He pursued me with words written on a page like a lightning bolt dropped into an otherwise calm evening at home and preparing for the next day's test. I sat on the arm of the couch across from my parents, intoning, "What am I going to do?" There was no one else. I had made sure of that. I was done with men as a high school junior, and I had decided that marriage was not in the forecast for me. Then the wooing began. At first it was a gentle offer on his part and persistent refusal on mine. The dynamic changed a bit when he stood looking down at me and let me know that his part was over. Any further pursuit would be my doing. As I turned away, I should have felt relief, but I felt a deep loneliness. No more letters. No more conversations. I was free to go on with my own life. Apart from him. That's when the tears came.
I should have remembered this. The pursuit. The wooing. The tender words on a Page. My refusal. My desire to do my own thing. To follow my own life. Apart from Him. The tears that rushed from my eyes and dampened my pillow on that dark night.
There were other people. There was my mother telling me in so many words how foolish I was. The fact that she was right only lent to louder sobs. There were the friends and older people that applauded my decision to graduate, establish a career, save romance for a more sensible time of life. But sensible made me feel loneliness and terror that I had given up the most precious thing I had not yet possessed.
"Of course you're saved, Honey! Look how good you are." The people that looked on couldn't see my heart. The loneliness. The terror that I would be forever separated from Him. That separation was more palpable than even the flames that I knew would engulf me if I continued on my stubborn path. I wanted Him. I needed Him.
I needed him. Just when it had happened, I wasn't sure. The pursuit I had so taken for granted and at which I had feigned annoyance was gone. I watched his retreating back. Calm, possessed. He cared enough to give me up if that's what I wanted. I couldn't know how he was breaking inside.
His heart broke as He stepped back and waited. Waited for me to get to that point of realization. I could not go on without Him. Life would just be a shadow of what it was meant to be. Then my heart broke. Tears rushed again, but this time they dripped with sorrow. With shame. He had given of Himself for my salvation and formed me when I was invisible to the human eye. Then, He loved me enough to place the decision in my hands. Love does not exist in coercion.
Somewhere in the next 24 hours, the pursuit changed. This time it was my words on a page. My apology for waiting so long. My willingness to receive all that we were meant to share.
My words in a prayer. My confession and release of the sin that had separated us. My willingness to receive all that we were meant to share.
It has been wonderful. Both roads have been littered with hardships. But no temptation or trial is enough to shake me from the beauty of what we share. The love of heaven on Earth. The love of Heaven come down to Earth.
How to fall in love? I really don't know how. I just know the sweet reality of a marriage made in Heaven and the even sweeter realization of Heaven within me.