I know God was with me for the first half of my life because, frankly, I survived. But when I look back to see when He started to pursue my heart, I am brought back to the tender age of 18.
I was very sure that the one who loved me the most, was myself. And that was the only person I could trust to do what was right for me and take care of me. The fortress I had built around my heart not only led me to seek people who required no commitment from me, it caused me to be controlling, anxious, and fearful. After all, protecting yourself is a lot to take on. But, overall, for my plans, it worked. I was a straight A student, preparing for college and success. However, protecting yourself almost always causes you to hurt other people. I will not share the details because I believe that they will not bless you, or glorify Him in any way. I will say that once in possession of my soft, squishy heart, I spent plenty of time confessing and repenting those sins and left them at the foot of the cross. I would have continued on with my “plan” had God not intervened. And boy did He!
He was six feet tall, covered in dirt and a smile. Fresh from a mosh pit, his clothes didn’t match and his collar bone was swollen. He was a cross between Pig Pen and the kid goofing off in the back of class. He offered to show me the back seat of his car, or my car, whichever was closer. I was not impressed. I’d had plenty of similar offers that night. And this is not a reflection of my vanity, but of the hormones of a 20 something male. Oh, physically speaking he was right up my alley. Solidly built with wide (although one swollen) shoulders, blonde and blue eyed and though dirty, legs that should really be in a magazine. And he made me laugh. Future Hubby was not at all what I was looking for. Thank God!!
It would be three more encounters before Future Hubby took me on a date. By the third week I knew I was in trouble. He was so very far from what I was looking for, yet I knew we fit better than I was comfortable with. We were polar opposites. Exactly what we needed. He breathes sports, I tolerate them and never play them. I love to read, he falls asleep after the third page. I like to dress up, he prefers nothing more than comfort. Matching is not on his list of priorities. He is messy, messes make me nervous. I like to plan, he flies by the seat of his (mismatched) pants. You get the picture. But he made me laugh. And right from the start it was obvious that this man was either the worlds best actor, or there wasn’t a shred of pretense about him. It was the latter. He is completely incapable of lying. The genuine article. You see, he possesses no filter. Thoughts travel directly from his brain, out his mouth. He is uncomfortable with anything resembling untruth. Seventeen years later, and I can not think of a single instance in which he has been deliberately mean or hurt someone’s feelings on purpose. What he lacks in social skills, he makes up for in loyalty, sincerity, and dependability. Much like a Labrador retriever, but less hair.
He was exactly what my untrusting, fearful, guarded heart needed. He brought me out of my “safe” box, made me laugh at myself, and stop living five years in the future. He brought me laughter, joy, and relief from the path I had set myself on. He was the chink in my armor. How could I not trust someone so genuine and true to who he was?
There are plenty of times that I am certain our differences will drive me crazy. (Think basketball player that cannot manage to hit the hamper with his underwear.) And then, I will be in full panic mode about something that isn’t going according to my plan, and he will laugh at me, hug me, and tell me everything will be okay. I will be about ready to throttle him while he’s watching some sport and not hearing a word I’m saying and there will be a commercial break and he will have our toddler laughing so hard he’d pee himself if he was potty trained.
I know that God’s plan included Hubby. I am so very grateful that in His pursuit of my heart He gave me someone who slowly, carefully, made his way past that fortress and helped me to trust, love, and find joy. Hubby was the first step in a new plan. One not of my own making, but so much better than I could have imagined. And it all started with the tearing down of walls and the careful exposing of my heart. For His glory, and my good.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
- -Proverbs 19:21