17 years ago, I was falling in love. A mere 29 days earlier than this very day in 2003, I had enjoyed my last "first meet", not knowing, of course, that it was indeed the last. I had thought it was very nice, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this guy would be the guy.
We had met in a bar (no shock there, to anyone who knew me then) through a mutual acquaintance, and even that very first night, we had enjoyed a really nice conversation. He shuffled his feet a lot, I tossed my hair a lot, and we both giggled nervously. A lot. He broke the mold of the typical "college guy" (probably because he was already out of college), and was not actually dripping in cologne, thereby leaving a trail of hormones and lust wherever he went. He was tall, which I liked, but kept scrunching down a little bit, as if self-conscious of the way he was built, which I did not like. He wore worn out cowboy boots rather than the latest, trendiest, and most cool shoes that money could buy. He was nice, and was cute enough, but honestly, he was so not the man of my dreams. Or so I thought.
God had other things in mind.
As time unfolded, I began to see in this tall, humble, intelligent, funny, ruggedly handsome, non-conformist, an allure that was magnetic to my soul, and fight it though I may, I fell in love with him. And he with me. And as we fell in love, the same question kept coming to my mind...what does he see in me?? Is he nuts? How can he possibly love me? (Am I the only person who has ever wondered that??)
For example, I had rarely met a Coors Lite or an Amigo's soft taco that I did not like, and my middle showed it. I still had acne. I was still in college and had spent too much time wondering what to do with my life, and even though I was close to graduation, I still was not sure what I was going to be when I grew up. I had no money. I lacked impulse control and had sought out physical comfort from too many men who had not earned it. (Think promiscuity) I claimed to be a Christian, but most everything about me screamed the exact opposite. And even though it was the style at the time, my hair was way, way, waaaay too big. (Think of the early 90's, a perm, really long thick hair with tall bangs, and you might be close.)
What does he see in me?? How can I be worthy of his love??
But, my worth in my sight did not matter. To Dan, I was perfect. I was all he had ever wanted. He did not see the freshman (or sophomore-junior-senior-5th year senior) 30 + pound fat roll around my middle. He he loved my big hair. He was blind to zits. He was still trying to figure out what to do with his life, too. He had made his own share of "mistakes of affection", and was leaving a past behind, too. He was broke, too. And he knew Christ even less than I did. To Dan, I was not a list of wrongs, but of rights. Because he is the right man for me, he overlooked all my flaws and saw only the best in me. It still amazes me.
But more important than this miraculous gift given to me 17 years ago, is the gift of acceptance and forgiveness I daily receive from God. Really, the question should have a capital H in it.
What does He see in me?
What does the Lord see in my soul when He really looks close? Does He see every shortcoming, every failure, every fault, every mistake, every blemish, every...every? Does He see all my fears, my doubts, my insecurities, my worries, my hurts? Of course He does. Does He notice? Absolutely. Does He care? You bet. But does it matter? No.
The God who so intricately knit me together in my mother's womb, the God who can number the hairs on my head, the God who knows my thoughts even before I do...yea, He notices. Nothing is outside of His watchful eye. But nothing can separate me from His love. There is nothing I can do, say, or think that will take one ounce away from His magnificant love for me.
As I daily walk this journey with Him, I am more and more aware of this truth. I still don't fully grasp it, and I hope I never do. I hope that I am forever striving to fully understand Him and His greatness, and the incredible depth of His love for me. What does He see in me?? How can He love me so much?? I just screamed at my kids...surely He is disgusted with me. I just slammed down the phone in anger at the harsh words of a friend...surely He made a mark on my tally. I just ate that whole bag of gummy worms myself without even sharing...surely He cannot trust me. I was just impatient with the man who loves me so well...surely I am unworthy. I just complained about the mud for the 427th time this week...surely I am ungrateful. I just....
I just got forgiven. I just found more love. I just drew one step closer to His grace. And to Him be all the glory.