Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Falling in Love Again

How many times can you fall in love? How about with the same person? Well, can it be? Here I am falling in love again.

He was my first boyfriend. My only real boyfriend. Real as in dated for more than a day! 

We grew up together, went to college together, and were in a car accident together--where the car was totalled, but we were okay.

When we first started dating, I was working in the box office of the now nonexistant Oaks 10 movie theatre. My manager, Monty, kept seeing this guy with blazing red hair stand in line, come up to my register, whisper to me, and then get back in line.

Monty was a down-to-earth kind of manager. He got to know his staff and was quick to realize what the red-headed young man was doing.

"Who's that guy?" inquired Monty.

"Oh, yeah...he's my boyfriend. He's waiting for me to finish the midnight matinee so he can walk me to my car. To protect me from robbers and rapists and such, you know," I said,  shrugging. 

"Do you love him?" Monty was intrigued.

My face grew hot from embarrassment. "I don't know,  I don't know what being in love feels like."

"Tell him he can watch a movie while he waits for you to finish your shift."

And, so began a routine where when I worked the late shift, Billy would get to watch movies for free, until my shift was over, and then he walked me out to my car.

Talk about devotion...and he got to see free movies!

I wondered for many weeks, am I in love with him?

And then, one day, I knew it. I was.

It turned out that he felt the same way about me, but he was the first to say it.

"Chanda, I love you."

I looked into his eyes. The eyes that were captivated with me.  Those wonderful, three words, were being spoken to me. I felt as if I could float away. 

"I love you, too." It wasn't just an automatic response, I really felt in love with him.

It was like that with Jesus. When I first believed Christ truly died on the cross for my sins, and was resurrected three days later proving He is God (1 Corinthians 15:3,4), it felt relieving to know that I was forgiven. 

It was years later, when I was going through a really tough time that I felt something new. I was watching a kids movie, and the character on the movie reminded me of Jesus saving me. Suddenly, something changed. I felt pursued, like a lover pursues his beloved.

In more and more ways, I felt like Jesus gave me little gifts, revealing His love for me. It was usually through nature. 

Rainbows, a verse that jumped from the pages of Scripture, a swan with her cygnets, butterflies, and laybugs, all kisses from the King of kings and Lord of lords. I felt so unworthy.  But, still he pursued me.

And, then one day, I knew it. I was in love. With God. With Jesus.

Life has a way of getting harder and harder as you get older.  There is more responsibility, more busyness, more things to distract. There just isn't any time for romance, for love.

Billy and I have tried to keep up "date night," even with four kids in tow, but even when we get one, we feel very exhausted. 

Recently, I've been praying, Lord, please help me fall in love again.

And, amazingly, miraculously, I am.

Little moments, little gifts, tender, sincere words, all spoken from my lover, the one with the red hair that melted my heart. And, here I am, falling in love again. 

At the same time, I feel like Jesus, though He always has been, is pursuing me again, drawing me ever more near, into deeper love with Him.

I don't think I could ever plumb the depths of His love for me, for all of us who are His beloved bride. He pursues each one of us, if we will but look up, and seek His face, we will be pleasantly surprised at what we find. 

Is true love for real? In Jesus, it is, eternally.

"All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.  Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon.  (Song of Songs 4:8)