by Jessie Mejias
I recently attended a healing conference where we were put into groups of three and asked to recount a positive memory. When it was my turn, the very first memory that popped into my head was that of my “re-engagement” to my husband.
In 2005, both of my sons got engaged and, my husband, Alex and I were celebrating our 30-20 anniversary. It had been 30 years since we first got married, 20 of which were consecutive (which is a long story.) We were planning to celebrate it by simply renewing our vows.
When I began to consider how each of my sons had planned and executed romantic proposals to their respective fiancées, I realized that my husband had never proposed to me in such a way. We had been married twice to one another (again, part of the long story) but the first time we had just made an off- the- cuff decision to get married. The decision to get married happened as we were washing dishes and my husband asked—very tentatively—if I would consider marrying him again. Now, twenty years later, I was feeling short-changed in the romance department.
So that year, I told my husband that before we renewed our vows, I would like him to really propose to me. I didn’t tell him when or how— just that it had to happen by our anniversary in July. As the months passed and nothing happened, I began to think that this was something I should not have expected in the first place.
Then on Mother’s Day, we attended a luncheon at the home of one of my closest friends. We were having a great time, enjoying good food and even dancing a little bit. All of a sudden, everyone in the room peeled away from me. I found myself sitting alone while the other guests were on the opposite side of the room standing in a semicircle. I saw my husband coming towards me with a fully bloomed single long-stem red rose. He got down on one knee and held out the rose to me. I was weeping so loudly that I could barely hear the words he was saying. My husband asked me to marry him again, then told me to look inside the rose that I was holding. There I found a beautiful gold and amethyst ring. I was wearing the ring on the day of the conference as I told this story and showed it to my group members.
The next part of the exercise was to identify what I most appreciated about that positive memory. For years I secretly nurtured a desire to be celebrated in a surprising way and now that was fufilled. As I told my group members about that moment, I was once again basking in the feeling of being special and cherished.
The final part of the small group exercise was to invite Jesus into the picture to show me His living, interactive presence
Two weeks later, in my devotional time, I came across Jeremiah 31:3 and paused to meditate on it.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore, with loving kindness, I have drawn you. (NKJV)
I remembered the countless times I had heard the Lord say [and had recorded in my journal], that He loves me with an everlasting love. I could not help but think about the song we sang in church the previous Sunday: “Everlasting God.” I highlighted the words “everlasting love” in my Bible and wrote in the margin: “He loves us according to who He is: the everlasting One.”
The dictionary lists the synonyms for “everlasting:” eternal, perpetual, timeless, immortal, unending, abiding, lasting, permanent, constant, boundless, ceaseless, continual, continuous, deathless, endless, imperishable, incessant, indestructible, interminable, limitless.
Then I found myself confessing to Jesus that I often still felt short-changed and left out. He took me back to the memory of my re-engagement. I could still see Jesus sitting there with my husband and me. I saw the Lord get up and invite me to dance with Him.
As Jesus twirled me around the room, I heard Him say: “The re-engagement was special for you because it meant you were no longer left out…[no longer] short-changed; You are not second-class, second choice, or second best. You are my first choice, my beloved. You can count on that.”
God’s love for me—[and for all of us] is very much like the love described in 1 Corinthians 13 in The Message translation, which means “never gives up… keeps going to the end.” We are all His first choice. We are His beloved, and, because of His nature, His love is something we can count on.
One week later, the Lord expanded on this theme. He said: “Yes, my love is everlasting because I am love and I am everlasting. There is no end to my love because there is no end to me. My love holds the universe together. The love that is shed abroad in your hearts is the same as mine, a chip off the old block. Therefore, each one of you has the capacity to love without end, without bounds. I want you to love the way I do. You don’t have to work to make it persevere; it perseveres because that is the nature of love. So, tap into My love and walk in it, live in it, enjoy it and give it away.”