Nothing Good Apart from Him…
- Monday, December 21, 2009
My husband and I had been friends for a few years before we started dating. Pretty good friends. But it was safe, because we were both dating other people at the time. We probably talked on the phone every day for about a six-month period (while dating others), went out to breakfast at the local pancake house from time to time, and, oddly, sponsored a Compassion child together (don't ask).
We started dating a few weeks after we went away to college (different colleges), and, of course, after we both had broken up with our current flames. It was a very sweet courtship at the beginning. I remember when he first offered me his arm to take while on a walk around Trinity (my alma mater). I remember when he first took my hand while on a walk around Oliver (his school). (I was a cheap date, I'm realizing… geez, Beth, hold out for a bit more than touring campuses of private colleges).
About two or three months into the dating relationship, I noticed I was thinking about him all the time. We would talk a few times a day; we would call and let the phone ring only once so the other person knew we were thinking of them; we wrote letters; we sent care packages; we even audio-taped one-sided conversations and sent those to each other. I had an hourly countdown until I would see him again (there was sometimes a two-week stretch between visits), and every hour, I'd cross off a number. Can anyone say infatuation?
Some may chalk it up to young love… but we started having problems in the spring… about five or so months in. And I became… ummm… obsessed. He was all I thought about. The potential demise of our relationship would send me into a tailspin. Things were not right in my world. Even though he wasn't on campus, I still didn't socialize all that much other than with my roommate and a few others, and my time with God was nil.
I remember grabbing my Bible one afternoon and heading out for a walk over by the pond on campus. I knew I needed to clear my head, I knew things weren't right, but I didn't know what to do about it. I did one of those open-the-Bible-to-a-random-page-and-let's-hope-God-speaks-through-something-meaningful things. Thankfully, He did. Here's what I read that day:
I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." - Psalms 16:2
I remember this verse all these years later because it became real to me on a spring afternoon when I was in need of a word from God.
I had made Kevin my "good thing." My all-encompassing good thing. Friends fell to the wayside. Schoolwork was something that got done because it had to be done. And Jesus… well, I tried to fit Him in when I could. But in those moments, it hit me. If I were going to be walking apart from Jesus… and I was at the time and knew that I was… nothing in comparison would be good. I couldn't have Kevin as my one and only and just add Jesus to the top like icing. Jesus needed to be my one and only.
I walked back to the dorm with some new resolves. One, I was done calling Kevin… he could call me if he wanted to talk to me. Two, I was going to spend time with my friends. Three, and most importantly, Christ would become my priority.
I wish I could say this lasted for the rest of our courtship and completely revolutionized our relationship and how I handled life from that point on. But I was young. And stupid. And still in love. And life usually isn't like that anyway. If you think about it, don't we tend to spend the entirely of our lives relearning and reliving maybe a handful of lessons over and over again, just dressed up slightly differently each time?
But in that moment… I had been spoken to intimately, and I had responded. And I was not going to live apart anymore. Got any good things you need to shake out of first place?
December 31, 2009
Excerpted from He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God Who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment (WinePress).(c) Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2009.
Elisabeth lives her with husband and children in Illinois. She is the author of He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment (WinePress), In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother's Heart (Xulon), and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul (Kregel). All of her books can be purchased on Amazon or through her website at www.elisabethcorcoran.com.
Visit her blog at http://elisabethcorcoran.blogspot.com/.
You can follow her on Twitter at ekcorcoran or friend her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Elisabeth-Klein-Corcoran/1301703500.
Watch Elisabeth and her friends spread hope through Africa with Samaritan's Purse at http://www.vimeo.com/7919582.
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