In the past few weeks, I have seen God actively fulfilling two really big things in my heart that have been taught/placed there recently. Namely, the sudden and complete removing of my fear of witnessing at the church retreat and my giving up of romantic desires to Him.
The removing of my fear of witnessing, my fear of alienation from my friends, was definitely some kind of psychological miracle. Normally to conquer a fear you need to have a journey of experiences and lessons to conquer it... I would have had to spend time to disassociate "talking about God to my friends" with "rejection". In worship on that Saturday, though, God just took the fear out of me, as simple as that.
When opportunities to talk about God appear, I still have to make a choice: to talk about Him or not to talk about Him; that won't change. What has changed is my response to that choice. There has been this new courage inside of me that drives me to always talk about Him. God and His Love come up in conversation a lot now because He pervades my whole life. I have been having pretty regular talks with some people about God now, people I would have been too nervous to witness to earlier; mainly people close to me. I've been opening many new doors in conversation with people and have had some pretty meaningful talks; I haven't led anyone all the way to Christ yet (in person) but many "seeds" have been planted. Those closest to me were the ones I feared the most, because they could do the most damage. Now I want to spread the love of God to them more than I want to stay curled in a safe inactive little ball.
The "giving up of romantic desire" has been realized now as "falling in love with God." I didn't stop wanting and desiring romance, but I redirected it at God. There was a Friday night when I was in my prayer spot that I frequent. I was in prayer, praising God, lifting up people, when I realized that I wanted to be in love with God. I wanted to focus my romantic desires on Him. It's a different dynamic, of course, as God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and has the natures of both genders, but I have fallen in love with Him nonetheless. I had loved him with all the other levels of love and that night I reached a new level: the slow dancing, my-heart-is-yours, candlelit dinner level.
I'll admit it seems kind of strange to talk about loving God like that, and it does if you thought that romantic love could only ever be focused on another human being. I'm not saying that I'll never fall in love with a woman now; in fact, I've taken a big step closer to being ready to do so. I'm in romantic love with someone who will never let me down. There will be tough times, and times I will feel lonely, but I know that He is always there and guiding me through obstacles that I can learn from.
But the proof is in the pudding. The Saturday night following that Friday, I attended a formal dance with some friends. I didn't have a date, but it didn't bother me (even before Friday night's beautiful moment). At the dance I was ridiculously happy and having a great time, and I realized why. I had no envy for the other couples. I was one-hundred-percent happy, satisfied, and fulfilled to be there without a date. I didn't want to be in love with anyone there, it didn't bother me at all that I was not having a romantic evening with a human being. All the couples and beautiful women around me just made me more aware of how deeply in love with God I was. I had a constant feeling of deep joy and happiness just flowed out of me. When I'm in that good of a mood, I dance like crazy... there were many eyewitnesses to my ridiculous dancing antics. Dancing to the music turned into a form of worship because I was so happy and so filled with the Spirit. I love dancing. People saw that Spirit-filled-love dance, but I don't think many of them traced the source of my awesome joy and sweet moves.
But I am far from the end of the road (and what a wonderful road it is!). There are always new lessons to be learned, more progress to be made, and God doesn't waste time. Some times we learn by waiting, and sometimes God throws us into the next lesson before we have time to think. Either way, it's wonderful and I love it.
I hope one of three things will happen to you after reading this: If you think I'm crazy and have an overactive imagination coupled with a unstable mind (it's either that or I'm right), you might dismiss me as such so you don't have to think about it. Or you will let the question dwell with you as you ask questions about the implications of a relationship with a God who is Love, who wants to love you and forgive you. If you are a Christian, or have even briefly considered the possibility, I hope you will be encouraged by in God's work in me. If you dedicate time to Him (spending time in the Word and in prayer, optimally every day) and focus on building a relationship with Him, He will do things in your life and in your heart you never dreamed possible. Fulfillment, purpose, passion, joy... God has put these things in me. I'm not perfect, I'm messing up, I'm learning, and I have no doubt that there Christians reading this who have more knowledge than I do. Whoever you are, I pray you'll listen to what God wants to say to you.