Monday, January 10, 2011

Betrothed

On Monday, December 20, I sat quietly in my favorite coffee shop. I had several writing deadlines to meet before Christmas, but I find that my writing is always much more focused and productive when I read my Bible to begin. I read Hosea 2:19-20.

I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you
in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.

'Read' is a loose word for what happened in my mind. I pored over, meditated, absorbed. My mind would not allow me to leave these verses. I was intrigued by the promise of betrothal, of being engaged.

I thought of when Robb and I were engaged, when we were betrothed to be married. There was a sparkly diamond on my hand, and I was in love with this man. I couldn't get enough of him. We planned our days around our time together; we hungered for one another. He was my priority. I honored his time and his name. I honored him. I was his betrothed. I couldn't get enough of him.

That is Betrothed.

And yet, I thought, if I am the bride of Christ, and I know undoubtedly that I am, then why do I not chase after his love the same way?

As I thought, I was further intrigued by the promises within the bethrothal: in righteousness, justice, love, compassion, and faithfulness. And quite suddenly, I needed to write. Not for other people, but I needed to write for me. I had deadlines to meet, people waiting for polished, finished words. But they must wait. I needed to write.

This happens sometimes to writers: this overwhelming, screaming need to write. It's like an itch. One must scratch it.

I didn't know what words would flow from my pen, but I simply knew they were begging to breathe. I picked up my journal and my favorite pen, and without revision, careful intention, or pause, and the following stanza flowed.

~ ~ ~

I am betrothed to the Lord forever.
I am betrothed in righteousness,
for he has made me holy and whole.
I am betrothed in justice,
for he will create me as he intended.
I am betrothed in love,
for he holds me in his heart.
I am betrothed in compassion,
for his eyes look gently upon me.
I am betrothed in faithfulness,
for he never lets me go.

I will acknowledge the Lord.

~ ~ ~

In one fluid breath, I wrote.

And then I held my breath, nearly stunned with a holy, sacred awareness. These words were not mine; they simply flowed through me, a vessel. And yet, there they were, in my handwriting.

Betrothed. In that moment, I could not know how God was preparing my heart.

And in the days to come, as words find me, I will tell you the other pieces my God placed in my hand as he prepared my steps into this valley.

I wrote these words, and they sang me to sleep. Three days later, my sweet husband - my betrothed - slipped from my hands.

But these words were written on my heart, just days before.

I am betrothed to the Lord, forever.
I will acknowledge the Lord.

12 comments:

Liz said...

I have no words.....just love for you.

Lauren said...

praying...

Lani said...

You are touching so many with your open heart. Your words not only bring comfort to you but those who are sharing in your journey through this valley. Praying...

Lani said...

You are touching so many with your open heart. Your words not only bring comfort to you but those who are sharing in your journey through this valley. Praying...

thewonderfulhappens said...

what a beautiful message God imprinted on your heart. Hold fast to those words. You are betrothed, my friend.

Cuppa Jo said...

From one writer to another, you've become one of my fav's. I met your mom whom I only refer to as Polly Lott (cause it's fun to say) at a girl's weekend in Chicago last spring.

Your loss, your family's loss, has stopped my heart cold.

Thank you for continuing to write.

For those of us that MUST write, it's kind of hard not to, no?

Journey of Joy said...

Got to your blog via Tim Challies' site. My heart is so broken for you & your boys.

Thank you for acting on your God-given courage & sharing your final hours w/your husband, as well as the hours that have followed. I can't begin to tell you how strengthened my own faith is as I hear of God's faithful sustaining of you, of how He is ministering to you, of how He is loving you.

As God brings you to mind, I will be one of the many praying for all of you.

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

I am so sorry for you and cannot begin to understand how your heart feels at this moment but I can see that you are strong in the Lord. Praise God that you are betrothed; and Praise God that your husband is in Glory!

Lori said...

What a beautiful post! So grateful for the Hope that we have. I just learned yesterday of your husband's death. You will be in my prayers during this time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in your blog. I will be a faithful reader. Hugs and prayers!
love,
Lori(your RA from college)

Terry said...

this is such a beautiful scripture tricia and your poem!
when my sister, grace said goodbye to her husband when he was 28 and she was 23, she was left with four small children to raise...and she was given this scripture, "Isaiah 54:5
"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called."
now she never left the door closed to love if it happened but she would not listen to people who advised her to marry for the children's sake so they would have a father...
"no", she said, it must be for love and not for convience."
she raised those four children with the help of the lord and now she is even a happy young grandmother of four grandchildren!|
i am going to show her your post...such a lovely one!...love from terry

Crystal said...

I read in Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of (the Lord's) righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

I pray that as the Lord has betrothed you in His righteousness you will experience his peace with quietness and confidence forever.

Praying for you!

Nina said...

Isn't it amazing how God prepares us for the journey!!!