for myself, the name of god that i most often return to is "bridegroom". when i was a young twenty years of age god shattered my bubble of complacency and introduced himself through the song of solomon. it was one of those stories you hear of so often that you find it easy to grow cynical of. its the familiar tale of those who became christians by randomly opening up the bible and discovering a passage of scripture that spoke in such a powerful way that it caused them to devote the rest of their lives to following after christ. well, that's what happened to me and i will never, in all my life, forget that divine moment. at the time i shared a bedroom with my baby sister and we were getting ready for bed. she was on her side of the room texting away on her cell phone and i, laying quietly on my side, decided to pick up her beastly sized bible and take a gander at what it had to say. i wasn't totally ignorant about god and scripture necessarily; for i was raised in a christian home. but i was clueless to what it was to truly give my life to god. after wiping the dust off the cover i opened to song of solomon 4:9 and being the insatiable lover of poetry and deeply crafted romantic that i am, i was immediately intoxicated by the words which read;
"you have ravished my heart my sister, my bride. you have ravished my heart with one glance of you eyes."
from that moment on i bow to the one who calls himself "bridegroom".
it was about four years ago when a new character of christ began to illumine in my soul. it is that of a provider. in my family we didn't have an abundant amount of income to rely upon. i watched my parents worry over finances and learned at the ripe age of thirteen if i needed or wanted certain things them, i would have to help contribute. i didn't think much of it at the time because that was all that i knew. but now, years later, i am sifting through the damage caused by identifying that i was my own provider and i am beginning to open wide my mouth and taste the provision of christ.
last thursday stephanie, the young woman that i mentor asked me; "what do you want to do in life?". i chuckled because what i really want to do is a little bit everything! i explained to her that i would love to continue in photography, i would love to write poetry, to do youth ministry for the rest of my life, to be a wife, a mentor, a mother, a college professor who teaches the poetry of the old testament, and a spiritual director. all of this is why i resonate with the words of van gough when he said, "to way to know life is to love many things." truly, i love many things.
a few days have passed since our conversation and during my prayer time this morning god connected a few dots that until now, dangled randomly in the infinite space of my heart. what i saw was how he took the desires i hold and graciously fulfilled each and every one of them (with the exception of being a wife and a mother of course). this summer i have six wedding photography gigs, over these last two years i took english and creative writing classes where i was able to construct piles of poetry and i just happened to work at a church that linked together art and worship and so on many occasions i was asked to pray with poetry. i am going back to school to study english writing and theology. as a youth leader i teach and most often my teachings are based upon the poetry of the old testament. every thursday i mentor stephanie. much of what i do is birthed from the mysticism of intercession and through that i am able to lead students and friends alike to discern the movements of the spirit in their own lives... each passion completely provided for.
this image of god as my provider still has a long way to go in order to brightly illuminate the steps that i walk. but with one passing day at a time i am slowly beginning to sacrifice the notion that i need to provide for myself. the words; "your heavenly father knows what you need", that jesus spoke in his sermon on the mount are ripping away the crippling fears i carry and in doing so, making room so that i might be able to receive them more fully. bridegroom will always be the foundational characteristic i cling to, but out of that the branches of provider, warrior, lion of judah, truth, love, savior, and everything from the beginning to the end spring forth.