Have you ever embarked on a journey you know was divinely ordered? Have you ever gotten to the middle of that something only to wonder, “what now”? Welcome to my world. A few years back, I started to hear God speaking to my heart that my time at the church that my family and I attended was coming to a close. I even knew which new church He was leading me into. Being the quick learner and immediate responder that I am, it was about two more years until my family and I officially followed that call. Leaving the only church we had ever really known was a huge move for us. Emotionally, it was harder to do than we ever anticipated. Many toes felt unnecessarily stepped on as we made our departure. Sadly, our move was not met with the joyous yet tearful goodbye we had hoped for. There was no celebratory send off or even warm embraces and well wishes. Our move was met mostly with contempt, disbelief and frankly… some really un-Godly behavior. Surely, with a move that difficult, God must have had something colossal in mind for us.
In that previous church, I had been quite heavily involved with multiple ministries for more than a decade. I knew in my spirit that I wasn’t to immediately jump into anything at our new church. I assumed it was to keep myself available for whatever major ministry thing God had planned for me. But as each week passed in our new church home, (and nothing mind blowing was happening), I grew more and more discouraged. Had we really heard God? Were we really on the path He set out for us? If we were, I wasn’t seeing why. A friend asked how we were feeling about our church move. I shared that I kind of felt what I can only imagine an empty nester feels. I had spent so much time and energy taking care of the kids (God’s kids… aka the church) that I forgot what it was to have a relationship with my husband (God). Now I was in a place of nothing to do… no ministry… just me and Him… And I couldn’t think of a more awkward and lonely place to be.
I remember what it was like when I first met Him (Jesus). I think back on what it was like to be in love with Him as a new believer. There wasn’t a single thing I felt like He couldn’t handle or be trusted with. It wasn’t one sided either… I just knew how in love with me He was. He would do the most amazing things for me… miraculous things! I could physically feel His very presence completely enveloping me. Young love… it’s truly beautiful.
I don’t know when the switch happened… But at some point I stopped being His “bride”. At some point I became “the wife”. We’re married. There’s no doubt about that. I said yes. He said yes. It’s a done deal. Jesus promised in His Word that nothing can separate us. I believe Him. Somewhere in that marriage, I think I stopped paying attention to Him. I started paying more attention to the “things” of marriage… work, kids, responsibilities, etc… If you asked me if I loved Jesus, I would have said absolutely yes. But I’d be lying if I said I was still “in love”. I prayed about what to do in our new church. Give me something… anything to do! But I heard nothing. There were no prompts or direction from God to join any existing ministries or start any new ones. Just an awkward silence. Face to face. Me and Jesus. And then it clicked.
I was in the right church. I had heard God. We really were on His right path. He missed me. Jesus missed me. The creator of all that is missed me. So in His divine wisdom, He called me out of my distractions and into a place of having nothing but Him… Because He missed me. I’ll be really honest. It was incredibly awkward for me at first. I didn’t know how to talk to Him. I didn’t know how to spend time with Him. You want to know the beautiful thing in all of that? I got the opportunity to fall in love all over again. Don’t get me wrong… It wasn’t as easy as the first time. I’m well aware that the fault in that is all mine. I also know that I’ve only scratched the surface of rekindling my love for Jesus. I fail often in my efforts. But knowing… just knowing that He was willing to spend years of setting me on this journey back to Him. He loves me that much. I’d say that’s pretty colossal… wouldn’t you?
“I have loved you with an everlasting love. Out of faithfulness I have drawn you close. And so it shall be again…” Jeremiah 31:3-4