A True Romance
Finally Made It!
Waiting in the frigid breeze I could feel the sharp north wind cut to my bones causing me to shiver uncontrollably as the tiny flakes of snow stuck to my eyelashes. It seemed the bus would never get here. Breathing deeply, my lungs began to burn with the cold air as I stood belted in a calf-length wool coat and scarf about my face, cowboy boots and attempting to keep my Stetson in place.
Imagine…standing in midtown Atlanta. Was this real? It was actually happening. My dream of being on my own, having a great job, learning to make my own choices. And as I ceased the excitement of my favorite seasons of the year –Thanksgiving and Christmas, this small-town unassuming girl had big plans. I had to find more for my life, my life's purpose!
The two bedroom, second floor apartment I shared with my two college girlfriends, was perfect. Located in an old, eclectic part of midtown Atlanta, right on Ponce de Leon and Piedmont Ave., the original cherry hardwood floors and vastly high ceiling appeared to have been built in the 1920’s or 1930’s, with a vintage, “I Love Lucy ” feel. The extra large rooms and the small kitchenette with the old white with black trimmed enamel counter tops and the garbage shoot on the back kitchen wall caused me to step back in time.
The master bedroom had its own shaded balcony facing the noisy street. I savored the noise, sounds of the city in the evening and the quietness that blanketed it as it rested after midnight. And at this time of year, everything and everyone seemed to brim with anticipation and even seemed to share knowing smiles gesturing unspoken Season’s Greetings.
So, with such blessed perfection, what more could a “That Girl ” want? Really, this was all I could ask for. Life was perfect…right? So, why did there still seem to be this emptiness, a void, that something that was missing? That evening as I stood at the corner admiring the decorations in the windows across the street and the lights on the street corners and as Thanksgiving was one day away and another special holiday grew closer, the hollow feeling intensified and I found myself even more distracted with loneliness and disenchantment.
Then my closest friend and roommate suggested something I had pushed to the back of my mind many times lately. Maybe I needed someone special to share this point in my life. Maybe this was the answer. But after loosing the battle with the fear I quickly discarded the idea and retreated to my drab self-contained existence.
I chalked it up to "just another romantic fantasy". But the loneliness continued to haunt me, playing over and over in my mind until I couldn’t avoid it any longer. But how could a Christian girl with strong fundamental morals find that right kind of man here in this facade? Where do I start? The challenge and risks seemed insurmountable. I didn’t want to take chances that would ruin my life with one time flings or something I’d later regret. I wanted more for myself than that.
As “twenty something ” women, we could surely find a place to meet guys without bar-hopping and humiliating ourselves as needy women on the prowl or chance online matting. My roommate and I considered a safer, more practical approach. And what better way for a Christian girl to successfully find the man of her dreams than in a church?
Now, the quest was on. We attended Sunday morning services, Sunday evening fellowships, even Wednesday night choir rehearsals but were disappointed and beginning to give up hope. There were a few possibilities but they quickly flew south before they ever sprouted wings. The men either had their own plans for brief flings (which blew away my ideal vision of trustworthy Christian men), or they soon became compulsive obsessive’s that had grand fragmented illusions of me supporting them financially and emotionally or me serving them hand and foot. I didn’t need any of that. I enjoyed my independence and while maintaining my own dreams of being the recipient of security and love. Ok, yes a romantic, I accept the title.
One sunny but cool Sunday evening, as my roommate and I walked briskly, Bibles in hand, towards the church we had been attending a few blocks away from our apartment, a car approached us and stopped. The elderly couple seemed so sweet and genuine. They inquired if we were headed to church and offered us a ride. We explained that we had only a few blocks to walk but they insisted. As we rode they explained that they were also headed to evening service at their church and offered for us to attend service with them.
Mount Paran Church Atlanta
He Watches Over Me!
For some exceptional reason, we felt so at ease and very taken by the couple and accepted their invitation to attend their church service that evening. As we entered the Mount Paran Church, we were pleasantly surprised by the welcoming sound of praise and worship that emanated the room. There were people of varied races and backgrounds ages and sizes all mixed together with their hands raised and their eyes either closed or looking heavenward. Their faces illuminated peace and seemed captivated.
I first resisted keeping a tight grip on caution and thought this might be way over my head. But as I joined those around me, I closed my eyes, and heard myself joining in singing, I begin to relax and allowed the experience, the excitement and warmth and peace to soak in, I found myself immersed. I lost sight of my original intention of man-seeking and found myself heart-seeking instead. I began to feel something so satisfying, so right, filling my heart that I was overwhelmed to tears. I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it. My hands lifted as if controlled by someone unseen.
- John 14:6 NIV - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the - Bible Gateway
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Then the pastor began to speak and it all became clear. As if he'd read my thoughts he the pastor read, "Proverbs 8:17 says 'I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.'" My desire was hijacked. As if everything came to a screeching halt, truth begin to shine like a spotlight. I’d been seeking to fill my emptiness with all the things I’d been convinced would fulfill and satisfy that vacuum, that hollowness. Money, success, the right man... But I’d had the true answer all along. God's words became so clear. I had faith, but what I sought was a relationship. The pastor talked about God wanting to walk in the cool of the day with Adam. And he said this was God’s gift for us all along. To satisfy our longings with the unquenchable need for a relationship (walk) with Him only found through His Son, Jesus Christ. That was it! At that point I finally realized, nothing else…no job, place or man could ever satisfy like this. That day and even now, I still thirst for more of Him and know my thrust is quenched only by my seeking this precious gift,Jesus.
© 2008 Psalmist4M
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