Friday, February 12, 2010

Unfailing Love

"The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love."
Psalm 147:11

From the time I was in kindergarten, I remember having crushes on boys. My first was a boy named Ray. I liked him because he was kind and walked me home from school every afternoon. I had to walk through an old, old cemetery to get to my house and it frightened me. But, when Ray was there, he made me feel safe and it wasn't a scary place anymore. Then, he moved onto Catholic school and I never saw him again.

By sixth grade the crushes got more serious and puppy love set in big time! I remember this one boy, who I thought looked just like Donny Osmond (the heart throb of us '70's girls), sat right next to me in Mrs. Brown's class. He was cute AND funny but I don't think he could carry a tune like Donny. Anyway, by the end of the year we were voted class couple. It wasn't like we "dated" but we felt that awkward, sweaty nervousness that made us act stupid whenever we were around each other. Then, June came and he asked me to go to his church carnival! My heart be still! A REAL public! We rode the Ferris wheel, played some silly games and walked around the carnival grounds not really saying much all night. We never held hands and I never got more than a "see ya" when we parted. But, it was a REAL date.

That summer my family moved across town. The next time I saw him was on the first day of my freshman year in high school (except for the occasional glimpse of him piling out of his parents' 1970's VW Van at the local supermarket). I remember seeing him come toward me in the hall between classes. My heart was beating outside of my chest and my palms got all sweaty again. As we got in hearing distance, I smiled but he gave me that look of disdain and passed by without a "hello" or even a smile. My heart sank. What happened to that puppy love? (Three years of tween-ager hood happened, silly girl)!

I can proudly say I'm now well past that puppy love stage. I've been married over 25 years to my husband whom I met when I was twelve (not the Donny Osmond look-alike). When we were engaged we spent long nights talking about commitment. I was scared he'd bail or worse, cheat. That fear was unfounded but rooted in my family history of failed love. Even though my husband reassured me of his unfailing love, I needed his reassurance over and over again, for years, even after we were married. For some reason, I never thought I'd be enough for him for a life time and it scared me.

How we worked through my fear is a long story, but suffice it to say, I learned to trust him for his word as I grew more in love with my heavenly Father. Sounds weird, I know. But what happens when you spend time with God in His word, in prayer, in listening, in living, is you learn that God's love never fails those who put their trust in Him. You learn that you are enough for Him, without adding to or taking away anything in your life. You learn He's always there for you and never leaves you even though others might. You learn to see yourself through His eyes, the one who created you. You learn to see others the way He sees them, too.

So, whether you're in a long term relationship or a brand new one and fear that love may fail you, I invite you to get to know the One whose love NEVER fails. Watch was it does to your heart. You may find yourself falling in love all over again!

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