Experiencing True Love
Like a bullet, it flew between my zombie eyes and my computer screen. Mind overloaded, an article overdue and the list of things required to accomplish, a mile high. Waking as if in daze, I find a well-folded paper airplane landing before my face, almost tauntingly still, glaring up at me, from my keyboard.
I turn to my left. My husband stands still, quietly, sympathetically. After twenty-three years, how did I miss the longing in His eyes connecting that paper-airplane to his heart?
Like a prize, a secret map to some incredible adventure, I slowly open the culprit for my interruption. Words in color crayon shoot up at me, “Would you like to go on a picnic with me?” signed, “Your husband”.
With my head in the screen, why hadn’t I realized the sun was shining, the day was beautiful; my house was filled with souls that longed for me? How had I completely overlooked that I had a husband and children? Why had I missed, a world existed…outside my head?
“Have-to’s” and duties immediately disintegrated. That hour, my husband and I shared a surprise picnic lunch, on a blanket, by the lake. It was that day I realized….Sometimes you have to drop everything and just be with the one you love.
And I wonder if often we can forget, we have a God who is like our husband, a God who sits and waits quietly, patiently near us, desiring for us to stop what we are doing just to be with Him?
He doesn’t yell or manipulate, demand or force us to make Him a priority. Still, doesn’t He give us clues and His Word, like a love note to lure us into His presence? Doesn’t He long for relationship to be placed above obligation, time with Him to trump everything else?
If I was honest, much of the time, I can be like what James 4:8 talks about, double minded. My mind can feel divided between multiple allegiances. Yet, that same verse promises, “If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.”
And as Missional Women, shouldn’t our greatest accomplishments stem not from agendas or ideas, great works or our brilliant plans or purposes, but from the overflow of our own personal, love encounter with Him?
True fruit of eternal proportions is always a result of spending time, first, in His presence.
"After opening that paper airplane with the crayon, answering the call to join my husband in a grassy field, outside, beside still waters ….All my worries washed away. Deadlines, schedules, important tasks seemed like foolishness when looking into my husband’s eyes, on a blanket, down by the lake.
Another love waits, this moment, with an invitation to each of us. His promise is that He makes us lie down in green pastures, leads us beside still waters, and He alone will restore our weary souls."
Most days, my marriage looks more like chores and parenting obligations, than it does that Hallmark moment of paper airplanes and picnics. Still, after being woken from my computer screen that day and taken on that romantic get-away, I am reminded, hearts grow fondest of those they spend the most time with
Jesus says, “Come with me by yourselves, to a quiet place and get some rest." (Mark 6:32) "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.” (Song of Solomon 2:10) Will I recognize my First Love is wooing my heart to that place of perfect peace? He is luring each of us, each and every moment, whispering, “I am here. I have rest for your weary soul.”
Will we miss the beckoning of our One and Only, the Christ who died to draw us into undefiled, perfect relationship with Him who never fails or leaves us? He is calling us now, into the presence of His great love. He is calling each of us. How will we respond?
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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1/16/2017 10:52:00 pm
Sweet, gentle reminder to live outside our heads with those we love in our homes - and with our Father! I need these reminders to keep focused! Shalom, Jen! ~ Maryleigh
1/16/2017 11:30:20 pm
I love your husband :)
1/17/2017 04:34:12 am
Beautiful, beautiful post. This here spoke to my heart ..."hearts grow fondest of those they spend the most time with." Yes, indeed. Thank you for these words!
1/20/2017 11:05:51 am
What a precious story. I'm so glad your husband pursued you with that paper airplane and made you look up! I'm praying with you to set my have-to's aside and make time to love Jesus and all the blessings He has so lovingly given me!
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