Sunday, December 22, 2013
"On Fire": Only ONE GUY Can Earn the Title of Being 'THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE'
I read a story that was totally heartbreaking *and* truly inspiring all at the same time. It was about a man who went off to war many (many) years ago and told his wife that if he didn't come back that she should remarry: "She told him no. He had a hard enough time getting her to say yes. He was it."
Her resolve was so cute to me...
Well, although Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt was considered to be Missing In Action and ultimately dead many years ago, his beloved Clara Gantt held out hope. She waited for him. She never married anyone else.
An amazing 63 years later, his remains were returned. Clara Gantt is now 94-years-old. She went on record about her late husband stating this:
“I am very, very proud of him. He was a wonderful husband, an understanding man,” she told TV reporters at the airport. “I always did love my husband, we was two of one kind, we loved each other. And that made our marriage complete.”
This is not a quote from some sappy movie. *This is the real deal* and you can tell from the absolute anguish that is on her face in this picture:
If that ain't a display of *real love*, I honestly don't know what is.
Something that I have been thankful for, especially over the past couple of years, is that God has afforded me the opportunity to be around some widows (James 1:27) who truly and fully loved their husbands. So much in fact that hurrying up to find "another man" is not even on their radar. They don't live in the past, but they do honor it and if another relationship cannot at least come close to their former one, they are more than content with being single.
These widows have traveled the world, they run businesses, they dress sharp (and some of them are in their mid-late 80s) and aside from missing not "companionship" but *the oneness of their husbands*, overall, they seem very happy. They have actually become great role models for me because although I've lost a fiance' before, he still wasn't my *husband*. Their example has been a tool to show me that "love" is a word that's used far too casually and you can tell by the fact that far too many people go from person to person to person---claiming to "love" like love is a new pair of shoes that you can put on, wear out and then throw away in order to get a new pair. Love is not disposable. Like God, love is everlasting...because "God is love" (John 4:8&16). If you truly love someone, love is to last...*actively so* (I John 3:18).
I remember a pastor illustrating a sermon years ago. He passed out pieces of a big heart that he made to different people in the congregation and after his sermon, he asked for them back. Some people had lost their piece. Other people had children who chewed them up. Some people left before the sermon was done. And so, the pastor could not get all of the pieces back.
He used this to teach a lesson on fornication (and indeed, it can be hard to "get all of yourself back" when you've "oned yourself" to more than your husband; it's taken me almost seven years to do it!-I Corinthians 6:16-20). However, I discern that it can be applied to what can happen when you choose not to value your heart enough to guard it (Proverbs 4:23), period. Even the Shulamite woman was wise enough to say to her sister-friends "Women of Jerusalem, promise me by the gazelles and the deer not to awaken or excite my feelings of love until it is ready." (Song of Solomon 2:7-NCV) It is such a mature thing to request because the Shulamite didn't just want to wait until *she was ready* but until *love was ready*. Until she was ready, he was ready and the *timing was right* to be in a love relationship (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Until then, she preferred to be without the...hype; the emotional euphoria of a feeling like you're "in love" without the true stability that love brings.
And so, while some people might say that Clara's story is more depressing than anything else, honestly, although I wish that she could have spent many more years with her husband, she has reminded me that if covenant love is right and real, it's not something that you can do over and over again anyway. When you are joined to the one who God says (GOD SAYS) is the suitable fit for you (Genesis 2:18-AMP), when "it fits", it just...well...*fits*. It reminds me that no matter what the media, love songs or sometimes even our heart will tell us (because Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts will deceive us more than not!), only one guy can be the true love of our life---one lifetime at a time.
Sure, widows can love one man and then marry another but remember what wedding vows say (that so many people seem to ignore): "I will love you and be faithful to you until death parts us." *A widow keeps her promise*. She loves her husband for the rest of his life, which helps us to understand why she is free to remarry (I Timothy 5:14). And their example reminds me of why the Word (John 1:1) says "Honor widows who are really widows." (I Timothy 5:3-NKJV)
So yes Mrs. Clara Gantt, today, because of your example, I honor you.
I have said it many times on this blog over the years. God is thorough and says what he means and means what he says. In the Garden of Eden, he did not tell Adam that he would give him someone "to love". He said he would give him someone who would be suitable, someone who would be adaptable...someone who would fit. He would give him...*his one*.
God desires to do no less for us (Acts 10:34).
We are not children so let's stop doing childish things (I Corinthians 13:11) by playing with guys like they are toys and allowing them to do the same thing to us. Going from man to man to man, physically or emotionally, is so beneath us (Matthew 13:45-46).
Don't just be with *some guy*. Give God the space (and timing) to bring you to *the love of your life*. Or as the late Bob Marley put it, this (kind of) guy:
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around.
You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you.
When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.
There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.
The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all.
A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you.
You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you.
You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
You can't find that in several people.
You find that in only one.
Prayers for your comfort from the Comforter (John 14:26), Mrs. Gantt.
And prayers that you won't settle for less than *the one*, "On Fire" women.