The Top Three Ways to Distract Marissa During Class/Meetings
(Not in any particular order)
1.) Show a picture of your baby. There I go just admiring the adorableness of your child, wondering how it’s changed your life as a professor, what it’s like to be a baby… (You may already be able to tell that I easily go on wondering tangents about people’s lives.)
2.) Tell me something really important or moving right beforehand. It’s sort of hard to pay attention to what’s being said when you’re trying really hard not to have some kind of outburst, whether it’s giggles or tears. Giggles I can somewhat manage (when doing a play in middle school, we would calm ourselves with a combination of shouts from an angry director and saying “One, two” (deep breath) “three, four” (deep breath), “five.” It still works, even without the director!)
3.) Let me catch a glimpse of your wedding band. (See rest of post.)
Now, this isn’t something that people usually present to everyone like a baby picture unless they’ve just been married. This is something that is far more subtle, and perhaps that’s why it distracts me all the more. When I see a wedding band, I think (1.) AWW, they’re married! and (2.) Someone loved them, and they loved someone, enough to make a serious commitment, one that they’re willing to present to the rest of the world in somewhat shiny (or tattoed!) physical form.
Sometimes that’s where the little thought process ends, but other times, it bounces back to me. Like most other girls, I would love for someone to make that commitment to me someday. But it’s not something that I expect. God never promised me that I would get married, just as He never promised grad school admission, a sweet and supportive little sister, enough money and free time to jet off to Hawaii whenever I want, opportunities to play a tambourine, or love and friendship from everyone I meet. Some of those things I have, some of those things I don’t. He did, however, make other promises.
One is in John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
And here’s another one, from Romans 8: 1-4, 31-39 (Oh, just read the whole chapter sometime. It’s wonderful. And though it’s long, try not to gloss over the passage here. God’s words are far more valuable than mine, which is often why I just hush and let Him say it.): “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit…
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My God has made a beautiful commitment to me. Like the nation of Israel was, I’m a faltering mess in keeping mine to Him, but as one of my favorite verses says, I’m pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me. He took hold of me! I couldn’t quite decide what to bold or italicize there- that “He took hold of me“ (why on earth would He want to choose such a mess) or that He took hold of me (He chose me- he sought me out and caught me!).
He made the first move- He told me, and perhaps more importantly, showed me that He was and is incomprehensibly in love with me in a way that always protects, always trusts, always perseveres, and never fails. While that’s something beautiful and amazing to read and to work towards in our human relationships, I am in a relationship with the only One who can actually do it right now.
So if you catch me staring at someone’s wedding band with a far-off look in my eye, don’t worry. I’m most likely not wishing it were on my finger or worrying about the relationship. Even if I am, it’s only a matter of time before my thoughts come back around to a glorious truth that leads me to what’s really going on: I’m falling deeper in love with the greatest Love of my life.