I’m wedding dress sitting for a very special friend. Despite having a place for it in my closet, I like looking at, even in it’s white plastic bag. Seeing it there, waiting for it’s big day, keeps me thinking about – you guessed it – love.
Some (none) of you will remember this friend who experienced a very difficult breakup, around this time last year. It’s been a rough year for her. We’ve talked about her loss so much, I think both of us wondered if the wounds would ever heal. Could she trust someone else in the future with her heart? It seemed a bit unlikely she’d be ready anytime real soon. And then…
Prince Charming showed up. He swept her off her feet, bound up her hurts, got down on one knee, and now they are planning a wedding.
The transformation in my friend’s life has been incredible. Just a few months ago she was guarded, a little emotionally shut down and confused about the future. Now she’s ready to make an incredibly huge commitment to a guy and follow him as he pursues full time ministry (possibly in another country). What happened?
This guy’s love for her has been like the Balm of Gilead. It’s changed everything. She’s walking down a path now that she never would have walked down without him. I’m totally rejoicing with them both. It’s amazing.
It’s also familiar to me. I have my own wonderful love story of course. Hunky Hubby and I are very happily married. I guess what feels so familiar though is how the love of God in my life, has led me to believe and do things which are truly miraculous. It led me to make a promise as a young girl which I totally did not understand, but meant with all my heart. It’s led me to renew that crazy promise time and time again. The promise was to love and follow Jesus all the days of my life.
I barely knew Jesus when I made that promise. I’d only known of Him for a short while, and yet – His love was so healing, without prompting or pressure, I promised to follow Him. I’ve gotten to know Him much better over the years. Some things I’ve learned about Him are much more than I bargained for. He’s wonderfully merciful, faithful, generous, and true. He’s also NOT a lot of the things I’d hoped for.
I’d thought, initially, that following Him would also mean safety, security, prosperity. He didn’t promise me these, but “religion” did. I’ve had to separate out these things over the years, and still, I find Him still so, so good, that I renew my promise to Him again and again.
Of course, His promises to me, are even more sacrificial and radical in nature. More on that later.
Anyway, turning back to my friend and her dress. Her story has challenged me to not only renew my own huge promise to Jesus, but to renew my willingness to follow Him into the unknown. Just as my friend will probably soon follow her new husband across the ocean, I see a need for me to follow Jesus into some unknown places, physically and otherwise.
Maybe I should get my own wedding dress out as a visual aid?