Tomorrow is Valentine’s day and I wanted to share a story about the one who is first in my heart.
When I was nineteen years old I met the boy who would eventually become my husband. I did not fall in love at first sight, but I was struck by his kindness and my interest was peeked. It was a year later when a group of friends sat in a room praying together that I realized I loved him. It was as he prayed and I heard the cry of his heart that I knew. I loved him! We had our share of differences and had publicly fought and argued. Honestly, at one point I declared that he was the last person that I would ever marry. But, I loved his heart for the Lord, and I knew that beneath that cocky exterior, he was kind and generous. I decided that I loved him. I didn’t know if he would ever love me back, but I decided to wait and see. I waited for four years before Joshua started to pursue a relationship with me.
However, this post isn’t really about him. It’s about my First Love. It’s about the one who captured my heart and has had it ever since. I first gave Him my heart when I was twelve years old. I knelt at an altar and cried out to Him to save me. Jesus was my knight in shining armor. He was the Prince, the Son of God who came to Earth and died so that I could live. I loved Him.
I didn’t truly come to understand His love for me until I was nineteen, and I loved Him all the more when I realized that there was nothing that I could do to earn His love. I had tried to be a good, Christian girl, but when I fell short, I was sure that I had lost His love forever. At nineteen I made some terrible choices and was sure all hope was lost. But in the midst of my sin and my great sorrow, My first love rescued me! He sent people into my life that would disciple me and help me to truly know the Lord as my Father and as my Savior.
During that season of life while I was hoping and praying that Joshua would love me, I was also pursuing a relationship with Him, my First Love. When Joshua started to show interest, I was over the moon! Then, Joshua informed me that we needed some time apart. He didn’t tell me why and I was confused and crushed.
Those were both the hardest and the best months of my life. They were the hardest because my heart was broken. And, they were the best, because my heart was broken. One morning, in my broken state, I went to a dirty little room behind our garage and cried out to my First Love. There was a good deal of sobbing and asking Him why. When my mind and heart were finally stilled, He spoke to my heart.
I realized that day that He loved me more than I ever imagined anybody could love me. He knew everything about me. Nothing was hidden from Him, and yet, He truly loved me! He knew every sin I had committed. He knew every thought, every hope and every desire, every hurt and every sorrow, and He loved me. He knew how many hairs were on my head and he cared about every detail of my life. He spoke very clearly to me and said, “You are my beloved! I care more about who you will marry than you ever could. You are mine! I am watching over you! Who you marry is my concern, because I know what is best, and I have a plan. Who you marry is who you will serve Me with.”
I spent the day worshipping the Lord in that room. I gave Him every hope, every desire and every dream. I decided to trust Him. I would have have no other gods and not other love before Him. I was no longer worried about the future. I did not miraculously stop loving Joshua. I still hoped that he was the one, but if he wasn’t, I knew it was because God had a different plan.
It was Joshua, and about two weeks after that encounter with the Lord, he came to me and explained that he needed some time apart to seek the Lord and see if this was His will. We were married a year later.
I will celebrate nineteen years of marriage in June. I love my husband very much, but he is not my all in all. He complements me very well and we are stronger together than we are apart, but he does not complete me. I am made whole and complete in my First Love. From time to time things come up that attempt to exalt themselves above Him, and I have to come back to that place of putting him first and saying, “I will have no other loves above you!”
This has made me a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, and a better servant. I still struggle and more than once I have had to repent for putting others before Him. I am so thankful that He doesn’t give up on me and He continuously woos me and draws me back to himself. He is faithful, even when I am not.
If you are struggling to find completion in your life, it may be because you are looking for it in the wrong places. Seek Him and you will find Him. If I can help you, please feel free to contact me.