I really enjoy memories. Every once in a while something will trigger a memory of the earlier days of Eric’s and my relationship and it just astounds me where God has brought us.
Our church, Hope Community, just finished up a series which taught through Song of Solomon a couple of weeks ago. This series, along with a series I’m listening to right now from Mars Hill on the book of Ruth, talk a lot about biblical dating. I think my position on courtship prior to last fall was that the Bible was out of touch. I’m not positive I realized this was my stance on it at the time but it’s definitely how I acted. One of my favorite movies is Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version). I’ve seen it well over 30 times…though I have yet to make Eric watch it with me–why do that when I enjoy 300 just as much?
Anyway, I always wanted a man like Mr. Darcy. One who puts himself out there, initiates, and continues to pursue her until she sees his true character. But I was either too impatient or didn’t believe the men of my generation are capable of such a thing. Last summer, I was done. I didn’t want to be the pursuer. I wanted to be the pursued. And I knew I could only really change in this area if I let go of the need to have a man. I can’t say that I was any good at doing this. It was really hard. Especially after I met Eric.
Throughout these two sermon series, I’ve learned a few things and it was really cool to see that Eric and I had unknowingly followed them. Both the woman in Song of Solomon and Ruth placed themselves where their respective men could see them. Let me tell ya, CHECK! Seriously. But it was cool! Because God showed me how to be patient. He showed me where to take risks and where to wait. I had utterly failed at this in the past and was not ready for that heartache again. Throughout last September-October, I was really, really confused. Eric and I were hanging out every other week or so. Eric doesn’t really do “personal space,” which can throw a girl off! I finally got up the nerve to ask him to get coffee with me one Sunday before church. I’m thankful he was willing to do the talking once I awkwardly said, “Umm, I need you to define this relationship.” The conversation concluded with him saying he would make an effort to spend purposeful time with me. I left having absolutely no idea what that exactly meant but hey! at least he knew where I was at. He followed through. Big time.
It is so cool to look back and see how God worked. To see where He quieted my spirit and called Eric forward to action. God told him things about me. Told him my weaknesses, my insecurities, and my secret desires. I don’t just mean that I wanted to be known and pursued and loved…I mean things like that Wolverine is my absolute favorite superhero. And I’ve always wanted to salsa dance with a partner. More recently, that the only date that really means much to me (and thus is perfect for a proposal) is Pi day. And that my ideal wedding band is helical like DNA.
I remember Taryn asking me, after I found out he’d been getting her help finding rings, if I had showed him that ring I had bookmarked on my computer because he somehow knew I wanted a band that twisted to resemble DNA. Eric had never seen that picture. When I asked him, he just said it was obvious.
The Lord knows us. Intimately. He knows every hair, every freckle, every scar. He knows every memory, every dream, every hurt and every celebration. He knows our future and our past more completely than we ever will. And He loves us. More deeply than we can ever comprehend. Even though our past is riddled with all the times we have slapped God in the face and put other things before Him, He loves us.
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
I will save you from all your uncleanness.” Ezekiel 36: 25-29a
We serve an awesome God who is determined to make Himself known, even when we feebly attempt to thwart Him by our pride and selfishness. And the cool thing is that He doesn’t do it by smiting us all. He saves us.
My favorite scene of Pride and Prejudice is at the end, when Elizabeth can’t sleep and she starts walking. It’s dawn. She looks up and there is Darcy walking toward her. She is wandering…and isn’t too far from home. His steps are determined and he has clearly been walking for a while. He never looks surprised to see her. It’s like it was obvious.
Jesus walks toward us like that. We are out, wandering aimlessly, and there He is. Walking toward us, determined.