MY LOVE STORY: waiting with a purpose
Today I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Joy Eggerichs. I met her many months ago in a little coffee shop on the eastside. Over oatmeal and scrambled eggs and way too many cups of coffee, Joy and her mother (Sarah) and me and my daughter (Elizabeth) enjoyed one of those rare moments of recognized alikeness. Something just clicked in that cozy corner of Portland and a friendship was born. Maybe it was Joy’s uninhibited laughter, along with her mom’s ladylike gestures and startling normalness. We talked about all the things women always talk about: boys and men and why we’re so proud of them and how they worry and perplex us.
And so today, I’ve asked Joy to tell her story. Its not finished yet— no “and they lived happily after” tagged on at the end. Instead you’ll hear a story just starting. A story of a woman who has decided to do her life well. And I think you’ll agree with me that Joy’s story is unfolding just the way the Father wants it… all mixed up with Joy’s quirky sense of humor (unicorns?) and solid rock faith in the rightness of God.
And since I know you’re going to love this, click on over to her fabulous blog to learn and laugh and see why I like her so much.
From my heart,
My Love Story: Waiting with a Purpose
Spoiler alert: this love story doesn’t end like the movies! Roger Ebert has vowed never to watch it again.
On that note...
I almost got married. I had said yes. My love story was written—or so it seemed.
When the final chapter of “us” came far more quickly than I had imagined, I went to a place of waiting and have remained ever since.
One might immediately think that I have been waiting for a husband this whole time. Sadly, that is not the case. After “we” ended, I couldn’t fathom becoming an “us” with anyone else. The idea repulsed me. And I knew it could never be the “we” of before.
My waiting is on the transformation of my heart.
Sometimes that kind of transformation feels like your heart is a ball of dough and God is a very large Italian man kneading your heart on a woodblock and throwing it up in the air. All the while, you fear that when the heart is perfectly prepared, baked, and ready, some man is going to come along and bite off that valve that allows you to breathe.
Transformation of the heart was scary because I had given my heart away and made a deep emotional commitment. I knew I had some work to do. I realized what “felt” like love was actually an unhealthy type of love. I couldn’t put into words the different styles of love I had experienced until I read C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces. Before reading that, all I knew of the love from before was that it wasn’t right.
And I knew I wanted a different kind of love moving forward.
But even though I can look back and see the transformation God has done, feelings are strong and fear can creep in and say, “Joy, you will never know real, healthy love because of all the attachments you made to unhealthy love.”
This is when I have to stop and cling to truth. And remember I believe in a God who transforms and redeems.
But I want to know answers today! I don’t want to wait anymore! (Insert the stamping and pouting skills of Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) At the core of my temper tantrums, the true question of my heart is this:
Lord, will I be loved and able to love well?
Yes. Have patience. There is a purpose.
When I choose to listen and have patience, trusting in a bigger purpose, I find my view of waiting changes. It seems to me that an awareness of purpose constitutes some level of belief. And, as my belief grows, I realize waiting has more to do with my heart toward God than my heart toward a man.
Joy, do you really believe in my purpose for you?
Uhhh, I’m trying!
If I do, then my earthly love story is secondary to the perfect love from my heavenly father. And if I am in relationship with Him, the Lord, then I can have patience knowing that if an earthly love story happens (and I am believing it will), my healthy relationship with God will be the thing that transforms my ability to receive and give healthy love to a man.
Pain of a broken engagement caused me to question my relationship with this “Good God”—His timing, His love, and His purpose for me.
But Scripture talks about suffering. It gives me a heads-up that this will happen because of the brokenness that is in our world. So my desire is that my suffering or questions will not become an idol or obsession that keeps me from waiting well.
Because I know this type of waiting that I have described will be part of married life, too.
While the seasons of my life will change, the character of God will not. And, as I said before, I believe in a God who wants to transform and redeem. A God who will transform and redeem, when I ask. In sorrow, in joy, in wonder, and in wait, He is at work on our stories of love.
Waiting with a purpose,
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” –Romans 5
“The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” –Psalm 34
“Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” –Jesus
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” –Jesus
P.S. I wanted to throw something out to all the readers who might want to participate in my earthly love story. Just in case you know any men who may fit the bill, this is my very serious deal-breaker list. If he doesn’t fit these requirements then you can forget setting us up.
To hear more of my story click here.
PRINT AND KEEP WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES.
- Believer in unicorns
- Slightly dirty looking (you know, the “I shower once a week” look)
- Taller than I am
- Passionate about something (God is a given)
- The ability to give me piggyback rides
- Willing to promise daily foot rubs in our wedding vows
- Orphan (so we can spend every Christmas in the Michigan snow with my parents)
Those are just a few things to get you started on your hunt for my new “us” or “we.”