I’ve learned a lot from St. Peter this past year. He was a simple fisherman who God used to do great things. He was grossly under-qualified for the job Jesus gave him and really struggled with trust and abandonment. I’ve come back to accounts of Peter grasping and falling short in the Gospels so many times:
Peter, denying Jesus 3 times.
Peter, freaking the heck out during the transfiguration.
Peter, walking on water but then stumbling and sinking for his lack of faith.
While we’ve been sharing guest posts about relationships and vocational discernment these past few months on the blog, God has been doing some amazing work in my life and its high time I blog about it.
Throughout 2014, I really felt the Lord stretching me—ripping me even, like muscles after a great workout—and it was painful. The desire was being placed on my heart to love but I saw no outlet for this particular type of love. I knew God was preparing me for someone but I saw no open doors.
So I doubted. I really doubted. I was a little bit like Peter, sinking and grasping for breath. This desire on my heart for companionship just didn’t make sense.
Then, in January of this year I attended a weekend retreat. That weekend I met an incredible man who has been crazy about me since day one. His name is Zaid and he has plans for me. He is a better partner for me than I ever would have been bold enough to ask or pray for. I can share the deepest parts of my heart with him. He offers me immense mercy and encouragement. We have many shared passions and love to talk about the same crazy theologians.
Last week for my birthday, we went camping. We relaxed, hiked, prayed and invented the most delicious campfire snack ever (recipe to come)! To my shock, the Gospel reading on my birthday this year was an excerpt from John 21. It’s the passage about Christ’s appearance to the disciples after his resurrection along the shores of the Sea of Tiberias. I have loved this passage for a long time because it always reminds me how Christ loves me and the type of adventure he calls me too, despite my fears and shortcomings. It also quickly became one that was extremely meaningful for Zaid and I as a couple. So should I have been surprised that it was the Gospel reading on my birthday? Nope. Was I? Of course.
In John 21, Jesus cooks the disciples breakfast over a campfire and calls them to greater trust, abandonment and sacrificial, self-giving love, but particularly Peter. I reflected on this as I watched Zaid cook us breakfast over the campfire that weekend, imaging Christ’s love for me. The very presence of this guy in my life calls me to greater trust, abandonment and self-giving love too.
Because the thing I see now is how carefully this was orchestrated by someone so much bigger than us. I know now that my previous expectations for love were pitiful, and that is kind of a sad realization. We live in a culture of settling but if we trust, God is never outdone in generosity.
From cloud 9,