Someone asked me recently, "When do you sense that God really loves you? When do you believe it?" For a moment I was afraid I wasn't going to have an answer, because there are times when I have a hard time believing it at all. I didn't want to be exposed as the doubter I often am. It was only a moment later, however, when I smiled and knew my answer: "It's when he catches me off guard, when he sends me surprises. That's when I know he's chasing after me."
I've seen this pursuit a lot in the area of encouragement. Years ago, I made a sort of pact with him that, when most discouraged, I wouldn't try to find encouragment on my own. I wouldn't call everyone about my miseries and hope that they could fix my need. Rather, I would wait, and trust that God would initiate the process.
What an incredible journey it has been! I remember the time when he asked me not to write an email of discouragment to my friend, Amanda, and honored my waiting with a handwritten letter from her in the mail that day. Another time, as I chose to wait through my sadness, I received something like six phone calls from people just calling to say hi. Other times he seems not to provide encouragement, and it later becomes clear just how much I needed the time to sit with him, or to soak in a lesson to be learned.
Lately, however, he has been after my heart. For some reason, the last couple weeks have brought about several conversations about singleness. Sadly, I have let much of my desire for romance grow numb and cold over the last few years, moreso than I had even realized. What God knows, however, is that these conversations have heightened my awareness of the whole thing. And so he is chasing after me: comments about beauty I haven't heard in years, teasing about boys that is seldom risked with me, a hundred tiny awakenings. I have laughed to myself several times, shaking my head and saying to the Lord with a smile, "What are you up to?"
He wants my heart, that's what he's up to. He loves me, but he knows I won't quite believe it unless he sneaks up behind me with flowers or shows affection I cannot claim to have earned. That's when I know it--when I realize that, even on the days I don't chase him, my awesome God is chasing after me.