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    The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

    Thursday, February 28, 2019


    I love to hear stories of how people met. Who doesn’t enjoy a good love story?

    A hitchhiker was looking for a ride back to college when another man about his age pulled over and offered a ride. “I’m stopping by my girlfriend’s house though before I head that direction. She does have a younger sister so it might be worth your time.” The hitchhiker was my grandfather. He married the younger sister who became my grandmother. The man offering the ride married his girlfriend and they became my great uncle and great aunt. An unexpected, adventurous love story.

    My great grandmother Viola lived in Georgia. She was unmarried and in her early 20s. In that era, she was considered an Old Maid.  Unbeknownst to her, her two married sisters placed a singles ad with her information in a national magazine. A man named Richard from Davenport, Iowa started writing her. This was a problem as she was a granddaughter of a Confederate soldier and he the grandson of a Union officer. The realities and emotions of the war were still looming. However, letters continued to be delivered by the postman. Richard took a train to Georgia in the hopes of being welcomed by an understanding father and not the barrel of a shotgun. He and Viola were soon married. A culture-defying love story.

    My parents were set up on a blind date and fell in love at first sight. They both knew on that date that they were supposed to marry one another. My dad said to my mom (can we talk about how this was the first date?) “I’m going on my honeymoon to the Bahamas in August. Want to go with me?” This was in January. My mom, coy and with a sparkle in her eyes replied, “I’ll have to see about that.” They got engaged in April, married in August, and sure enough set off on their honeymoon to the Bahamas that same month. A whirlwind romance.

    My good friend knew she was supposed to marry her now husband. But she fought it all along because he wasn’t what she expected (looks, age, personality, family, etc.). Even on her wedding day, she wrestled. Not so much at that point because of him but because she knew her selfish sin nature and she knew what marriage would require of her. But she knew that she loved him and that his love for her was constant despite her doubts. She knew that it was what God had for her and she thanks God everyday that she chose him over her faulty and flakey emotions. A glorious struggle of love.

    Each story is different, unique, and an example of divine intervention regardless of the amount of romance, humour, or wrestling involved.

    As much as I enjoy a good love story, I have to stop myself sometimes because I can start writing myself into someone else’s story. “Maybe it will happen to me like that? If I could just . . .” And then I dream of manipulating circumstances so my story will turn out just as funny or romantic as the next.

    But God doesn’t want us to try to create a story that is not our own.

    This is me putting hope in someone else's story. And the truth is, the only story I should be putting hope in is the Story of Love that my Savior wrote for me.

    God saw me. Oh I was beautiful because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. But I didn’t see God. My heart was full of selfish ambition, pride, hatred, and enmity towards God. I was headed the opposite direction, away from Him. He asked too much of me. He wanted me to admit that I wasn’t enough and that I didn’t need Him. I’m an independent woman and can fend for myself, thank you. But as I headed down my own path, I kept hearing His woos of affection for me. I saw His acts of selfless love. I read of His death and resurrection, both done with the intention of my being with Him forever. He pursued me despite my lack of interest. And my heart started to change. I felt new life bubbling from within me. I was giddy with joy. And I said YES to the Lover of my soul. A life-long, death-will-never-do-us-part marriage. What a Story!

    There is no greater love story. There is no greater surprise or unexpected twist in plot than the one being written for us.

    Whether I find the man of my dreams and have a cute You’ve-Got-Mail type story or I meet a man in a boring-not-too-exciting way, I know that I am not living for the thrill of a love story made in this world. I am living for the joy of the otherworldly one. This Story of my First Love is one that I will be telling for years to come.

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