Saturday, August 1, 2009

I said yes!!!

Every girl has a dream. A dream to be pursued by a Prince Charming. For her heart to be romanced in a way unique to her. As a woman, there is a part of my heart longing to share itself in its entirety with one person. A longing for someone to know me better than I know myself. For a man to care so much for me and be so enthralled with my heart that he takes the time to carefully win my trust. Who has the patience to slowly gain entrance into my heart, walking me through my fears and reservations with tender love. I long for a man who has eyes for no other woman, because he is enthralled by my beauty; who loves my weaknesses just as much as he loves my strengths. For me to be able to be myself all the time, having to hide nothing. A man of integrity, who protects me from those who wish to harm me. A man who can wrap me in his strong arms and cause me to feel small, delicate, feminine, and protected. A man who longs for me to awaken just so he can look into my eyes and hear my voice. A man who creates special moments which bring joy to my heart just so he can demonstrate in yet another way the depth of his love for me.

Many women feel such a man cannot exist. I disagree, for I have found such a man. He is more than I could have ever imagined. He has given me the most incredible love story I could have ever dreamed up. I've known of him for a long time. People would tell me how great of a man he is and of the incredible things he was doing for people. I first noticed his pursuit of me about 3 years ago. It was gentle, yet persistent.

At first, I thought of him as a friend. I was interested in other guys and didn't really think of him in a romantic way. He was always there, but not terribly exciting to spend time with. I couldn't comprehend that he was interested in me as anything but a friend. He knew I thought of him as a friend, and he knew I was interested in another man. He continued to pursue, gently trying to tell me the other men would break my heart because they didn't cherish it as he did. I rejected his advice and his advances. As the ever patient man he is, he waited, worried for my heart, but allowing me to make my own decisions.

My heart was broken. Shattered to pieces, I was left alone, crying myself to sleep at night. He tried to reach out to me and comfort me, but I would have nothing to do with him. I was angry with him because he was a man, just like the man who had broken my heart. He tried to walk through the brokenness with me, but I wouldn't allow him even a glimpse of my heart anymore. Not as a friend, and definitely not as a lover. I was hurt and decided I would never again allow a man access to my heart because then it could never again be broken.

My parents saw how faithful of a man he was and encouraged me to spend time with him. They didn't know of the heartbreak I had experienced, so they couldn't understand why I refused to have anything to do with him. They noticed me becoming reclusive and became worried. Finally, they put their foot down and forced me to go to a youth conference.

He was there and wouldn't leave me alone. The first night of the conference God broke me and showed me how I had rejected Him and the man He had put in my life. He was behind me as I stood weeping. I felt his arms hugging me, holding me up. I was thankful for his strength, for I had none of my own left. Then he whispered into my ear, “You are my beautiful and precious bride.” I couldn't believe my ears. I knew who had said it, but I couldn't believe he had said that about me, especially when I was an absolute mess. For the next few days, he stayed by my side. I was still shocked and in disbelief that he had said that to me, but I began to enjoy spending time with him.

Over the next few months, he carefully and tenderly won my trust back. He was there for me as I walked through the healing process, never demanding anything, but always offering an invitation to spend time with him and learn more about who he was as a person. He showed me his love for me in a thousand different ways. Sometimes it was just a little note reminding me that he was captivated by my beauty. Other times, it was a simple flower or a smile. He wrote me letters and sang me songs. We spent more and more time together. Each moment we spent together made it easier for me to think of him as a lover and a friend.

One day he gave me the invitation to spend the rest of my life with him. An engagement of sorts, a commitment to live my life with him and know that I am his and he is mine. A betrothal.

He was always the perfect gentleman. My parents and friends approved, although my friends didn't always understand the relationship we had. I couldn't think of any reason to refuse his offer, and I could think of a million reasons to say yes. He gave me time to think, and was still the same patient, gentle, kind, and tender man I had grown to love.

He asked the question a few weeks before we were to leave on a mission trip to China. On the trip, we only grew closer. To be able to work together was incredible. I didn't tell anyone of the question he had asked me, for fear of ruining the sweetness of it. Half way through the trip, I realized I never wanted to go a day without him. I didn't want to do anything apart from him. I was head over heels in love with him. He stayed committed to me even when I was distracted by other things. He knew my heart better than anyone else, better than I even knew it. He was passionately in love with me. I could allow him to see all of me. My weaknesses and my strengths. He shared his heart with me if I would only ask. He covered my weaknesses with his strength. He was tender and strong. Gentle with my heart, yet he challenged me to grow.

These realizations struck me and I ran to find him. I took his hand, looked into his eyes, and with tears brimming in my eyes, said “Yes, I will be yours. I will follow you wherever you go. I never want to be separated from you. I want to live the rest of my life with you and love you forever.” My heart overflowed with joy as he embraced me and expressed how delighted he was.

What we have is unique, and unlike any other relationship I had ever had or heard of. I share everything with him. I get mad at him and argue with him. He is patient with me, but has no qualms about telling me when I am being stupid. He sees the faults in my heart and loves me despite them, yet he challenges me to work through them and get rid of them. Things aren't always easy between us. It's the most difficult relationship I have ever had in my entire life, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Since I said yes, people have noticed a marked difference in me. He brought my heart to life and now I live more fully than ever. He tells me of the plans he's made for us and our future together. He promises me he will always be there for me. He completes me in every way. Each day he finds a new way to tell me how precious I am to him and how much he loves me.

He gave me a ring a few weeks after we returned from China, but the most important thing is how my heart is sealed as forever his. We live life together, so it's not all flowery all the time. I am still learning what it means to be the woman he deserves, but he is so patient and he helps me to learn. I fail, I get angry, yet I can always run back into his arms and know his love for me has not changed based on my behavior. Sometimes I forget about the passion which burns in him for me, and I relegate him back to friendship status, but he gently reminds me that he doesn't want to just be my friend. He wants the full access to my heart that only a lover has. My love for him grows each and every day. I am so blessed to have such a man with whom to live out the adventure of life. I'll never forget the day I said yes, and I'll continue to say yes each and every day for the rest of my life.

Great story, huh? Does it seem too perfect to be believable? Maybe some of you know me and you're wracking your brains to figure out who this man is? Maybe some of you have already figured it out. The man's name is Jesus. Now, before you check me off as an allegorical writer, please hear me out. Every single word of this story is true. It isn't symbolism or creative license. My relationship with Jesus is more real to me than any other relationship in my life. He truly completes me and has taken the time to win my heart. He created my heart and has every right to gain access to it, yet He took the time and effort to win my trust and gain my permission to access my heart. He cherishes it and knows it better than I do. He continually gives me invitations to know more of who He is and surrender more of myself to Him. Just as I want to give myself entirely to my earthly husband, I have first given myself entirely to my heavenly Husband. He is my first love and has taught me how to love. The adventure He has taken me on since I said yes has been incredible and breathtaking. He is the perfect Husband.

Think of all your deepest desires. The things which are in your heart that you are afraid to even speak out loud because there is no way there is a man who could fulfill them. Jesus can and He is giving you an invitation. An invitation to live the rest of your life with Him. If you haven't experienced Him romancing your heart, ask Him to do so. He will be faithful to answer, only be ready for the most exhilarating time of your life. Do you know Jesus as your friend? He wants you to know Him as your lover as well; He longs to romance your heart. How will you respond to His invitation?