In case you haven’t met the love of my life, this is my husband Bill.
On August 1st, we celebrated 30 years of marriage. And, I want to tell you, this man has my heart. Every. Single. Piece.
We met at Lee University (then college) in 1986. One look at that face and I was hooked. Handsome. Funny. Intelligent. Interesting. Engaging. Kind. Confident. Transparent (yes, even then). It didn’t take long for me to fall head-over-heels in love with this man.
We spent every waking hour together. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day in the cafeteria. That means I got up early every day in order to eat breakfast. Even before that 8am class. Y’all don’t even understand what that means. I’m not a morning person. I come by it honest as it’s genetically woven into my DNA. And, I seldom want food in the morning. But, every day I met him for breakfast, just to be near him one more time. And, I ate lunch and dinner even if I wasn’t hungry.
He walked me to every class; he met me at the end of every class. We even had some classes together. (You can arrange that when you meet during freshman orientation, which was the week before registration. In hind sight – that was risky! Glad it worked out, otherwise I would have had to drop a class or two.)
We studied together in the library, hung out in the Student Center, and arranged to have our Chapel Seats next to each other. We stood in front of my dorm until curfew at night talking and talking. And, if we’d had cell phones then, I’m sure we would have kept talking into the night, falling asleep on the phone.
When my parents called to check on me, all I could talk about was Bill. What he said. What he did. What he thought. What I thought about what Bill said. What I thought about what Bill did. What I thought about what he thought.
It was all I could talk about to anybody. If I was not with him, I was talking about him to anyone who would listen.
We spent so much time together, that both of the best friends I went to college with were annoyed. My cousin, who was also on campus, was concerned. They all wondered if I had lost my mind because we were inseparable. This was unlike me. But, I couldn’t help myself. He was like a magnet, and I could not resist. I was hooked. This man amazed me. Fascinated me. Intrigued me.
I hung on every word he said. I wanted to know what he thought about everything. I wanted to hear about his life. His past. His hopes. His dreams. His plans. His opinions. Every detail. And, I wanted to tell him every thought in my head. Every feeling I felt. I wanted to share past, present, and future with him.
Once I saw him, no one had to convince me to talk with him. My normally shy and reserved self lost all in-habitations. I actually approached him first to invite him to play a meet-n-greet game.
Once I spoke with him, no one needed to encourage me to spend time with him. I took advantage of every opportunity. I created opportunities.
Once I spent time with him, I didn’t need reminders to get up for breakfast. Despite my disdain for early mornings, I didn’t need to be coaxed out of bed. I was up early and ready to go.
I looked forward to spending time with him. I looked forward to being with him. I looked forward to hearing his voice.
Meeting him changed my life. It changed the way I lived. It changed the plans I’d made for the future. It changed everything.
As intense as this sounds, I feel like this is what our relationship with Jesus is supposed to look like.
I feel like we are supposed to be so captivated by Him, that we want to spend every waking hour with Him. So eager to be with Him, that we willingly get up early to see Him – even if we are not morning people. So in love, we willingly plan our day around Him because we want to do everything with Him.
So enthralled that we talk with Him non-stop, hanging on every word He says. Wanting to discover what He thinks about everything. What He wants. What His plans are. Telling Him everything in our heart. Every feeling. Sharing every experience with Him.
So fascinated that we talk about Him non-stop, telling everyone what He said. What He did. What we think and feel about what He said and did. He’s so ingrained in our conversations, that everyone knows we’ll talk about Him given the slightest opportunity. That we’ll create opportunities. That we will work Him into every conversation. That we will just boldly bring Him up.
To be so consumed with Him that others wonder if we’ve lost our mind. That the magnetic pull He has on us is evident to the casual observer. That we radiate with love for Him.
To be so in love that no one ever has to convince us to talk to Him. No one has to give us a list of reasons why we should have conversations with Him.
So enamored that no one has to encourage us to spend time with Him. No one has to sell us on the features and benefits of spending time with Him.
So engrossed with our relationship with Him that we don’t forget days on end that He’s in the room with us.
I think this is the way it’s supposed to be.
Jesus told us in Matthew 22:37 that we ‘….must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ In other words, loving Him with everything. Being so consumed by Him that it changes everything about the way we live, the way we think, the way we speak and the choices we make. That connection to Him becomes our number one priority – overshadowing everything else. That He alone becomes our everything. The One who completes us. The One who fills us. The One we crave.
Yes, that sounds intense. And, it is. But this is what we were created for. Intimate, deep, soul-absorbing, mind-blowing, life-giving, earth-shattering relationship with the One who created us. It’s so much more than we think it is.
Anything less is not enough. Anything less leaves me wondering………
So, this is what I’m working towards. This is how I want to live – with such an awareness of Him that every thought and feeling is shaped by His Presence and His voice. That I’m driven to connect with Him continually. That I am completely absorbed by Him. Engrossed in the relationship. I want my continual response to be Psalm 27:8 (NLT) My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
ps – to clarify. Abba loves the way I love the man He gave to me as a life partner. He is thrilled that Bill has my complete heart and utter devotion. He is please that Bill is the love of my life. It’s the way He planned it. And, He is also pleased that I realize Bill is a gift to me from Him. Abba gave Bill to me (and me to Bill) to complement, support and partner with. Bill does not complete me. I do not need Bill. I want Bill, I want him every step of the journey, I enjoy him – but I do not need him. I need Jesus. I can’t survive without Him.
So thankful I get to do the journey into the heart of Jesus with this man. xxoo
One more for funsies. This is a pic of the first time I saw Bill’s face. (there’s a story behind that) A friend took a picture of me watching him. Beside me are the two besties (Jennifer & Melissa) and cousin (Sonya), watching the whole thing unfold. Sigh……