.I knew who I wanted to marry the moment I met her, however, I was pretty sure (OK positive) she would not have anything to do with me. Talk about above my pay grade! She was beautiful, had a great voice, was a knock out, could hold her own in an argument about Paul's misogamist leanings, what a looker, and she had made a decision to serve overseas (the Peace Corps). Did I mention her eyes?
We met during a week my family lead the missions section of the VBS at her church so when she showed up at my school that Fall as one of the College group from the church she was attending while studying at Ohio University I felt blessed. Really! Then she asked me to show her around - me! After a half hour of non-stop from me on the school, town, family she suddenly stopped me and said, "If you don't kiss me I am going to go crazy!"
For a minute I thought I had said what I was thinking out loud. Then I realized it was her - talking to me. Well, the rest is in the history books, but, I will never forget how incredibly honored and awed I felt when she selected me to be stand next to her. Still do. It is what picks me up when I am down, shores me up when I am low, and warms my heart when it turns cold.
I tell this story to remind myself how I felt the first time I really heard Jesus say, "I love you; the real you; the you you try to hide from everyone else. I love you and have loved you before you even cared if I loved you."
There is no feeling that comes close to revealing our debt of gratitude to Him for saying that to each and everyone one of us. When life trips us, buries us in minutia, batters us with conflict the only force to pick us up and move us forward is this promise from Paul, "The love of Christ constrains us..." (2 Corinthians 5:14).