Remembering Our First Love
Dripping with sweat from the heat of the midday sun, I was bouncing along in a tuk-tuk on my way to the island. I was purchasing materials for our Everlasting Love program where we work with women who have come out of prostitution and trafficking. I was clutching my to-do list, thinking dozens of thoughts all at once while checking my email when my spirit heard the voice of God, “Remember. Remember your first love.”
I paused. He does this to me often… invites me into a time out to be with Him. I set aside all I was doing and pulled out a pen and paper to let my mind & heart speak of memories of love. The praise that came out of my spirit was surprising to me…
“Before the earth began, You knew me. Before I was developed in my mother’s womb, You saw me. Before I was given a name, You chose me. Before I opened my eyes to the sun, You loved me.You know the intricate details of my life those petty and eternal. You know my personality, giftings, strengths, weaknesses, victories, struggles, hopes, sorrows, and dreams. With Your infinite knowledge of me, You are not caught off guard by my humanity. It is for that reason that Your love holds power; You perfectly love imperfect beings into perfection. You could expose the deepest things inside of me yet You stand at the door of my heart and knock. How humble You are!
You know the intricate details of my life, those petty and eternal. You know my personality, giftings, strengths, weaknesses, victories, struggles, hopes, sorrows, and dreams. With Your infinite knowledge of me, You are not caught off guard by my humanity. It is for that reason that Your love holds power; You perfectly love imperfect beings into perfection. You could expose the deepest things inside of me yet You stand at the door of my heart and knock. How humble You are!
You do not rush in to invade and expose me but rather, You wait until You are invited, room by room, into every place of my heart. You value my trust and so You are patient and gentle. Sometimes, You take me by the hand and lead me to a door that I didn’t know existed… an area of my heart that I have never seen. You lovingly pull a key out of Your pocket and invite me to open the door. When I am unsure of what I will find within me, Your presence gives me the courage to face any mystery or darkness. Truly only God could be this patient. Surely only God could endure in such love.”
Tears filled my eyes as I began to remember kneeling on the cement floor as a pre-teen and feeling accepted for the first time. I remembered sing-screaming at the top of my lungs, “I’m going to live the difference. I’m going to pay the price. It’s all or nothing. No compromise.” I remembered laying in a field, singing songs, and supernaturally being given an extra vocal octave. Memory by memory flooded my heart and mind and I was taken aback with praise.
The Father is inviting me to remember more and more these days.
Sometimes we get so distracted by petty things that we lose sight of love and eternity. But love and eternity are the very places where we receive all that we need for life, so I think, perhaps we cannot afford to live distracted.
I want to encourage you today to remember and engage with love and Heaven. Set a timer for 10-20 minutes, turn off your phone notifications, go somewhere you can be alone and remember. Remember the first time you felt the presence of God. Remember when you gave Him your whole life. Remember the songs you sang when you first said, “yes.” Remember the prayers you used to pray. Remember that you were loved then and that you are loved now. Remember why you love Jesus. In the busyness of life, let us never lose sight of our first love.
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false, and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent,’ – Rev. 2:2-5
Written by: Ana’leah Leal