I’ve written quite a few posts staring a Very Important Person, Steven. I apologize in advance how this blog just might morph into one of those Christian-relationship-blogs where I pose with seasonal floral backdrops and knitted hands on the pages of a Bible. But for now, I’ll spare you.
I struggled for the first 7 months of my relationship, constantly panicking that somehow I wasn’t living up to the expectations of others. Some people thought I was settling for less-than-Gods-Will, because my boyfriend is significantly older, or hasn’t been properly trained in the Bible, or any number of reasons. I tossed and turned, afraid I was disappointing God. I was afraid because God did not give me heavenly dreams and visions about this man, did not say “Rebekah, take this man and marry him”. I prayed for guidance and slowly I was lead.
It’s been a little over a year now, since we went official. Do you want to know something amazing? Every single time I speak with this man God lead me to, I see God’s love reflected back at me. The patience and gentleness that the Holy Spirit deals to me, the sharp truth that Jesus lives, the protection of the Father: all fleshed out through the actions of this flesh and blood companion. In his imperfections, I find the heart of Jesus that says “Love holds no records of wrongs”, and a responsibility to pray for him. When my issues rear their nasty heads, his patience gives me the courage to step out from the dark places and into the light of truth and healing.
I have a man who fights for my food to be gluten-free when I’ve accidentally forgotten to order correctly, tells me he’ll go with me when I need to confront scary situations, and let’s me cry even when he doesn’t understand why I’m crying. He is has the kindest, most golden heart I’ve ever known. He teaches me to see from the other side of the coin, to weigh situations not just by feelings, but the comfort of concrete evidence.
Sometimes God says to me “Don’t you see how much I love you, to have given you good things?”
I am starting to see The Point of all of this. Beyond the comfort of a best friend to make breakfast with, or someone to cry with, or someone to have as much married sex as possible with, or go grocery shopping with, or walk the dog with…. Is the purpose of rising above yourself. Outside of my messy, human ways is a person who also needs me to love him with the Love of Christ. Outside of “US” is a world who needs to see this Love fleshed out among themselves.
I have changed a lot in this year: shed some baggage, let go of some people and places, old parts of an identity that didn’t quite fit anymore, etc. I still don’t recognize or understand who I am becoming, but I can see enough to know I am daily being stretched beyond myself, to produce Good Things.
In the mean time, I’m learning to embrace this strange and Wonderful season of my life. The other day I went walking in the golden hours of the evening, with my dog in tow. The bugs zipping in the haze of sunlight between trees, the birds, the cool breeze over the green rolling hills, the dog chasing geckos up the walls : it was a perfect picture of the place I’m at in life. After years of striving and sorrow, I am surrounded by beautiful things.
“You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees” (Psalm 119:68).