I went up to Baguio to escape, more than anything. At that time, I kept telling myself that I needed fresh air, and a fresh perspective. What I really needed was a fresh start. In a matter of months, I had lost my career. All my savings went to the sky-high hospital bills to patch up my fractured leg. My boyfriend was put behind bars. Along with all these plummeted my self-esteem, my self-respect and every last shred of my being. I was lost. And very tired.
My first instinct was to fill up this dreaded emptiness with alcohol. Lots of it. I thought it was the only way I could gain control over a life that was slowly spiraling downwards. I thought alcohol made me powerful and for a few hours each night, it made me brave. My next instinct was to look for a man. I always thought a boyfriend was the solution. That he could make everything right again. Yes, I was looking for love, that much I got right.
What I didn’t know was that a love far greater than anything ever imaginable was looking for me too.
And so I woke up every morning to coffee and some bible verses. I would be lying if I said I completely understood everything I was reading right away but some lines definitely stood out. Using my teacher tools, I began highlighting the passages that I felt spoke closest to me.
Here is where I first fell in love with anything that has ever been written:
Song of Songs 1: 2
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
For your love is more delightful than wine.
(More delightful than wine? Up to that point I thought wine was the sweetest taste I have ever experienced. I was intrigued. What was this love?)
Song of Songs 2:7
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
(In the past, I was so desperate to be loved that most of my relationships ended in paranoia and fear. I would chase after men so obviously wrong for me and settle for those who only wanted that one thing from me.
What is this love that comes gently knocking at your door and from that knock alone, and without even seeing his face, you just know?)
Song of Songs 3
I looked for the one my heart loves;
I will search for the one my heart loves.
“Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
(What kind of man is this that stirred such a gentle longing in the heart? That you would be willing to go to the ends of the earth to find him? Who is he?)
Song of Songs 7:13
And at our door is every delicacy both new and old;
That I have stored up for you, my lover.
(At that point I had exhausted myself giving away everything I could to every single man whom I thought I loved. What kind is this love that had you storing up and saving gifts; for someone you had not even met yet?)
Reading the book of Songs quieted my heart and calmed my restless spirit. The pain began to ebb away. Chel and I stopped going to bars for my alcohol and men fix.
I was looking for that kind of love that was revealed to me in the Bible. I wasn’t sure how, I wasn’t sure with whom…but I knew that it was what I wanted. I longed for that gentleness, and that quiet faith that love would come and when it does….
It did, of course.
And until now His love still blows me away every single day.
My lover is mine, and I am his.
Song of Solomon 2:16