As I watched them walk away arm in arm, I could not believe my eyes. This guy who told me he loved me, that I was the only one in the world for him — the same one who had brought me to this party, was now leaving with someone else. And my heart was broken. Again.
One of the earliest lessons I learned in my life is that men don’t stay. They leave. My father left my mother. My grandfather divorced my grandmother. He was her second husband. My other grandmother had been married six times. My mother’s boyfriend, the one who wrote me letters telling me how special I was, he left too.
Like so many young girls who are starving for the love of a father, I sought to fill the void with the love of boys. To each one, I gave a little bit more of my heart. Many were childish romances, but the heart break when they ended was painful and raw and very real.
In hindsight, I was not mourning the loss of the boy, but rather grieving the fact that no man seemed to love me. I learned to keep them at arms length and to never let them get too close, because if I did, I could get hurt. I learned not to trust them, because they tell lies. I learned that they always leave.
Until I met Steve.
When we met, I was one messed up individual. Here was this amazing man who seemed genuinely interested in me. He told me he loved me. And instead of enjoying the beginnings of the romance, I was paralyzed with fear.
What if he leaves me? What if he is lying? What if he gets to know me and decides that he is not in love with me anymore?
I decided to share my fears with him, in the hopes that he would say something to ease them. And instead of feeling better about it, I grew more fearful that he would leave me because he now knew about all of my insecurities.
Through it all, Steve remained steadfast. “I love you and I will never leave you,” he would say. Over and over and over again. Every time I would doubt. Every time my fear would creep back in, he would assure me again, “I love you and I will never leave you.”
Until one day, I realized that I did not fear losing him any more. Little by little, his love had healed my broken heart and tore down all of the walls I had built. All of my doubts were erased and I basked in the glow of his love.
Eight years later, that love is still growing strong. I am safe, protected and unconditionally loved.
In the book of Hosea, God or Ish, is depicted as the perfect husband — loving, forgiving, and faithful, providing for and protecting his people.
Like me, each one of us is broken, looking for something or someone to fill the void; the hole that only God can fill.
Ish promised His people . . .
I will make you my wife forever. I will be honest and faithful to you. I will show you my love and compassion. I will be true to you, my wife. Then you will know Yahweh. Hosea 2:19-20.
As wonderful as my husband’s love is, it pales in comparison with God’s love for us. Steve has remained completely faithful, but we will both still fail in other areas. He will forget a birthday. We both forgot our second anniversary. Mistakes have and will be made. Quarrels have and will continue to arise.
God never makes mistakes. Though we may quarrel with Him, He will always be there, patiently waiting our return, like a husband desperate for the love of His wife.
I know that there are those of you who are still waiting to meet that right person here on earth. Your heart has been broken many times and you may be wondering, like I did, if anyone will ever truly love you. Will anyone ever stay?
The answer is YES. God will never leave you. He loves you and rejoices over you like a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.
He calls out to you, “I love you and I will never leave you.” Over and over and over again. Let that fact penetrate your heart.
He longs for you to draw close to Him and will do what ever it takes to bring you into an enduring relationship with himself.
Let His love tear down your walls and bask in the glow of the fact that Ish, the God of all creation desires an intimate, loving relationship . . .
. . . with you.