First Love

“There’s no love like the first.” – Nicholas Sparks

We all remember our first love. It is the one that awakened feelings never felt before. It usually is our first heartbreak. It follows you into each relationship you have after.

My first love happened at the city pool in the summer of 1969. He was a few months older than me. He stood several inches taller than me. We had a brief stint as boyfriend/girlfriend and by August of 1969, my heart was shattered into pieces, some of which I never really recovered. It was in August of 1969 that I put myself on guard. I determined that I would never again suffer the heartbreak that I had become well versed in. Such is the thought of a high school freshman.

A few years later I was engaged to my high school sweetheart, preparing for a life as a Navy wife. No, it was not the same man, but he has been my sweetheart for the past 50 years.

I would like to say that it has been sweet music and laughter. I would like to say that, but it would not be true. The heartbreak I endeavored to avoid was a part of my life in our early marriage. I thought I would never again feel the joy, the unspeakable joy of a first love. And then, on Monday evening, April 18th, 1977, in Yokohama, Japan, we met our Lord in a personal way.

We were washed with joy. We were bathed and cleansed with love for one another. Each day gave birth to hope. We had a season of our first love with Jesus.

As with all loves, you cannot continue with emotional highs. It’s not like the love dwindles, but it becomes normal. It becomes your life. When I was first saved, I was I’m born again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, it’s a matter of fact, I’m born again.

With time, love becomes a comfort. After 47 years of marriage, I am comfortable in my relationship with my husband. We know how the other works. We know what will make them comfortable, what pushes the wrong button. I know that after dessert, he will fall asleep. only to wake up and wonder why another show is on t.v.. He knows that I have this quirk that all the light switches have to be in the same position and he knows that I’ll growl if he messes them up. Our love is comfortable.

I know your deeds and your labor and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people, and you have put those who call themselves apostles to the test, and they are not, and you found them to be false;  and you have perseverance and have endured on account of My name, and have not become 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 I will remove your lamp-stand from its place—unless you repent. Revelation 2:2-5 (NASB)

However, how often in our relationships do we look at our spouse and wonder why things have become so ordinary. Each day is similar to the previous one. We know the love is there, and I can look at my husband and still see the 17 year old boy I fell for. That smile is now surrounded by a gray beard and thinning hair though.

Do we also become complacent with our relationship with our Lord? We are assured of His love toward us. Knowing that He is there in all aspects of our life, do we take that for granted? I often think of this verse in Revelation and ask to be returned to my first love of our God. The fervor of waking each day, anxious to see what He is going to do in my life, and wanting to be used of Him for great things. Too often I awake each morning, thanking Him for waking me up and giving Him the day only to walk into the kitchen and suddenly it is I who is going through the day.

The challenge is to start each day remembering Who it is that I serve. I serve an awesome God, a God to hears me when I pray, hears me when I cry. He is by my side when I feel alone. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. I am His. I am blessed.

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

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