My Life's Stories
Inspired by the testimonies of others and the invitation given to me a few weeks ago to share my own, I have created this space on my blog to share My Story. Here is the introduction and an invitation to read along as I share My Life's Stories to give a Testimony of God's Goodness. Along the way, I hope you will also be inspired and equipped to start recording your story.
Love stories have all sorts of beginnings--sometimes serendipitous, sometimes years of admiration, sometimes the discovery of the girl next door. Yet, what every good love story has in common is unexpectedness. Sometimes the unexpectedness comes with surprise. Sometimes the unexpectedness burrows out from below the surface of a long-standing friendship.
In either case, when love strikes, the hearts caught in the cross-fire of its intentions and emotions find themselves surrendering to a mission bigger than themselves: To love and be loved completely--beauty and blemishes, confidences and inconsistencies, sweetness and scars. This stage of love is perhaps at its purest but most likely not at its wisest. And yet, perhaps, this pureness is designed to outwit the wiseness in order for love to woo and win.
Young love. It is one of the greatest gifts of a lifetime.
In today’s, My Story, “Caught Off-Guard in Love” you will see that I am that kind of person. The one who fell in love with a man quite on accident--because it needed to be that way for me. What you won’t find in the story are the details of the many times my own naivety to the ambitions of two hearts moving in the same direction led me to do and say things that now in hindsight seem crazy. Yet, at the time were a result of me being both unassuming and true to my own plans--having fun, making friends, and hearing stories.
I was not looking for love. I was not looking to fall in love. I was content. I was planning on all of that coming later--when I was ready. To this day I am thankful that the opening sentences of this paragraph are the words that I can use to describe the state of my emotions and soul at the time when I met my husband. I think it caused him some stress because I was so oblivious to the affection that was growing in him for me! But for me, it made for the whole story unwrapping itself as an unexpected surprise. Some surprises in life are not a treat, but this surprise, it will forever be my favorite one.
All these years later, as I reflect on our love story, I can see through the glasses of wisdom (that are only accessible via the passing of time), that my unique design’s attributes were considered by the author of the love story of my life. God knew me. He knew how my brain works and the mission of my heart. He set me up! Yes, he did.
God took my no-nonsense ways and worked a love story right into them with a patient, persistent man who fell in love with the who of who I am. It stills comes as a surprise to me that he was not put off by my ambitiousness nor my matter-of-factness. I have said some really stupid things without filtering them through compassion or the fact that other people have more tender feelings than I do. I am a work in progress friends.
But here is the thing I most want you to see in this earthly love story of ours, God wrote it and we get to live it! Every day we get to choose to keep living the love story He has gifted us to participate in. And what really caused me to fall in love, after weeks of ignoring that such plans were in the works, is that we were one-hearted in the mission to love God and love others. Our deep felt connectedness birthed from conversations, so many conversations, about living on purpose, knowing ourselves (flaws and strengths) well, and not letting things of the world hold us back.
Though there was a lot of talking, there was just as much listening. And I wonder if it was really the listening that made all the difference in the world. Because as we listened we learned and we both felt known. There is nothing that can compete with a heart and soul that believes and trusts she is known.
In just a couple months our love story will turn 15 years old! And do you know what still sets us on fire and keeps us growing?
It is our connectedness to the heart of God and the mission he has for us. We have not quit talking about how to live well with the gifts he has given us. We have not yet quit dreaming of the ways we can work together to help others feel known and equipped to live on mission for the Gospel. Sure, we have our days of frustration, disconnectedness, and survival. But, by the grace of God and the intervention of the Holy Spirit, we always find our way back to the core of the why of our love story.
Love stories have all sorts of beginnings. Yet, all love stories will come to the same end as death does them part. Still in the middle of all great love stories are two people who choose to keep the story alive by continuing to love the other--beauty and blemishes, confidences and inconsistencies, sweetness and scars. And in it all, from beginning to end, each day is an opportunity to make true the vows professed at the start by living them to the end. Sacrifice may no longer seem simple, but it is if you let it be. Surpises may be harder to come by, but wisdom can help them to be found. Realities and practicalities will beg to take precedent, but the choice of where to focus one’s eyes and affection will always remain. Young love is made mature, wise and true by the love that is grown in the middle part of the story. Choose well. Love well. Keep the story going all the way to the end.
Caught Off Guard In Love, Story No.5
I believe every married couple should revisit their love story from time to time. When we pause to reminisce on our own love story, we get to revisit the joy and grace found in the bliss of beginnings. Sometimes I think that memories are the best medicine for a tired and weary soul--to remember is to live those moments again with new eyes that see more than what was seen before.
Stay tuned . . . Next week, Away They Went, Story No. 6
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Jaclyn is a wife, mom, educator, visionary, and avid runner who uses her writing to pick up and examine life, culture, faith and running, probing to discover the awe of God who is sovereign over it all. Join her on her journey at jaclynloween.com. She is a firm believer in the powerful, effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out theGreat Commission. Because we are stronger, healthier and lovelier when living on mission together, she desires to help others know their unique design and purpose for such a time as this.