Another February. I am now a divorcee going on four years, but unlike how I would have been in my 20’s, I am no longer pining for a special someone to buy me chocolates or be like everyone else or feeling left out because I don’t have “someone”. My history of love life began late, because although I was homeschooled in high school, I did go to a tutorial once a week, with others in the faith community and halfway through high school was finally able to go to a new church and meet friends my own age, my dad still had a strenuous reputation and history with the churches he had been to, so it was extremely awkward to bring anyone round to my house. Plus, it was a challenge to get my license (a story for another time-God only knows how that would’ve worked out).
Then I got to college. The schools I went to encouraged the friendship that makes a marriage last, and I ended up with a bunch of cool friends, men and women, who were vital to my spiritual walk in this life, but academics came first, so yeah, I didn’t “date”. True, I had a high school sweetheart, but long-distance relationships are more like friendships than anything, so my second year of college ended in a bought of tears, a gallon of gas station trip bought breyers chocolate with honey swirls and nuts (a flavor to my knowledge no longer exists) and delving into the goth scene. No color clothing. Just black, black, and more black) No piercings allowed, no tattoos, but I did get purple highlights for my hair. Then I met a guy who was a Christian who still had one hand dabbling in wicca. Yeah, I know, great choice, huh? I didn’t even know what wicca was at that time, just things that he did, that I didn’t know how he did, but knew I didn’t want to know. What I did know (then) was he bandaged my toe when I injured it in the creek and saved up the whole summer to buy us a dinner at a fine restaurant in Santa Cruz. For two and a half years my heart got rebuilt from the dream and world broken by the high school sweetheart.
Then, I was proposed to, for the first time officially (a breakup letter asking to be waited for indefinitely and a possible someday by Mr. HSSH [high school sweet heart] return didn’t count) with a ring and everything. Only two problems: First, I heard in my heart a very audible “No.” Even as I was standing with everyone around us gushing and problem number two? The ring I looked at wasn’t at all what I had been explicitly asked of my taste. My awaiting fiancé verbally acknowledged hearing (though I didn’t say anything audible in the moment) that he had heard what I liked, but got what he thought was better. Twelve weeks before our set wedding date he also decided we were better friends than future lovers. Good thing we didn’t get hitched. Still, that magnitude of rejection was very hard to bounce back from, resilient as I have proved to be.
I did, but it took several more years after rekindling with the guy from high school (thinking he might have matured) I was left again, before meeting someone who, my first date with him, he met me halfway where the Bart Line met the Transit and jumped, yes, jumped over the turnstile, happy to finally meet me. He loved me wholly, however, sadly, he loved honor above protocol and wisdom. I spiraled into a verbally abusive, sexually controlling relationship, giving up on virginity in my late 20’s, then a brief long distance date for a few months and finally another verbally abusive relationship. I was viewed as codependent, but found out my personality, though needing to be watchful against that, is one of a few personalities that have a desire for deep companionship.
I looked back at my disastrous choice and thought, “How did I get here?” I hadn’t forgotten God (Who is Love). I had even inquired of Him help to be patient with my partner. I had ceased to have faith that God had a plan of good and a future for me. I had failed to ask for His patience which is a mixture of both love and kindness, Hebraically speaking. When the verse in Corinthians starts with defining love, the first definition on the list is “Love is patient”. Patience is two-fold. As humans, we can say things in love but not behave with kindness, or we can behave or speak kindly, without the love in our hearts. Paul states that without Love, we are nothing. “Nothing” in some paraphrases of the Bible is attributed to the terminology when God defines idols or demons as “nothing.” Not that we shouldn’t hold a HEALTHY respect for the enemy that DOES hold power and sway in this imperfect world, realizing our own righteousness is as filthy rags and that only Creator’s power can defeat him and his forces.
I found myself where I never thought I would be, with the kind of man I swore I never wanted to be avowed/wedded to, because of the dynamics I had seen in my parent’s marriage. I looked back on my love path with my Creator and I saw moments of Spring and Refreshment of the soul followed by long and distance feeling desert paths. Him literally saving my life from suicide as a pre-teen, physically holding my wrist and not letting go when there was no one else in my furniture-barricaded room, the warmth of the joy of His Spirit the afternoon I got water baptized that rested upon me, the time I stood in my room worshipping Him with praise in the midst of the spiritually dark house and got taken up to heaven, feeling my spirit descend back down into my body and crying because I didn’t want to be here on this earth, the time when again, I was thanking God and He blessed me with joy so overflowing that I had to beg Him to stop because I felt like my physical body would burst. The time I could feel His gentle smile after witnessing to a classmate, the time I saw four angels protecting me so I could sleep in peace in the car in the garage, the time He provided just enough change to get a sandwich at the end of the month when my finances had run out and the cashier was gracious enough to give me the sandwich on the house. The many times He has given me artistic and economic vision or inspiration on how to reuse some item I had on hand as something else or beauty I hadn’t considered illustrating or writing. How He moved me from an uninsulated studio without a kitchen I was able to cook in to a one apartment hobbit hole upgrade with central heat and air, space to dance in worship, a washer dryer that ditty’s a tune when done rather than an annoying buzzer and furnishings. And there is a lot more unseen, unrecognized things I will learn of in Heaven.
He sure has been patient with me. He has been loving. He has been kind. But I needed to repent and turn back to Him. I suffered heartache. I forgot. I divested from His relationship, rather than investing in it. I believed the lies that society told me. When I repented, I experienced the peace that passes understanding. In the midst of legal and emotional chaos, I just recall thinking, (and praying) to the Lord, knowing as a human being I am bound to make mistakes and there are still things to learn, but I didn’t ever want to mess up like where I found myself again. I persist in asking Him questions, I persist at waiting for His answers. If we don’t have Love, we are nothing. Thing is we too often get Love (capital L) mixed up with “if we don’t’ have love we are nothing”.
Solomon analogizes the “patient in spirit” with “the end of a thing” (Ecc 7:8 NKJV). Jesus’ disciple, John, who wrote the book of Revelation describes the patience of the saints as:
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. (NKJV-New King James Version)
This is when perseverance is needed on the part of God’s people, those who observe his commands and exercise Yeshua’s faithfulness. (CJB-Complete Jewish Bible)”
Do I now have all the answers and know all there is to know regarding Love or love? Nope.
Do I still walk days or weeks or months at a time with Love without miraculous, tangible manifestation in quiet walking? Yep.
There has been a lot of people in prophetic office drawing attention to the fact that many people who claim Him have more love of what He can do for them rather than loving Him for Who He is. That breaks my heart. I know what it is like to have someone love me for my body, for the money I had, for how I could help someone with their ministry, for who someone wanted me to be. God created feelings. God created us in His image. God has feelings too. He not just all wrath or just all love as Christians portray Him. He experiences grief. His perfect wisdom and justice is what differentiates His hurt from our version of hurt. Knowing that He knows that I know that He knows how I feel increases desire to get to know Him. Knowing He delights in spending time with me increases my desire to get to know Him. Knowing and remembering He lovingly created each iota of me, increases my desire to inquire of Him. Unlike some people who find my inquisitive mind a challenge, He does not. It takes patience to know Love, but every day is worth the struggle because He has a plan (in Jeremiah 29:11 some translate it as “My thoughts”.) He never without a thought toward you or I, and not just any thoughts, but thoughts He knows for our good (or peace, depending on translation), with a future and a hope. This elephant in the introductory visual for this article became a rededication elephant. Much of my childhood toys I sold to move from my parent’s house or I love along the way or tossed because of the memories attached of habitually failed faithfulness.