It’s been over a year since I started “The Sleeping Beloved” series, and about nine months since I ended it in September (and over six since I last blogged….goodness time flew by fast!). The past nine months have been the most eventful months of my life. Not only did I start grad school, but I met and fell in love with the most amazing man. I know the Christian community is divided on the topic of “soul mates”, however I truly believe God hand-crafted Andrew specifically for me.
Now that I’m finished with grad school, I’ve been able to mull over the past few months – the events, the feelings, the surprises. As I did so, I realized that God had one final lesson to teach me from the “Sleeping Beloved”.
My Own Sleeping Beauty Story
Before I met Andrew, my soul and spirit were awakened by Christ, and I experienced a surge of spiritual and personal growth. And yet, there were areas of my life that remained in the clutch of death-like sleep. I was still very much locked in a high tower, with nothing but my past memories to rely on. There was no real hope for a future apart from my past. I was asleep, and yet had grown so accustomed to it that I believed myself to be awake.
Then I met Andrew, and slowly I awoke from my death-like sleep.
It occurred so gradually, I hardly knew when I awoke. One day I suddenly realized that the past seemed like a long-ago night terror. There were cobwebs and dust that spoke of the memory, but I was no longer haunted by the ghosts of my past. I had left them locked in their high tower; I was in the sunshine and the gardens.
Letting Go of Sleeping Beauty
But with this blessing came confusion. My past had so profoundly shaped my perception of my future that I found myself a bit lost without the Darkness to hold onto. Everything I had done since my darkest days had been done in light of being a survivor of violence. My writing, my Bible studies, my goals – all of these were tied to the Dark past.
Who was I now? How did the Darkness of the past affect the Light of the present?
In fact, I was who I had always claimed to be: a child – a daughter, a princess! – of the Most High God; a Beloved of Jesus the Christ, and one whom He had fought for and would continue to fight for. I had spoken these truths to myself, believed them even; but I had not lived them. Not until Andrew, that is.
The truth is, God could have awoken me without Andrew; but he chose to awaken me in this incredibly romantic way. Andrew’s love is a reflection of Christ’s love for me. He seeks to comfort, to provide, and to lavish me with his love. He sees me as Christ sees me: healed and whole. Andrew did not know me in the Darkness – he only saw me in the Light. In Christ, I had always been in the Light, and that is how Christ sees me. It was me – and only me – who was obsessed with looking back into the Darkness.
Through Andrew’s love I’ve been able to more fully accept the unconditional love and forgiveness of Christ. He is an earthly example of my heavenly Lover, and I am humbled by God’s mercy and grace in this. He has made me realize that my God-centered goals in life have not changed. I am still called to minister to women through my words and writings, as well as find the Light of Christ in the stories we tell. But rather than looking at the Darkness and trying to imagine the Light, I look at the Light and see the Darkness put in its proper place.