Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How Humble Your Love

[Wonderful Maker, Jeremy Camp]

..to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes...
[from Isaiah 61:3, NIV]

There is so much to say, but only limited time exists in which to say it. I promised three blog posts a week and I'm pretty sure last week was only two. My bad. But SO MUCH has been happening. Yowza.

For now, I can delve into the details I alluded to in my previous post. For weeks (months?) the plan has been to see Jason when I go to recruit for TF@ near P0rtland, 0R this upcoming weekend. Only... scratch that. I received a call last week and, due to scheduling conflicts, it was realized that I'd have almost no one to meet with. Thus, it was up in the air as to where I would go. They still wanted to send me somewhere, they just weren't sure where. The Midwest was mentioned more than once as a possibility. Aka... far, far from the Pacific Northwest.

I had mentioned in a previous conversation (with the same woman- let's call her Shannon) that I was planning to do some personal stuffs in the evenings while in P0rtland in addition to my recruiting efforts during the day. Shannon asked about these plans, and while I knew Jas might be a little crushed at the news, I was able with full confidence to say that my number one priority was to recruit and serve her in any way I could, and that while I was really looking forward to seeing my pal Brendo and my wonderful boyfriend, they were simply not my ultimate motivation. She said she'd work out whatever she could, and would send me where she most needed me, and I just had peace that God's best was in store regardless.

I had Jas call and broke the news that there was a distinct possibility that I might not be able to finally see him this weekend. It was a sweet testimony, however, because earlier that same evening I was talking with my roommate (I call her Elili) and telling her about my confidence that no matter what happens in life, He has His best in store for me. Last spring I thought I had met the man I would marry, but when God revealed that this man simply believed false doctrine I had to make the painful choice to surrender what I thought was love, something that once I thought was God's best.

Though it goes against what would make sense by man's standards, within 6 weeks the Lord brought Jason into my life, and I now see that I was given beauty in exchange for ashes. I know, it's ironic that the first guy's name was Dusty, but he was mere ashes in contrast to the absolutely beautiful relationship that I have with Jason. And, as a side note, a check of Dusty's MySpace a while ago showed that he met someone else who, presumably, shares his doctrine and is a great fit for him and he proposed to her, so while I'll never have contact with him again, I do hope that he feels that he received beauty for ashes when I left his life; I don't want my calling him ashes to seem like a put down of any sort. We simply were meant to be together for a time, I learned from it, and moved on, hopefully he did too, and that's ok!

So... back to the point! I was able to testify in faith to Elili that sometimes what seems perfect (like, say, a job recruiting full time for TF@! My dream job! I'm praying and trusting God! And, of course, I applied :) ) ends up seeming almost worthless in comparison to what God has in store for us. When I wrote the previous blog post I didn't know what would happen with this upcoming weekend, but had just prayed with Jason on the phone, and we both knew that regardless of the outcome, God's best awaited us.

The next day I heard back from TF@. I'm going to be recruiting Friday and Saturday at Creight0n University in... Omaha, Nebraska. And that's totally great! It's God's best!


Now, before you get bummed for me, Shannon was so blessed by my willingness to simply serve her in whatever capacity she needed me to that she worked it out so that I'll fly to Omaha Thursday night to recruit for those two days, but then Saturday night I'll fly to... Se@ttle!! I'll be able to be in my beloved city with my beloved man, meet his family that lives there, go to church with him, and see his stomping grounds. His roomies have even agreed to let me stay there (my wonderful and loving man will take up residence on the couch and give me the respite and privacy of his room... which is REALLY sweet considering he's 6'5" tall and I'm pretty sure the man just doesn't fit on a couch!). He's pretty great like that :) I'm just happy I'll be with him, in Se@ttle, able to go to what will probably become my home church in five months, and just... be with him!

How wonderful is that? Our plans of P0rtland, which seemed like the best thing ever only a week ago now seem like ashes compared to the beauty in what actually was God's intent all along. I fully believe we can enjoy His blessing because we chose Him, and chose to believe Him and refused to feel sorry for ourselves or like we were missing out on something great. God is so good, and so faithful.

Oh, and how well does my man know me-- plans are already in the works to watch the AFC championship game Sunday afternoon (GO PATS!! TOM BRADY IS A ROCK STAR!! I LOVES ME SOME NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!!!) and even to splurge from my healthy regimen for some pizza, sprinkled with the possibility of some stolen kisses during commercial breaks :)

[Insert: I'm painstakingly moving out of the period of mourning over our heartbreaking loss to Chicago on Sunday; I'll ALWAYS love my Seahawks and though I'm rather sad that we didn't win I embrace the knowledge that next fall will come... maybe we're just meant to win Superbowl XLII in '08. But it still hurts. *sniff*]

I love Jason with all of my heart. God has blessed me with him, and I'm amazed that a man like him even exists, let alone is in love with me. I can't believe that in 97 hours I'll be in his arms.

I pray I would NEVER cling to ashes and miss out on the beauty God intends to bless me with.