A lot of us want to know God, but it often takes the ushering in of someone who is a little more familiar to make us comfortable. That for me was my fiancé.
I remember as a young girl going to the 7am service with my Mom at Triumph Baptist Church in Philadelphia. We would get dressed and get on our way without my dad or brother in tow. My dad, probably working or about to head to work and my brother probably still asleep. We would walk up the stone steps, hoping that we were in time to actually get into the sanctuary instead of being sent to the “overflow room.”
“You are the source of my strength. You are the strength of my life. I lift my hands in total to praise to you.”
The voices would billow out from the large choir. It’s the only song I ever remember them singing though I know there were others. We would go to church, but as a young person I had no idea what it really meant to love Him.
Fast forward years later as a long-term relationship was essentially coming to an end and I was searching frantically to hold onto to something bigger than myself. I met this kid. He was young, doing music, and on-fire for God. At that point in my life, I was so far removed from even my early days at Triumph. I was one of those, “I know there is a God,” people. Whatever that really means, it wasn’t enough.
And so during our writing sessions, he started giving me CDs to listen to. They were from this pastor at Impacting Your World church. He was funny and relatable and for really one of the first times in my life, God seemed digestible. I wanted to know more.
CLICK TO TWEET//For one of the first times in my life, God seemed digestible, and I wanted to know more
So I started going. Turns out there was another campus of the church literally walking distance or a short bus ride from my place at the time. And that’s where it started. Slowly and surely, I saw him. Walking by faith and not by sight. Hungry for God and seeking Him in a way that I had never seen. Loving a man that loves God shows you a vulnerability that we often don’t see represented, especially in men of color. What I saw was someone who had to depend on God when the weight of the world was too much for him to carry.
Our expectation of men is that they are supposed to have this inner strength. But what happens when that’s not enough? That’s what I learned from him. I was living that way. I was working in my own strength, trying to make it all happen and I was failing. And I was frustrated. And here I saw this example of a person who had everything to be down about, but was happy. That was at peace. That was living their life in a way that I was never privy to.
See church for me was just an event back in the day. It was something you did. I had no idea what actually walking with the Lord day by day was really like. It’s like God put my hand in his and knew that he would lead me to this place. It’s something that will always be between us. And truly as we both sought after Him, we found each other.
Here I am. In this place, where I am not at all sure how I was doing it before. But I remember crying uncontrollably in the car listening to Tamela Mann sing “I’m so glad, I’m living my life in this place.” See I don’t have it all together. And Lord knows there is so much more I want out of life, but I never thought that loving God would change my life the way that it has. As I wipe away tears as I write this, I am just so grateful to know Him. Grateful that He loves me and has watched over me even when I was too stupid to acknowledge His love.
CLICK TO TWEET // I am grateful that He loves me and has watched over me even when I was too stupid to acknowledge His love
My fiancé showed me what it was to love God. And it will always be between us. And in the times when I am giving him less grace and mercy than he deserves I recall that. Giving me that was greater than anything I could possibly ever gain in my lifetime. So as we grow, I look forward to the opportunity for us to teach one another how to go even deeper. How to really honor Him and serve Him with our lives. How to make God proud of us.
Without God in the midst to hold each other accountable, I am not sure we would even be in the place that we are. God is powerful. And God has been at the foundation of our connection. I mean, I think he’s fine and all that too. But his love for God. That is what has always been most impressive.
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