“When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest t all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.”–C.S. Lewis
June 9th, 2006…Exactly one year before John and I were to be married.
But believe it not, though we felt the closest we’d ever felt to one another emotionally, geographically- we were thousands of miles away.
Instead of spending my summer with my boyfriend…I was on a mission trip in Egypt that summer; following through with a commitment I had made to Jesus long before we had ever met (read our entire story here).
A commitment to love God more, to serve the poor and needy, and to do my earthly best to be the hands and feet of Jesus. John was taking a course, studying 18 hours a day intensively for what he thought may be his only chance at entering med school and fulfilling God’s calling on his life to become a doctor. His one chance at literally being able to make “the blind see”.
There is no doubt about it, June 9th, 2006 found us both in a really good place. A place of obedience. A place of focus. A place of faith.
A place where more than ever before our hearts were hidden in the heart of Jesus. Reading through my journals today was such an incredible reminder to me of the reason why John and I are so in love:
Our love has always been founded in Something Greater than ourselves.
That day I wrote:
“God is stretching is both…reminding us that we are working primarily for our union with Adonai…all else will follow, and must only follow…
Lord, Thy will be done.”
It’s easy to forget the glue that binds us together. In fact, looking back at the times we have struggled most in our marriage the root of the problem always leads to our forgetfulness.
Forgetfulness- forgetting that God is the Source. That from Him, by Him, and to Him come all things. Forgetfulness that in Him do all things hold together.
When we forget…when we wander…we become self-absorbed…we become self-focused…we stray from the source of True Love, and our marriage is so subtly pulled apart.
I’m reminded of this truth today, because with the hustle and bustle of life it’s so easy to go down the road of forgetfulness time and time again. It’s so easy to neglect and forget the Love of our Life and give Him his rightful place in our hearts. It’s easy to run to everything and everyone else, forgetting to run to Him. It’s easy to be distracted by all the things He has called us to, and fail to remember that more than all of these things:
We are called to Him.
This is where it all begins. This is where it all must remain.
My life has never been more satisfying, through singleness, through dating, or through marriage as when I find that I am most satisfied in Him; most intimate with the Lord of my life.
To be in God’s presence is to be forced into the overflow of all that is good…and in turn, be able to emit those very good things to the world around us.
May I never try to do too much by myself. May I never try to love on my own…
It’s time to remember what holds all things together. It’s time to recall what binds my heart, mind, and heart in steadfastness. It’s time to remember my FIRST love…because therein lies the only answer to be able love at all.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!