Would it really be Valentine’s Day if I didn’t gush about Dellan for a hot second? I don’t think today would even count as a true Tuesday if I didn’t.
Our story is so sweet because it is soaked in Jesus’s glory. There are parts I’d like to leave out and parts that I couldn’t have dreamed up if I tried, but all of it has the handprint of the Author of love.
I started dating Dellan during the darkest time in my little life.
(Notice I did not say “met” but “started dating.” This is an important distinction because I met Dellan two years prior to dating him–he was immediately interested and I was… less interested. He would want you all to know that he’s been in this thing for the long haul since the beginning. So, now you know.)
I mentioned in a previous post, Great is Thy Faithfulness, that the fall of my junior year of high school was a really difficult time for me. For the sake of keeping this post relatively short, I’ll just say I was lonely and pretty depressed but had recently recommitted my life to Jesus. I had also sworn off dating, thinking that the Lord would keep me single forever because of the many mistakes I’d made in previous relationships.
Yet I found myself sitting across from a handsome guy at Panera one snowy December night.
(Another crucial note: Dellan knew I was walking through a terrible season. He didn’t know if I would actually date him or just sort of lean on him through the storm. He was happy to do either, though, which gives me all the warm fuzzies.)
I really liked him. And I was pretty upset that I did; I remember angrily praying one night after we had spent a little more time together. It seemed I’d given up dating just to have this wonderful guy begin pursuing me.
God, aren’t you still mad at me? Aren’t you tired of watching me make mistake after mistake? Isn’t it your will for me to stay single? There’s no way I deserve this after all I’ve done. This is going to be really hard to give up.
I was going to break things off. I believed that my past had already ruined my future.
I know it sounds insane, but I clearly remember Jesus speaking directly to my heart that night: Sweet girl, this is what I have for you.
And so began months and years of dating. Dellan is the best friend I have ever had. He is the steadiness to my emotional whirlwind. He makes me laugh no matter how I’m feeling. When I am downright ugly to him, he is kind in return. He inspires growth in me and pushes me out of my comfort zone even when I try to fight him. He gives really amazing and thoughtful handmade gifts. Whenever we’re just sitting around he’ll get up, hold his hand out, and start dancing me around the room. He has always expressed his commitment to our relationship. He tells me I’m gorgeous. He gently lets me know when I’m being rude or unfair. Last night we went to Hyvee at 10 pm and laughed down every aisle at practically nothing. Everything is more fun with him.
If I had not spent the past 4 years with this man, I think I’d still believe that Jesus was disappointed in my past. I would live more out of shame and less out of forgiveness. D’s unwavering affection toward me and the gift of our relationship have displayed Jesus to me over and over again.
God gave me Dellan so that I could know the perfect, everlasting love of Jesus more deeply. I have witnessed the love that covers a multitude of sins. This was God’s plan all along.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
Don’t get me wrong, Dellan is not my Savior, my King, or my God. He has failed me before and will fail me again. But Dellan, like Jesus, pursues my heart even when I don’t deserve his persistence. He desires that I live a full life in righteousness and not in sin. He is nothing but loving and gentle towards me. He leads me to worship God no matter the circumstance.
Thank you, Jesus, for giving good gifts out of love and not my own merit. If you acted based on my past, I never would have experienced your love in this deep and unique way. Until I meet you in heaven someday, I’m so thankful you’ve given me a reflection of glory to build a life with.
And if you’re reading this, D, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you so much; I can’t wait to be your wife!