Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3

Mama never was one for bedtime stories, those are memories I do not have. I do, however, have one story that she has told me over and over and it is my favorite story. It is the story of how she and daddy met, married and fell in love… in that order. It is an amazing story of God’s grace, mercy and wisdom. It is also a great story of perseverance and obedience on my parent’s part. I always loved telling their story, because it was so unbelievable that is almost a fairytale. I have told this story a million times, never once thinking that I would have one just as great to tell one day.

I remember the first time George & I had dinner together. It was after work one night and totally unplanned. He just happened to ask at the last minute if I would like to go get something to eat. We couldn’t call it a date really, but we both knew it was the start of something. I vividly remember sitting across from George and knowing that he was in love with me. He has always said he loved me from the minute he saw me, I know this is true. We had such a good time that night and so our relationship began.

I knew from that first meeting that George was the one and I never took the time to explore my feelings any further than that. It wasn’t long, 8 months to be exact, and we were engaged. Oh, the fun began. Wedding planning, engagement pictures, trying to merge everything together… it was all going as planned… until the 3rd week of September. I woke up one night with my heart racing, sweating, and very fuzzy thoughts. I couldn’t get a grip and worst of all I couldn’t ‘find’ my feelings for George. I t was 1:00 in the morning and I was in a panic. I started looking through my pictures of the two of us hoping the ‘lovey-dovey’ feeling would return. It didn’t, the panic got worse. So I did the only logical thing (keep in mind that nothing I did for the next 14 months was logical), I got in my car (1 am) and drove over to George’s. I tried to explain to him what was happening – although words and reason escaped me. He just held me very tight and told me it would be ok… he was right, although it would be months before I realized it.

So, two and half months before my wedding, we postponed. I needed time to get my thoughts straight. George was patient, as if this was all normal. We started dating again. The panic didn’t subside, but I was learning to manage it. Every time we tried to reschedule the wedding, I would ‘relapse’. George was patient. As time went on and the panic stayed, I began to realize that I couldn’t marry him and so I gave the ring back. He took it and was patient. He moved back to Houston and I stayed in Orlando. There was no possible way we could make it, it was a hopeless situation.

But you see… we serve a God who is not bound by the impossible or the hopeless. I serve a God who told me George was the one weeks before I ever met him. I serve a God who keeps his promises. There were many times over that 14 month period when God reiterated His promise to me. When I would question and say ‘This makes no sense’, He would respond ‘I do not work in the realm of common sense’. While still in the thick of the storm it occurred to me that God was doing something BIG in our lives… if He hadn’t revealed this to me, I don’t think I could have endured.

I remember one moment so clearly. I was on my way home from work, very tired and very discouraged. I was sitting at the light just off the interstate and thinking about the entire situation. It had become very normal for me to talk continually to the Lord – he was ALL I had at the time. I said, ‘Why is George still here? Any other man would have left by now. Why is he so steady in the boat?’ The answer was fast and clear ‘Because I hold the boat!’ It was all that had to be said and my logical nature kicked in. Why would God be holding him steady in a very unsteady situation, when there is no reason for him to stay? Because God had promised him to me and me to him. God had set us apart for each other before the beginning of time.

It was still several months before I got my ring back and longer still until we said our vows. But I knew the entire time that I would marry George. I knew I would spend the rest of my life with him. I knew this but I didn’t know when the emotion, the love, would return. To this day I don’t know when it did return, but it did, I suppose gradually over time. George and I should not be married and we certainly should not be happy, but we are. We get mad and we fuss & fight, but we have those tough times and clear moments with God that unite and keep us focused on Him and each other.

There is a song by Bebo Norman called ‘I Will Lift My Eyes’ that was ‘my song’ for 14 months. The first line was not a line I sang, but one I prayed daily, sometimes hourly – ‘God, my God, I cry out, your beloved needs you now’. The entire song is great, but it was that one line that brought me peace every time I said it. It’s that one word – Beloved! I am HIS beloved and HE is mine. He loves me and I love him. My love for George is great, but my love for HIM must shadow all other. Before my panic attacks he was my God since my panic attacks he has become my Beloved. I thank Him for those hard, painful times. I thank Him for every tear, every sleepless night and every hopeless thought. Without all of this I would never have really known my Beloved.

I am anxiously awaiting the day that I get to share with Andrew the story of how George and I came to be. I cannot wait to tell him of our love story. I am excited for the day when the realization hits him that our story is a story of a Great Love… the Love of My Beloved.