Being a bride who bows.

Maybe that title makes you uncomfortable. Does it cause you to wince a little? Keep reading.

Psalm 45:11 For your royal Bridegroom is ravished by your beautiful brightness. Bow in reverence before him, for he is your Lord!
Did you listen to that?

Do you even know how to accept these sweet words?

Do you know the benefits of bowing in reverence before Him, because He is your Lord?

Maybe those words are read, quickly passed by, and chalked up to some ancient language that has no actual application for today.

I used to think the same.

The words of scripture are, at times lovely. They have a good message. They are great for posting on social media. It’s a cool story of a lowly king who enters the story to rescue his people.
It starts with the Fall, sin entering the world which caused us to need rescuing. Then there was the flood which was a sort of re-set of the world.

There’s a lot about kings, tons of death, some great leaders, a cross, the open tomb, and a group of average men given the task of making known the gospel. Then there’s the bread and the wine.

You get it. The Bible is a bunch of all those things. It happened a long time ago. The context was very different. After all, we don’t really understand what a people without a shepherd actually means, right?

My friend. If I could give you one gift it would be to seek to know more. Just ask. It isn’t as hard as searching for gold. But is way more valuable.

Why is it so valuable? Because your life depends on it.

The Creator didn’t just give us the words in the Bible so we have a cool old book sitting on our coffee tables to be read at Christmas and Easter.
He gave it to us to give us life. Not breathing or heart-beating life but heaven-on-earth life.

The kind of life you get when the most important and powerful being this world has ever known chooses to meet you in the special spot where you like to enjoy your coffee or tea or even your wine.

When you are gut-wrenched with pain about your marriage, He is there to listen, to share with you that your healed heart will be a team effort, you and him. You are not alone. It may not involve healing your husband, just yet. But it will involve healing you which in turn will actually help you to live joyfully in your marriage even before your husband changes.

Don’t let that discourage you. It makes you responsible for your joy, not others. This is a good thing.

When you are overwhelmed with life, barely able to make it out of bed each day, He is there to whisper, “daughter, let’s do this together. You don’t need to have it all together. Just put one foot in front of the other, keep your eyes on me, your heart open to what I want to say to you.”

Can I be real? Can you even take those words in? Or are they, too foreign? Is that concept too difficult to grasp?

In a painful time in my life, I remember hearing, “You need to be loved like a bride.” This is a metaphor about being loved by Father God who says He is the groom who longs for you, his bride. I ugly cried after hearing that.

I had no idea what that meant. My own marriage was at a low point. Understanding how a bride was to be treated seemed foreign. Shoot I didn’t even know how to love myself let alone be loved like a bride from her groom.

So, I asked.

I asked God to show me what that looked like. What being loved like a bride meant.

And he did. He still is.

It wasn’t overnight. It wasn’t a miracle encounter of epic proportions. It was a word that came while I was driving. It was a mixture of His kindness in small things in my day that I noticed. It was the words of scripture that leaped out at me like nourishing balm to my hurting heart.

I didn’t need to spend hours surrounded by books to study scripture. I didn’t need to wear out my knees in hours of prayer. Oh, sister. There may be times when those things will be needed.

But to find Him, to understand how a bride is treated and loved, to acquire heaven-on-earth life, to know Him, so that my only response is to bow in reverence before Him is simple.
Ask Him to show you Himself.
Keep your eyes open for when He does.
Thank Him for showing up. Even thank him that he will show up.

This week, around the world we will celebrate Christmas.

How many Christmas’ have you spent longing for this one to be different, more meaningful, more real, for the magic of Christmas to flood your heart so you are changed? How many years have you wished you took Advent more seriously, making it was a sweet meaningful time with family but were just too tired to pull it all together?

For years, I lived in that space.

I have this long sherpa sweater with huge pockets. Much of my life was spent waiting for my transformation to look like God depositing something in those big pockets. Because when he did, my life would be forever changed, a miracle encounter.

Galatians 4:7 says “Now we’re no longer living like slaves under the law, but we enjoy being God’s very own sons and daughters. And because we’re His, we can access everything our Father has - for we are heirs of God through Jesus, the Messiah.

Did you hear that? We can access EVERYTHING our Father has because we inherit (present tense) all that he has.

We do not need to wait for things to be deposited to us, as I once thought. We GET to claim whatever He has because it is a gift we have already been given.

When he gives you a word, thought, or guides you, thank Him.

When you find something going right in your day that you know is not of your own doing, thank him.

When he clears your schedule of something so you have a bit more margin in your day, thank him.

Here’s how I might pray when this happens.

Thank you Jesus that you are looking out for me. I agree with heaven that you care for me and are showing me how to live. Thank you for those canceled plans. It’s allowed me to breathe a bit. I know that is a gift from you to help me. I bless you for being such a kind Father to me and teaching me to accept your love.

Or when you are heartbroken, pray like this.

Thank you that you are close to me even if I can’t see it. Thank you that you are doing a work behind the scenes in my life and the story you are writing is good. I agree with Heaven that I am your beautiful bride and you are showing me how to live this reality out.

Gratitude for and agreeing with God catapults our growth. Decreeing His truth over your life makes it a part of yours. Because all his goodness has already been given to you.

Think of your wedding day. Imagine you are standing, clothed in beautiful white next to a man who promises to love you, cherish you, be faithful to you. Now imagine that he keeps every single one of those promises. Perfectly. That he will always show you how valuable you are to him. He will always make you feel like the most important person in his world. All he has, his power, his possessions, his kindness, his love, his peace, his grace is yours now and forever and he is so excited to give you the desires of your heart.

Once you experience being a bride like this, you won’t be able to help but bow in reverence before your groom.

Isn’t today the perfect week to ask Him to show you how to be his bride?

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