My favourite dates were the early morning ones on a cliff overlooking Hamilton. The sunrise would stretch rosy fingers across the sky and push back the starry night. The city was soft and sleepy and bathed in pink, and the lake shone quietly in the distance.
The lake. There’s something about water that calms the soul.
He understood that, and there were other times that we met at the beach in the evenings as the sun was setting. I squished my toes in the cool sand and watched the gulls wheel through the air, looking for food. Waves gently splashed the shore and a steady stream of boats moved across the horizon, slowly making their way to the harbour for the night. There was peace.
But there were also messy dates. The ones where I would drive for miles down the highway, pouring out the tears and agony of a disappointed heart. He would silently listen. And that was okay. I didn’t need him to say anything. His presence was comfort enough.
I haven’t gone out on a date with him in a long time. I’ve gone on dates with my husband. I’ve gone on dates with my kids. But, somewhere along the way, the most special dates of all have fallen by the wayside.
Sure, we talk. I read my Bible. I pray. Maybe not consistently, but I try. But it’s not the same as it used to be. Several years ago, things changed.
I asked Him about it last night in church. “What happened to us? Where have I gone wrong?”
And I heard Him whisper. Words that were hard to hear but needed to be said. You’ve let disappointment affect the way you view Me.
And these beautiful words: I am near to the broken-hearted.
Jehovah Shammah. God is there. Emmanuel. God is with us. I am not alone. Jesus is walking this journey with me.
I will never leave you nor forsake you. I have inscribed you in the palm of My hand.
It doesn’t matter how long I’ve pushed him away. He never stops calling. He never stops wooing my heart. The truth of His love flows into the deep places—the places where I feel ugly and small. And there, beauty grows.
I have loved you with an everlasting love. You are Mine.
Yes. I am His.
This afternoon, we had coffee together, He and I. The younger girls napped and the oldest went out with her dad. It was just me and Jesus in the quiet of the house. I sat on the couch and sipped my coffee and just enjoyed His presence. And I felt again what I have been longing to feel—the deep-down assurance that I am loved.
And there was peace.