God: I will not take my ring from you

So on that night we repented for crossing sexual boundaries over the past couple of months, B led me through some “spiritual healing.”

She had said, I think a lot of your hangups with me have to do with your dad, and your dad’s perspective of your mom (I had told her my mom didn’t feel smart enough for my dad so obviously their might be parallels). So picture a room that you really like, and we will talk to you dad there.

So I picked this upper room in a coffee shop I really love. It’s beautiful in the morning when it’s quiet and the sunrise light comes in. Then she said, picture your father there and Jesus there too. What are they saying?

I pictured my father sitting across from me. It reminded me of a situation where about 7 years ago when I went back home for thanksgiving I had invited my dad to coffee to ask him something specific. I asked him, “Dad, I feel like I need to hear, what are you proud of me for?”

He had pushed back and eventually pounded on the table saying “R, that’s not for me to tell you. That’s for you to earn among your peers!” Obviously that was a hard thing for me. Eventually after begging him to try he said, “You work hard at things. I’m proud of what you’ve worked hard at.” But it was like pulling teeth.

Well then B said, “R I see a little yellow box. Do you know anything about a little yellow box?” Oh my gosh. There had been a little yellow box in my room ever since I had told my dad to send my deceased mother’s engagement ring so I could propose to B two months ago when I was more certain. I told her yes, I know what that box is.

I pictured that box sitting on the table between my dad and I. I remembered how certain my father was about marrying my mom. I remember seeing disgustingly sappy love letters from him to her when they were dating. This was just another way I wasn’t living up to my father’s model.

Then I remembered how he had sent me the ring to propose to B when I was first dating her. But after the first time I broke up with B Dad asked for the ring back.

Then I pictured my mother alive again and sitting across the table from me. I asked her, “Mom what are you proud of that I’ve done?” I imagined how she would have laughed a kind laugh and said, “R I don’t need to be proud of anything to love you. I just love you.” And then I pictured Jesus there across from me. I asked him the same thing. His response was my mother’s response, “I don’t need to be proud of you to love you!”

And as I let that sink in for a while eventually I remembered the ring on the table between us, and how my dad had taken away the ring when I hadn’t lived up to his hopes for me. How I couldn’t close the deal with B and he had taken the ring back.

But this time I felt like Jesus said, “I will not take the ring back from you. You are my bride. Nothing you can do will make me want to take back this ring from you.”

I cried. And I thought back to most of the messages I felt like God had given me when I had been crying out to him during this season of seeking direction with B. And most of his messages had been laced with me being married to him.

And then I realized, this coffee shop was where I was planning on proposing to B.

It appears, though I’ve been committed to Jesus my whole life, this was very much like a proposal day for us.

-January 6, 2021

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