Love That Won’t Let Go

[Fasting and praying on Mondays for God to show up and surprise us by giving the gift of marriage to those who desire it, showing us where we need to change, and empowering men to live into their God-given purpose and identity.]

Exactly a year ago today, ten great girlfriends and I headed to the beach for a weekend of enjoying the sun, walking an empty boardwalk and sharing our journeys as single Christian women. After that wonderful weekend, I wrote this post: (Not) Afraid to Hope.

If I had to imagine what a year later would look like…well, it’s somehow simultaneously better and worse than I would have imagined.  A new job in a new industry.  Delayed (but soon!) graduation.  Wonderful new friendships.  Roommate’s impending engagement.  Dates but no dating.  Growth and failure co-existing in every corner of my life.  Blah blah blah.  So here I am.  Asking questions to which I know I can’t get answers.  Wondering if I missed the turn for “The Life of Really Amazing Nonstop Closeness with God and also World-Changing Adventures We will have Along the Way.”

I recently found the history of one of my favorite hymns: O Love that Will Not Let Me Go.  (Accounts vary a bit but the gist is the same.)  The author, George Matheson, didn’t have an easy path: early blindness, a career cut short, and a painful broken engagement.  He relied on his sister for help in pastoring a large church and, since she was getting married, he was faced with the prospect of life without her help as well.  He wrote the hymn lyrics in five minutes the evening before her wedding.

The thing that really caught my attention was the author’s honest-but-inspiring description of his own life:

an obstructed life, a circumscribed life…but a life of quenchless hopefulness, a life which has beaten persistently against the cage of circumstance, and which even at the time of abandoned work has said not ‘Good night’ but ‘Good morning.’

And right there I decided that quenchless hopefulness is what I want to be about too.  In this season, it’s about singleness.  But as seasons change, the question stays the same: do I trust Him?  Trust Him when things are bright and sunny at the beach?  Trust Him when clouds make everything gray and lifeless?  Trust Him when present realities do not seem to match His promises?  Matheson’s words provide a clear answer:

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

Praying with you this Monday that such God-anchored hope overwhelms our doubts, our anxieties, and our circumstances with its persistence and certainty!

In His Grace,

Amy

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12 Responses to Love That Won’t Let Go

  1. jacquelinegardner says:

    (Longtime reader, first time faster ;p) I love these posts. They encourage my heart so much. I’m currently at work, hungry for a piece of chocolate from the big box of it staring at me across the office…but so much hungrier for Him.

  2. fast. pray. says:

    Amy, LOVE your words! Great reminder–rock, solid true!
    Blessings, Connally

  3. Amy,
    Thank you. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this tonight! My best friend got engaged today. The one I do life with, accountability partner, my righthand at ministry events, and the girlfriend I’ve shared the deepest joys and sorrows of singleness with for years. I’m so torn between her joy and the change that leaves me behind. Thank you for the reminder and the message behind “the love that will not let me go”.

    • amy says:

      Yeah. I can never figure out how I can be so happy and so torn at the same time…but He’s holding on to you, even as things change!

  4. andrea csia says:

    As Rick Warren explained, life is not really like a roller-coaster, but more like two train tracks, side-by-side forever, joys on the one track and sorrows on the other. Who do we know that gets Everything they want? Who do we know that has escaped sorrow altogether?
    Yes, I want to suffer well. With integrity. Self-respect. Feeling the pain, yes, wasting the only life I have in self-pity, no.
    Thank you for being genuine! Nothing phony about the One who says, “I am the Truth.”

    • amy says:

      I love that train track image! And the point about suffering’s prevalence in our fallen world is so true…regardless of what shape it takes…

  5. That beach weekend is behind us, but the friendships and conversations continue to encourage and inspire. Thanks for that! As I reflect on quenchless hopefulness… I realize I often focus hope in and for the changing of circumstances, as opposed to hope in Jesus Christ to change me through the circumstances of life. Here is another song that came to mind which conveys this better than I could, The Potter’s Hand by Darlene Zschech:

    I know for sure, all of my days are held in your hands, crafted into your perfect plan
    You gently call me into your presence guiding me by Your Holy Spirit
    Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life through Your eyes

    And my ultimate prayer is found in the chorus:
    Take me, Mold me, use me, fill me
    I give my life to the Potter’s hand
    Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
    I give my life to the Potter’s hand

    Thanks Amy!

    • amy says:

      i love the verbs in the chorus: take, mold, use, fill / call, guide, lead, walk beside / give…I think they flesh out what humble submission to His will looks like. (so glad you’re in my life!)

  6. connienoelle says:

    Amy, I loved the original post you wrote a year ago and I love this post too! Thank you for reminding me of the “quenchless hopefulness” that we receive through the grace of God. I’ve been learning a lot about how these longings for a husband are actually longings for the fulfillment and completeness found in God. Thanks for reminding me that every season brings its own tide of longings that change and shift. Praying and fasting tomorrow!

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