Monday, August 8, 2011

I Love You, Too, Lord

Do you ever have one of those times where you feel like God decided to throw you a bone? This weekend was one of those times. Clearly I have had a difficult year. Broken relationships and frustrating circumstances made my glass-half-empty personality go into overdrive. On top of that, God hasn't let me take the easy way out at all this year. In my prayer time with Him, I have been encouraged to take the high road, love unconditionally, pray for those hate me/hurt me, remain faithful to people even as they cause me pain continually and don't care, etc.

Well, God showed me so much grace this weekend. He lavished his love upon me, you could say. It started early Friday as I drove from Toledo to Columbus. Oh the joy of a road trip without three children yelling their needs from the back! I do enjoy listening to the VeggieTales Ultimate Silly Songs on repeat, but this was the time to listen to Beth Moore share her sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, but always heartfelt and encouraging wisdom. In this particular clip, she suggested that it is never appropriate to say, "I love you" to God. What is always appropriate is to say, "I love you, too" because everything God has done and continues to do is his way of showing us he loves us. "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

If you've ever been to the midwest you know what it is like to drive through seemingly endless cornfields. Usually, those monotonous cornfields on US 23 are just a dull backdrop. That day they were as beautiful as the waterfalls of Ochos Rios, the mountains of my beloved Montana, and the breathtaking view at Magen's Bay. I love you, too, Lord.

I pulled my car into a Westerville driveway that I frequented on a weekly basis in college. I was met at the door by a beautiful little girl, the spitting image of her mother, Bethany. I first met Bethany as a freshman at OSU. I volunteered at my church to help babysit at MOPS. Bethany was the child care coordinator. She was a stay at home mom to two little boys and everything I wanted to be one day. In a moment where I literally thought the words were going to burst out of my chest if I didn't ask, I asked her to disciple me. She said yes and we both started crying because she said she was dying to ask me if she could disciple me. She was a rock for me in the craziness of college, when your head, your heart and your dreams for the future are going every single direction. She is gifted with visions from God. I know, I know. I'm very skeptical about such things as well, but hers is authentic and she doesn't throw it around all the time. This first vision she had for me was the week before George asked me out. She "saw" that God had placed a man in my life that I would form a great relationship with. Now, for most girls this would be a joke, but for someone who had never had a serious boyfriend and almost never got asked out of dates, this was big. Her second vision for me was on friday. I would really like to share it with you, but it really is too precious to me so I want to keep that to myself. What I can say, is that it makes my suffering worthwhile and it gives me such hope and encouragement for the future. To quote the great theologian, Timbuk 3, "my future's so bright, I gotta wear shades." Again, I love you, too, Lord.

On to Athens, where my good friend, Heather was willing to leave work early and drive an hour just to have lunch with me. My friendship with Heather is funny because we met on MySpace. Before you start imagining what THAT looked like, we had a mutual friend and we would ended up talking to each other on her page. Eventually we "friended' each other and that was that. I believe this was our third time seeing each other in person, but everything conversation with her is a blessing. She is very down to earth, whereas I either have my head in the clouds, or buried under six feet of dirt. She is funny, intelligent, incredibly caring, and an avid reader,  and we always have stuff to talk about. I saw something very valiant in Heather last year, when she had a difficult choice to make. Remember the mutual friend that introduced us? Well, we are no longer friends and it was very very contentious. There were several people that cut off their friendship with me as a result. They "took sides" the way we do in middle school. There were two women who chose not to, even though they knew all that happened, and actually were closer to my former friend. At the loneliest time of my life, Heather, and this one other woman, chose to believe I was still a worthwhile person to converse with. They chose to think the best of me instead of the worst. They had the courage to risk a friend's disappointment rather than heaping more coals on top of the already large fire that was burning on my back. Since then, Heather and I have a closer friendship and I absolutely cherished our fun lunch together! I love you, too, Lord.

Of course, there have also been friends who have always been there for me during my times of need. The ones who took buses visit me at OSU before I had any friends. The ones who helped me through high school when boys rejected me or I lost my position on the varsity soccer team. The ones who stood by me at my wedding and still uphold their promise to George and I  to encourage us in our marriage, to pray for our marriage, and to be there for us in our times of need. These were the girls I met at a cabin in Hocking Hills this weekend. Of course, some of them weren't able to make it and we missed them dearly. But Katie, Jessica, Jen, Melissa, and Marika, and I had a great time. We literally talked for hours and hours. There wasn't a single topic we didn't cover. Funny things. Serious things. Sad things. Happy  things. Weird things, or should I say, weird security guards and weird movies ("You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not.") I love you, too, Lord.

Sunday afternoon, I drove back home to my lovely, not-so-little family, who greeted me with a clean home, big smiles, squeeze hard hugs, and wagging tails.  I love you, too, Lord.


  1. This post touches my heart. It is amazing the friends God places in our life. May you, and your family continue to be blessed.

  2. I got goosebumps. Great post. You're so well spoken Janine


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