Monday, April 16, 2007

Redeeming Love Has Been My Theme

Last week I began listening to a CD that one of my best friends sent me...a compilation of songs that told the "story" of her life for the past year. There were two songs that stood out and touched me deeply. I'll get back to this in a moment.

If you know me, you know that I deeply desire to be a wife and a mother at some point in my life. Not that I'm rushing it now or that I feel any kind of "clock ticking." A few months ago that would be true; but now I am learning to be content in my circumstances. And if you know me, you know I am very picky and refuse to settle just to satisfy the norms of society. So last week, as I was driving home from work, I was listening to the CD my friend sent me. There is a hymn on the CD, "There Is a Fountain" sung by Selah. I have sung this hymn thousands of times in my life and never have really felt the impact of the words until last week. As I was listening the words of the chorus hit a place in my heart that just moved me to tears and allowed an "epiphany" of sorts to happen. "Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die."

And that's when it hit me on the drive home. Redeeming love. An unconditional love that does whatever it takes to win my love. Isn't that what I'm looking for? Isn't that what everyone is looking for? I long for someone to pursue me, to do all they can to win my love. To truly desire me and love me for who I am. And suddenly, as I heard and sang those words over and over again, the Father gently began to speak to my heart, and I began to understand a wonderful truth.

I have a mental list of certain qualities and characteristics that I seek in a husband. They vary from the very deep and spiritual (like he has to be a Christian and be willing to be the spiritual leader of our home without being a dictator and ruler) to the very odd and mundane (like being able to have a 3 hour conversation over a cup of coffee). This list is only in my head, and is subject to change on occasion. I do not seek perfection, but I do have high standards - which I believe I'm entitled to have and which everyone should have. The divorce rate would be a lot lower...but that is another blog.

So this brings me back to the drive home and the song and the wonderful truth I discovered. This redeeming love I'm searching for, this wonderful lover and friend, this amazing person who loves me more than I can comprehend...He's already here. As I started to go over in my mind that night this list of mine, the Father started to show me how He already fulfills all of those things in His own way.

Here are some examples. I want someone who will surprise me with little notes about how much he loves me or that just have some encouraging word on them. Well, God already does that in His word. Every time I open my Bible and read, I find some treasure that He left for me to find. And I find those treasures, those notes at the exact times I need them. He always leads me to a verse or passage that is relevant to exactly what I'm dealing with at that time. Hmm...could be on to something here.

I want someone that I can talk to for hours on end and it feel like no time has gone by. Well, I already have someone I can talk to. God is available 24/7, no matter what mood I'm in, no matter what the day. And He wants me to talk with Him and spend time with Him. So if I'm mad and need someone to yell at, He doesn't mind. If I'm sad and need a shoulder to cry on, He listens as I pour my heart out to Him. If I just want a sounding board, He listens to every word. No matter the subject, the mood, the time of day, I can talk to Him for hours and know that He truly listens and cares. And that He is interested in everything I have to say. Could it be?

I have a problem with confrontation and have this unfounded fear of someone leaving me if I let them in on the real me. So I tend to keep up walls, afraid to let people in on the real me. Well, guess what? God not only knows the real me, He made the real me.I can be honest and open. And He will never leave me! No matter the mistakes I make, He will not walk away. He stands by my side no matter what. He will go to bat for me. He knows me better than I know myself and loves me anyway. How many human beings can you say that about? He will never break my heart. And heaven knows it's been broken badly before. Hmmm...

I want someone to bring me flowers and give me little gifts...not necessarily spend a lot of money...but gifts that are from the heart. A poem, a bouquet of wildflowers, a night out on the town. Again, God already does this day after day. This week on my way to work, I noticed these little bouquets of white flowers that are popping up all over. Now, this may be considering myself too important, but you know what? I think He put those there just for me. And if you have noticed them, too...He put them there just for you. His gifts are personal and special. I know that in the past couple of months, He has blown my socks off with His gifts. My friend that sent the CD...He has used her in an amazing way to bless me. And she came into my life at just the right time. Which leads me to my next point.

Timing. As humans we screw up on the timing of stuff so often. I do it all the time. Mostly, I'm too impatient and try to work things out myself. Often, we are "too busy" to attend to the needs of others. Or we say we'll get to it later. Well, God's timing is perfect. Again, the CD is a perfect example. I actually received the CD in the mail almost a month ago, but I just "didn't have a chance" to listen to it. Of course, that was all part of God's plan. I wasn't supposed to listen to it until last week. Not until I was ready and my heart was ready for the gift that it turned out to be. And I was given the gift of two wonderful songs (well more than that actually, but two that stood out). They were exactly what I needed at that precise time in my life. God knew He was getting ready to deal with me about something specific and that those songs were what I needed. Last month, this same friend sent me an iTunes gift of the song "None But Jesus" (which I advise listening to). She sent it to me weeks before I actually downloaded and listened to it. One night, at a down time with tears in my eyes, I remembered her gift. So I downloaded it. Coincidence? I choose to believe not. If I had opened that song any earlier, it would not have ministered to me the way I needed it to. Again, God's timing is perfect. I think I am on to something.

I also want someone who loves music. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you know me, you know how important music is to me. I want someone who understands the passion I have for music and how it can reach me the way nothing else can. Well, since God created music, I'm pretty sure he understands this.

These are just a few of the things that floated through my mind on that drive home. And I realized that everything that I'm looking for in another person, I already have in my Savior. Yes, I do still long for an earthly relationship with an amazing man...the one God has for me. But while I wait on Him to work that miracle (and love truly is a miracle - what else do you call two complete strangers with two completely different personalities traveling through life together and enjoying every minute of it - a gift only God can give), I can learn to be content and satisfied with my relationship with Him. I know that in His time He will bring the most wonderful person into my life, and He will delight to surprise me beyond comprehension with that gift. But for now, it's just me and Him. I am His and He is mine. See, even if we are blessed in this life to find true love, it will end. Be it a broken heart due to a break up or a broken heart due to death. But His love will never end. It is eternal and amazing and wonderful and surprising and any other word you can think of to describe it. Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die.

Now for the second song I mentioned at the first of this blog. As I wait, my prayer is that I will be used by God to help others, to better the world for someone else, to do what He calls me to do. So I pray as you read the lyrics to this song, your desire will also be to be a "living prayer" to Him. The words are so appropriate for those of us who are single; yet it is appropriate for anyone who seeks to live for Him. After all, what more do we have to offer this Love who never ends than to be a living prayer for Him.

A Living Prayer by Allison Krauss

In this world I walk alone
With no place to call my home
But there's one who holds my hand
The rugged road through barren lands

The way is dark, the road is steep
But He's become my eyes to see
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear
The Savior lives inside me there

In Your love I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God to Thee

In these trials of life I find
Another voice inside my mind
He comforts me and bids me live
Inside the love
the Father gives

In Your love I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God to Thee

Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God to Thee

3 comments:

Juanita said...

Hi Lori
I'm not exactly sure what to say- except I wanted you to know I read this post today. God has a way of repeating messages to me in different ways when He is speaking. We are studying a sermon series right now on forgiveness and this past week the pastor focused on redemption. We sang a newer version of that old hymn and those same words struck me and have stayed with me all week. . . "Redeeming Love has been my theme and shall be 'till I die." My all time favorite book has always been "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. God is beginning to show me why I am so attached to that story. If you have never read it, I encourage you to- absolutely incredible.
Anyway, this morning I was praying about what God would have for me next. I have had a couple of interesting jobs over the years, but have been pursuing finishing my college degree and will finally finish up this spring. One of the things I have considered doing was going to school to get my Master's in Counseling- something I have always wanted. But, I have a family, need to make some money, and was not sure if I am ready for the stress of more school. I told the Lord this morning: whatever you want, just let me know. Then I stumbled across your post and read your bio off to the side. . . I honestly do not think it was coincidence.
Neither is the fact that I love to write and love music. God is funny like that. You sound like a soul sister :o)

Lori said...

Juanita, I don't know if you'll read this comment...but in the event you do I wanted to say thank you! God is so amazing and loves to surprise us, doesn't he? Wow. I wrote this blog over 3 years ago, and here you find it right when you need it. And you commented right when I needed it. I am going back to school but have struggled with that decision...becuase I have no idea where the financial side is going to come from. But I trust God to take care of every detail. I wish you the best and am so thankful you decided to share this with me. I would love to talk to you more...so if you do read this...comment again and I'll send you my email. Or it may be in my profile... Bless you!

Lori said...

Juanita, I don't know if you'll read this comment...but in the event you do I wanted to say thank you! God is so amazing and loves to surprise us, doesn't he? Wow. I wrote this blog over 3 years ago, and here you find it right when you need it. And you commented right when I needed it. I am going back to school but have struggled with that decision...becuase I have no idea where the financial side is going to come from. But I trust God to take care of every detail. I wish you the best and am so thankful you decided to share this with me. I would love to talk to you more...so if you do read this...comment again and I'll send you my email. Or it may be in my profile... Bless you!