Stumbling into the best

Most of my life has been used to chase girls.

Example:
I’m 5 years old and I like two girls in my kindergarden class.
Names? Jennifer and Alexandria.
In the end Jennifer liked me back so that decided my first girlfriend…
And I’ve got the picture in line to prove our love (me rockin’ the red suit jacket and her in some frilly pink and white dress).

Since then I’ve used girls as my primary way of making me feel good about me. My mission was accomplished any way possible; using methods that included being the guy friend, the trusted advisor, the tease, funny guy and even studying really hard to make sure I looked like the good student I never was.

When I hit high school I was new to Florida and it didn’t take me long to go through several Christian “maybe girls” before landing on one who stuck. And almost four years later I got 4 days away from making a HUGE mistake for her and me. By the grace of God we didn’t get married and the next 18 months were a whirlwind of partying, working like crazy, avoiding true Gospel community/family and really anything that made the pain of facing the Truth disappear.

I never saw her coming….

Jesus brought Lee Anne into my life like a wave of grace.

She was everything my other girls weren’t: thoughtful, courageous, open hearted, probing, connected, full of character and most of all a fruitful-faithful-friend (borrowed from my friend Ted Sinn). Lee Anne broke my nice Christian girl mold – she was passionate and broken and wanted to talk about Jesus and His love for people, especially the hurting ones, all the time.

I wasn’t the choice husband material that a girl is looking for when she sets out to get married but at the same time Lee Anne wasn’t/isn’t a just get married because that’s what people do kind of girl anyway.  And after lots of hurting and healing, I stumbled my way into the best life ever – way better than the one I had all planned out at 5 years old.

Just this morning I stood by our marriage bed and watched Lee Anne and our beautiful 3 month old baby Amelie – my heart was racing and it seemed like pure love was bursting out of every pore in my body. And all of this started with my stumbling and His amazing grace.

Lyrics for my soul

{After I wrote the title of this post, I have to admit I thought of the cheesy 90’s book series: “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” Hopefully this post will not be that.}

My sweet husband has been learning new songs on the guitar from a list we’ve both been making

{okay, at least I’ve been making, per his request } of songs we’d like to sing to Baby Roquemore.

Tonight, he decided it was time to learn “How He Loves.”

I have to say, this is one of my all time favourite songs.
It always makes me sing as loud as I can. It almost always brings tears to my eyes.

The lyrics always help heal a part of my soul that’s been breaking.
I think it’s because it’s the thing that’s missing that I’m supposed to be rooted in, always.
What changes my life about Jesus & His gospel is this: broken as I am, awful as I am, He loves me.
He loves me so.

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree…
Bending beneath the weight of His wind & mercy.
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by Glory,
& I realize just how beautiful you are, & how great your affections are for me.

Oh, how He loves us. Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us so.

We are His portion & He is our prize,
drawn to redemption by the Grace in His eyes.
If Grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,
& my heart turns violently inside of my chest.
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when
I think about, the Way

He loves us, whoa how He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.

Well, I thought about You on the day Stephen died,
& You met me between my breaking.
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony.
{These people, they} want to tell me You’re cruel.
But if Stephen could sing, he’d say it’s not true.
‘Cause He loves us. Whoa, how He loves us. Whoa, how He loves.

My heart is most at risk in the moments that I forget this.
My journey is most unworthy when I choose to let go of this truth.
This truth that sets my heart free to live and learn and be in His presence.