The Divine Romancer

Everyone loves a great love story.

In October 2003, a great love story began.

A clean cut young man at the office caught the attention of my dad.

At the time, love was the last thing on my mind.  I was living overseas, working on an acquisition integration team of a large corporation.  My weeks were full with work, my weekends full with travel.

In October I came back to the States for a visit, to take a class for work and see family.  It was during this visit that my dad decided to play matchmaker.   An invitation issued and accepted, and I found myself awkwardly introducing myself to a stranger on my parents porch.


But it wasn’t awkward for long.

As the night progressed, my mind started running away from me.  I mentally put my first name with his last, and thought it sounded right.  Everything just clicked and I felt sure that he was feeling the same way…

Up until the time when we went to say goodbye.  No request for my phone number, or email, or even a hug. All I got was a handshake and a stand-offish “nice to meet you”.

The next day, I returned to Austria, confused.  Surely, I couldn’t have been THAT wrong about my feelings, or his, or how well the first date (a bind date, at my parents house), despite the unique circumstances, felt so right.

A couple of days later, he asked for my email address from my dad at work, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Come to find out, he was cautious about how a relationship would work between a gal living in Europe and a guy living in South Carolina.

I’m so glad this small town guy took a risk on this girl with a touch of wanderlust.

Over the next year, we got to know each other through countless emails and phone calls first, then weekend visits.  Eventually I moved from Austria to Atlanta, then ultimately back to Columbia. Nineteen months after that awkward first encounter, we were married.



I’m so thankful for the gift of romantic love; for the gift of my husband.  The love we share points us to a Perfect Love from a Perfect Pursuer.

This Perfect Pursuer chased my own heart for years. Many many years before He captured it fully.  Many years I affirmed my love for Him, but it was artificial. Superficial.


But God didn’t give up. He kept pursuing.

And finally, in 2006 I surrendered to His pursuit, and fell deep into His oceans of grace.

I was His, and He was mine.


This morning I was talking with a precious friend at church, and with tears in her eyes she shared how God was moving so much in her life.  It took me back to those early days when I first fully surrendered my life to the Lord.  I saw myself in her and could nearly feel how exciting and overwhelmed she was feeling.

Valentines Day is the perfect opportunity to consider God’s love.

God the Father is constantly pursuing us into a deeper love relationship with Him.

As God pursues our heart, we cannot remain indifferent.  His pursuit requires a response. The response of surrender is “Yes, Lord”.

Have you entered this love relationship with the Father?  Has there ever been a time in your life which you surrendered yourself fully to Him?  If you are unsure, I would love to talk with you or email with you about what this means.

If you sense His loving voice beckoning you to surrender your life, DON’T WAIT!Today can be the day of salvation~ the day you enter into the greatest love story of your life!

If you already have a relationship with the Lord, how is Christ pursuing your heart today?  How are you responding to His pursuit?

Something I’ve been pondering lately is that in everything ~ in the good of life, the hard, the painful, and the joyful~ in ALL things, the Divine Romancer is pursuing our heart.  His ultimate goal is to captivate more and more of our heart as we love him more. Many times he uses the sweetest parts of life to beckon us to Himself.  He also uses the difficult seasons to draw us closer, refine us and rid us from heart idols that rob our affection for Him.

It’s been helpful for me to ask myself this question when I have a difficult circumstance, or a trying time especially “How is the Divine Romancer pursuing me through this?  How can this circumstance serve to draw me nearer to Him?”

I recently read some writing from a twenty-somthething student at Fuller Seminary.  This stirred my soul~ may it stir yours today  “Seeking God means letting my yearning heart meet His yearning heart. It’s a beautiful interaction between two lovers. I don’t reach out to get His attention or win His affection. I reach out to meet His loving gaze. I don’t seek Him to stir His heart, I seek Him to encounter His passion for me that’s already burning in His heart.”

If you feel stagnant in your pursuit of God, remember back to a time in your Christian walk that you had a greater passion to know Him and love Him more.  Consider this question~ what are the things in life which stir my affections for HIm?  Is it nature? Is it solitude in His Word? Is it writing or music?  Is it spending time sharing with friends who love the Lord? Or maybe it is through serving those in need.

Ask yourself – what are the things in life which stir your affections for him?  He has made each of us perfectly unique, so what stirs your affection for Him is likely different from mine.  Make sure your daily schedule has margin to incorporate the things that stir your affection for the Lord.

Author AW Tozer says in “The Pursuit of God” (one of my favorite books, by the way) “To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love”   Ponder that for a bit in the quiet spaces in your afternoon.

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Today  is Valentine’s Day, and whether or not you have a “Valentine” to share this day with, if you have faith in Christ, you have a Divine Valentine.  Jesus is the lover of our soul; a Divine Romancer who pursues you with His love, grace, beauty, mercy, goodness, perfection.

Allow Him to stir your soul, and then, by His grace, actively listen to Him, overflow the truth of the Gospel, and continue to follow Him, wherever He leads.

 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

It is Well {Living in Paradox}

This is a “heart check”.  I shared these words this morning with a few trusted friends, desiring for them to have a window into my soul.  I long to be transparent and real on this journey with each of you, not just my trusted friends.

So really, how have I been lately?  Like, how’s my heart?  Honestly, I write this post through tears.

The best way I can describe it, is that I feel the constant tension of living in paradox.  I often feel like a wrestling Jacob.  (Genesis 32:22-32) Only my wrestle is all in my head and my heart.

There’s a tension that all is NOT well in my soul, but at the same time IT IS WELL.


Jesus – my faith in Him- is the ROCK which I prop my life on.  He doesn’t call us to comfort.  A very wise friend recently told me that a life of leaning on the ROCK is not comfortable.  It’s hard. It’s rough. It’s dirty.

Here are some of the uncomfortable, dirty bits of my life, living in paradox these days.

It ISN’T well: Recently my five-year old, very perceptive and “old soul” of a  daughter asked if I’m going to die.  She went on to share with me if I did die she would “cry in her pillow every night”.   Heartbreaking.

It IS well:  This conversation, and the hot tears that it brought (still brings) has granted me the opportunity to wrestle with whether I really, and I mean REALLY trust the Lord with my children and husband.

Through this wrestle, God is slowly prying open my fingers on my desire to control, manipulate, and micromanage their existence…to make it pain free and all joy. I’m releasing control to the story that GOD want’s to write in their life, with or without me.

I’m coming to grips with the fact that this God, this Heavenly Father, this Creator, this Pursuer of my heart…HE CAN ACTUALLY BE TRUSTED.  He created them too – He loves them more than I do, and He’s writing their story together for good too.   Do you see? God is shaping my heart.  He desires my heart….ALL of my heart.  He doesn’t want me to be closed handed with even that which is closest and dearest and tender.


Selah’s prayer. My prayer too.

It ISN’T well:  I watch my precious husband pour himself out all day at work, and then pour himself out at home because I lack energy… especially in the late afternoons and evenings.

It IS well:  I get to see my husband step up and be a picture of Jesus.  I get to see firsthand how God is growing him as a man of God in the most painful and unlikely, yet the most beautiful way. I get to experience my love growing deeper than words can express. Our marriage is forever changed for the better, and thankful this happened 10 years into our marriage instead of 20, 30, 40 years in. We get to spend the rest of our lives together  – forever changed in the best possible ways.



It ISN’T well: I fear that the cancer will come back. I have dread that I will have to go through the horrific chemo again. I plead “I cannot go through that again. Please Lord. No”. Knowing the medical stats that it’s usually the recurrence that is terminal.

It IS well:  Fear takes me to the cross. Fear fixes my eyes on Jesus as I realize I cannot control this. Fear takes me to His Word and His promises – especially the promise that “He will never leave me nor forsake me”.  Fear causes me to reflect back at all the ways He carried me through chemo the first time and my heart can rest knowing if He takes me there again He will carry me again.


It ISN’T well: Over the summer, I had to temporarily step away from a ministry that I love with all my heart. I wrestle with feeling disconnected and that I’m not needed…. That they did fine without me.

It IS well: The Lord is continually using this to remind me that this ministry is not about me anyway!! It’s so gross to think for a minute it’s about me – so the Lord is revealing pride and then refreshing and reviving me in repentance as I am washed in His cleansing blood.  Seeing the ministry thrive without me reminds me that it’s all about HIM, not me.  I’m back (easing back in), and I’m so increcibly thankful for the amazing women God enabled through my absence.


It ISN’T well:  I’m in a medically induced menopause (at age 35) to keep my hormones at bay… Hormones that could cause the cancer to grow and spread.  This menopause may or may not be temporary.  A menopause with all of the usual side effects! Yes I now know exactly what a hot flash feels like and if you see me fanning myself you know why!

It IS well:  In menopause, and cancer, being able to relate to women who are suffering – in trials big and small.  God is making me more empathetic, and compassionate, and I pray to minister through my suffering.


It ISN’T well:  I’m laying down MY dreams for our family and the size of our family, that it is unlikely that I will ever carry or nurse a child again.  This is an especially tender place for me

It IS well:   These unfulfilled longings are causing me to crave Christ, the ONLY One who can completely satisfy me. I’m laying down MY desires and dreams, but getting to replace them for the story HE wants to write in our family. He is good, and His mercy will endure.  His story for me; for our family, is better than any that I could even ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20!)

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Cancer is helping me to understand the paradox of being sorrowful yet always rejoicing in ways I would have never understood otherwise.

“Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander” has been my prayer for a couple years now.  I’ve been begging the Lord to grow me in ways only HE can do.  He’s answering my prayer – only cancer is how He is doing it.

The “it is well” testimonies above are those deeper places that my feet have now wandered.  Walking through cancer means walking through deep, deep waters.  But with the deeper hard comes the deeper beauty.  I would have never walked there myself.  No one willingly wanders to cancer. But, in this case, that’s just what it’s taking to allow for this deep, deep beauty.

It is well with my soul always wins.  It may be through tears.  It may take a time of wrestle.  Like Jacob, I may wrestle all night, but also like Jacob I will come out of the wrestle with a limp …an indescribable way of walking that is set apart and different.  This limp is a way of walking through life that’s different, and that others notice. And my limp is because of His presence and touch through the wrestle.

The limp points ME and OTHERS back to Jesus.  Limps aren’t ever pretty, but they point back to an experience from the past. That’s what this life is all about anyway isn’t it? This life of mine is just to point to HIM. It’s not to draw attention to my limp but point to the One who gave me the limp.

I’m just the vessel. My heart is His, and although I’m sorrowful, I’m rejoicing.

“It is well” always prevails.  Limp and all.

Letter to my love

Earlier this week a friend and fellow breast cancer survivor, Angela McCall, posted an article on facebook entitled “The most overlooked characteristic of who you want to marry”.  The article stated that the most overlooked characteristic is the ability to suffer well with your spouse.  It inspired a letter to my love.  CLICK HERE for the article that inspired this blog post

My love,

I knew that first night, almost twelve years ago, that you were the one.  We met on a Fall evening on my parent’s porch, and I was immediately drawn to the ease by which you carried yourself.  Self assured, but not too-much so.  It was if we had known each other for years.

You had little hope in our relationship (being the practical one), as I was living in Europe at the time, but me, being the hopeless romantic knew I’d move anywhere, do anything, if you were “the one”.

That’s exactly what happened.  From Austria to Atlanta and finally back to Columbia, the place I never thought I’d call home again.

Eighteen months after we met that warm October night, we were married.

It was one of the happiest nights of my life.



I couldn’t wait to spend forever with you.

We’ve been through a lot together in these first ten years of marriage.  You supported me unwaveringly as I left a corporate career to start my own business.  Infertility.  Three babies in 19 months.   You’ve been my steady ship.



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And now, my love, cancer has rocked our world.  I am amazed at you.  You’ve been there, in the big and small ways.  You’re amazing with the kids.  You’ve held my hand, taken over housework, and even fed me like a little bird when I couldn’t hold my head up.  You tell me I’m beautiful, even with no hair. And I truly believe you mean it.

I’m so SO thankful that the Lord chose YOU to be by my side through this suffering.  I must admit, this was not a characteristic I looked for in a mate.  But God knew.  He hand picked you for me, knowing what was ahead.  And I’m so thankful.

Watching you love me and serve me is a picture of the Gospel.  I come to you,  empty handed – nothing to give but a broken, needy woman.  And you ….you lavish love, support, encouragement over me.  And you do it WITH JOY.

The love we share is too deep for words, and even this attempt feels to shallow to express what I feel.  You’re truly, the one my soul loves.



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Prayers for this week:

-PRAISE my amazing sister is here with me again until Wednesday to help with the children through these rough days.  I love this time with her and cherish it even under these circumstances

-Pray that I’m able to eat without my stomach being upset too much.  I can’t get as “down and out” as I did last time when I couldn’t eat!

-Pray that the children enjoy their half day camp at the YMCA in our neighborhood that they are starting tomorrow

-Pray I can REST in the Lord – He’s teaching me a lot about this these days

-Pray I fight with JOY and can see God’s new mercies each day, even through these days of feeling really bad

Thank you for praying and thank you for journeying with me.