haven’t read any of the previous comments but I just thought I would comment on the perfect timing of this blog. I am a birthmother of a 21 year old son whom I placed at birth. I ran from my grief until I couldn’t run anymore, burned out, quit the ministry and waited for God’s next instructions for me. My dream since I was young was to marry and have children. Never married and the only child I had, I placed. I feel very alone. I feel very forgotten. I feel no hope. I look forward to nothing. I just keep waiting on God to make a move. I want to dream new dreams but I am so very stuck right now. I have no other dreams that give me the desire to keep going another 44 years. I anticipate now more than ever Christ’s return. Come Lord Jesus. Would appreciate any encouragement or prayers.