I will never forget when I first met Ryan Shepherd (AKA my hubby). Our eyes met each other and my heart fluttered. He had sweet blue eyes, tall, and the minute we started talking I knew he had a kind heart. We were going into our sophomore year in college and the more we started hanging out the more I realized I wanted him to one day see me in a beautiful white dress at the end of the aisle. I wanted to talk to him every second, his eyes melted me, and I just loved getting to know him and his family. I could tell as I got closer he started getting more distracted then the dreaded “words” came, I NEED SPACE! What the what? I was so head over heals and we were having such an incredible time together why would he need space?
My heart broke each time he didn’t answer my calls or walked the other way on campus. I felt lost. We were involved with a wonderful college ministry and the pastor’s wife directed me to go home and read Psalm 51 in my Bible. I just wanted to have a good ole fashion 3 year old melt down but I did what she said. I laid on my bed and this verse JUMPED out at me.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” Proverbs 51:10
I realized that I put my relationship with Ryan before God and it was time I needed to start dating Jesus. Jesus needed to become my first love. I stayed in my apartment for 24 hours reading Scripture, praying, and spending time with the ONE who rescued me from my sin. The ONE who has always been there and I neglected to draw near to HIM. The ONE who loves me in spite of me. I realized that the more time I spent with HIM the more I wanted to be like HIM. I started growing in my Faith and realizing that dating Jesus required time, effort, and attention. Jesus wanted to teach me, love me, and shape me into the daughter HE created me to be. I had a purpose and that was just to be with HIM.
At the same time I was drawing near to HIM, I got a call from Ryan! My heart about jumped out of my chest. He told me he had been praying and God kept putting me on his heart.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O lord endures forever.” Psalm 138:8
11 years, 2 kids, there have been lots of life lived and memories made. The last 6 months we have been dealing with some issues with our 4 year old, I had reached my limit and I could feel an anxiety attack stirring within me. I felt lost in how to discipline him. Jesus gently nudged my heart and said, “take me on a date.” I grabbed my Bible snuggled in my bed and started reading letters from my first LOVE. Jesus is always there, waiting on me to draw near to HIM. I opened up to the book of James and HIS words slapped me across the face.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask GOD, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in Faith, who no doubting for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6
As I try to figure out this “parenting” thing I often feel like a failure but I trust in a LIVING GOD and through HIM I cannot fail. I will put my trust in the ONE who rescued me, my first LOVE. I cannot wait to go on a date with HIM in the morning!