It started like any other affair... I was mad, hurt and disappointed so I turned to something else to make me happy. I wanted some excitement in my life. Something forbidden. Something new and different.
I remember the exact second I turned away from my first love. I was laying in bed marinating in disappointment. Meditating on how he had let me down... AGAIN. He never seems to give me what I want. Oh yeah, he loves me. I've never doubted that. He gives me good things... My life is overflowing with evidence of HIS faithfulness. Oh, He's good, faithful, true. He's dependable, reliable. He would never do to me, what I always do to him. He loves me... this I know.
Even so, I lay in that bed soaking in my misery, a prime candidate for temptation, my rebellious thoughts turning decidedly wicked. That little devil on my shoulder whispering in my ear, "no one has to know". It could be my little secret. It took less than a second to reach for my kindle and search for something to read that would give me the excitement I was craving. What started as a moment of weakness turned to addiction. I knew it would... I've been there before. This time was different. I have a relationship with God and I know him well enough to know that He would not share. He calls himself "Jealous God" for a reason.
It's been over a month since I have opened my Bible. If you know me, you know that no matter how my life is going- I read my Bible daily. I read my Bible daily, because I know me and I am scared to death of me without a relationship with Jesus. I read my Bible and pray for sheer survival. I know who I am apart from God, and that terrifies me.
Every morning when I would normally grab my coffee and head out to the patio and read God's Word, I would instead pick up an entirely different kind of book. I would ignore the nudge of the lover of my soul. I would reject his promise of real love and instead gorge myself on the world's definition of love. A romanticized version of love.
It didn't take long for me to start seeing the affects of the affair. Adultery takes. It never gives. Hiding, sneaking. Addicted, consuming, but never filled. Soon my confidence faltered and my insecurity began to suck me under. I started comparing my life to the fairytales I was reading and becoming more unhappy, until my nose hardly left a book. Whole days consumed with imaginary friends who's lives were more interesting than mine.
The still small voice of my true love calling me home, over and over. As I would go through the motions of bedtime prayers with my children, I hoped they couldn't see it was all empty words, because I knew I couldn't actually speak to God. He knew. He knew how I had been spending my time. He knew the mental images conjured up by the words on those pages. He knew the hunger of my soul. He would confront me every night and ask when I would pray for real? When would I walk away from my lover and return to him? When would I admit I was empty, broken and longing for my true love? But I resisted and ran right back to my lover.
Artificial love can never truly compete with real love... Love is patient, love is kind. Love gives, love heals. Love knows what I really NEED and offers it until I give in. Love satisfies, fills, renews, restores. As much as I tried to ignore His constant pursuit and His pleading to return... My broken heart was no match for his dogged pursuit. He pulled me back to him. He spoke endlessly to my needy soul, of his healing love.
I came home broken, he healed. Empty, He filled. His faithfulness bolstering my confidence. The darkness washed away by the overpowering radiance of his love.
"Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.... In that day this is the Lord's declaration, you will call me, 'My husband,' and no longer 'My Master'"... Hosea 2:14 & 16
The Lord spoke these words over his unfaithful bride Israel, after she has continually betrayed him, by playing the whore with other gods. In the midst of her infidelity God promises to be a faithful husband to her. To love her, to pursue her, to speak comfortably to her. Real love heals.
My devotion is fickle. My love for God is selfish. I want him to be a god that I can manipulate, but then he would be weak. I want him to let me do what I want, but He refuses to allow me to ruin my life. I want excitement, He offers security. I want adventure, He offers stability. I want independence, but even I know that's the last thing I need.
I am Israel... Unfaithful... I am Israel... I am LOVED.