“Amy, it’s me. I’m getting married!”
I listened with delight as my best friend, Kathy, outlined her plans. “You have to come and be my bridesmaid,” she said.
“I’d love to,” I replied. Steve was a wonderful Christian man. My friend had found a winner and I was glad.
I was also sad. I was 25 years old and I hadn’t had a date in 1 ½ years.
I fell in love with love when I was very young. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and their Prince Charmings were fuel for my fire. My mother and her best friend set it ablaze when they decided that their children should get married when they grew up. Dave and I were five years old at the time. Devoted to Dave from then on, I spurned all other suitors and proudly sat with him at the top of the jungle gym while the other kids chanted, “Two little lovebirds…” He was Superman to my Wonder Woman. He gave me my first real kiss. Alas, when I was in the fifth grade we moved.
I never heard from or about Dave again. But there were other loves to be sought.
The first moment of my first class at my new school I eyed him out. He was handsome, maybe he would be my true prince... Nope.
There followed many dates, boyfriends, friends and flirtations. Some serious, most not. I became adept at pleasing others. Always fashioning myself into the image of the one I loved so I could keep him.
I finally met my Prince and learned about real love. Not soap-opera, fairy-tale love. The Love that dies for the beloved. And how I loved Him back. Passionately!
Unfortunately, I was also still in love with the idea of human love. So much so that I floundered in and out of three relationships with Christian men after I got saved. Still fashioning myself into the image of whomever I was with at the time. Trying to be pleasing. Trying to enchant my chosen hero.
Then I awakened. I ended a pitiful, slowly dying romance and realized that although I had spent most of my free time for eight months with this man, he didn’t know me. He only knew the perfectly edited version of who I thought he wanted me to be.
I started praying. I got very specific about what I wanted in a husband. I also got serious about asking God to heal me. I wanted to be loved for who I really was. I wanted to know who I really was!
At the same time I was preparing to travel cross-country to participate in Kathy’s wedding.
Just prior to leaving, I read a devotional about a Christian crying out to God over his burdens. Quoting passages from Isaiah, God tells the Christian not to fear, that He will be with him to protect and provide for him. In the end the Christian asks God why He would do this for him.
God answers simply, "You are mine” (Isa 43:1b NIV).
I flew 3,000 miles meditating on those three words.
I watched Kathy and Steve promise to love each other forever. I saw how they looked at each other. She was my best friend and a lot like me. It was a fairy tale with a real life princess. All that I’d been dreaming of all my life.
After the wedding I went back to Kathy’s house with the bridal party, all strangers. I felt lonely and awkward. Before long I got into an unpleasant, trivial discussion with one of the bridesmaids. I left the room, went upstairs, got on my knees and sobbed, “God, when is someone going to love me like that?”
Clearly, fiercely, lovingly the words sliced through my self-pity. “You are mine!”
Thanking Him, I reveled in the assurance that God passionately loves me. So much that He is jealous for that love to be returned.
God became my King of Kings that day. I put all my energy into fashioning myself into His image and began discovering the woman He intended me to be. Three months later I was engaged to a man as well. We will have been married ten years in March 2005 and we are still very much in love.
This is a true story. Names have been changed to protect my anonymity.
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