Long ago (I mean, not crazy long ago or anything..) I was a young girl of 14. And I fell in deep, crazy ‘like” with a boy – a boy of 16 – who sported a 90s tail in his hair, a wardrobe comprised of mainly Chicago Bulls merchandise, and a goofy grin. And we “went out”. And I loved that boy and it was real.
And we were a part of a great group of friends who just loved Jesus and it was a love that was tangible and real.

But the fickle heart of youth, followed by the chaos of change, mistakes and wrong choices, led us apart.

By my early 20s – I was a mess.

And so lost. I was now a struggling single mom who had almost completely forgotten her first love.
No, not that boy. Not any man. But my true first love – God.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! 
Revelation 2:4-5

And before I could find hope again, or believe or turn myself back to God and ask for forgiveness – let alone ask for new plans for my life or for “water in my wastelands” – He gave it.

For as far from Love as I was at that point, Love was not far from me.
He was still there.
There – when I couldn’t see past my own plans.
There – when my “own plans” failed again and again.
There – to still, with His mighty hand of protection, the very worst of life’s storms as they headed for me.
There – in my crushing loneliness and fear.
There- when instead of turning my brokenness over to Him, I vowed to be “strong enough” to fix the life I knew I had destroyed through my own rebellion.
There – when the false strength of anger made me hard and brittle but didn’t actually fix anything.
There – when I completely broke because what is brittle will eventually break..and with very little pressure.

And when I shattered? He was still right there to catch me. He caught all the pieces of me..

..He caught it all. And He carried me.
He reminded me of the heights from which I had fallen and of His love.

He reminded me that He was the Truest Love I would..
…ever find
…ever need
…ever know.

Then He nudged me back.
Back into community, back to His people, His church.

And I went – fearful I would feel out of place. But I didn’t, I felt comfortable again at last.

And I think its because (as He has had to remind me repeatedly throughout my life) when He asks us to move, or go, or jump – He is NOT asking us out of our “comfort zones”. Jesus IS our comfort zone. He is our comforter, so in Him, wherever we are asked to go we are in “the zone” – in the very Arms – of Comfort.

And so I went.
I went back.
And it was that easy.

That mess of a young women sat in a row of chairs at a church. And my head was lifted by Love.

And I glanced to my right.
And there sat a young man.
No longer a boy with a tail in his hair, and not sporting a single Bulls logo on his clothing – but it was him.

And he smiled a goofy grin and I smiled back.
And somehow I know God smiled too because He was doing what He loves to do..give good gifts to the children He loves.

He is always my First Love and my Truest Love.
Is He yours?
Or do you just need to reach out tonight? To be lifted back to the height from which you fell? Back to Love?

Tonight, I will go on a date with that boy – now a man. It’s cool though..he’s my husband now!
And he is a good gift, given to me by True Love.
He is the gift God gave me when what I really deserved for my rebellion was punishment.

And our continuing story of the years since that morning at church have probably been a lot like all of yours -filled with ups and downs. Sweet times, times where we get it so right ..and times where we have wounded each other and sinned ..big time.

But we go back, together we go back.

Back to our First Love.

We are now and always will be..
Just a man..
Just a woman..
Held together by the Only Love that ever gives perfectly and never fails.

From the Heights of His True Love and Authentically Yours,
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

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