If you haven’t read the Introduction to this series, I recommend that you do. We are sharing Real Love stories. Stories that have hurt, pain but maturity and ultimately, JOY. In a culture that is so fast paced, self-focused and all about the falling in love part of our story with no concept of afterwards, we here at the Busy Nothings are striving to sit back and share from our own experiences what we feel true, pure, sacrificial love is. When you choose it even though it hurts or is hard work. The beauty, PASSION and true love that comes from this are better than any fairy tale. ~Heidi
Titus was a great guy. We had a number of conversations in the past that developed in me a deep and genuine respect for him. Titus was surrendered to God, kind to people, and the same person in public as in private (I saw it every day because I worked for him as part of my school work-study program). He had integrity, self-control and always had encouragement for whomever he was working with or talking to. I thought he was an amazing man, but beyond that, I never considered him to be anything but a boss and friend.
Little did I know, Titus had been praying for me. For over a year, He had been interested in me, even while I dated someone else. In that season of hurt and healing God took me through, Titus was praying for me. I formed a friendship with him. It was very different than any other guy/girl relationship I had experienced. There was mutual respect. There was no co-dependency or the need for me to save anyone. There was something wholesome about it. I felt like I was walking into something ordained, something much bigger than I could understand. I began to love Titus; in fact, I cared so deeply about him that I sincerely felt that even if I couldn’t have him, I wanted someone very special to marry him. Titus deserved an equal in his life.
Our connection point was missions (surprise, surprise). Titus has been leading outreaches all over the world for years, and had a huge burden for the unreached people groups of Bhutan and the Tibetan Buddhist world. As we talked about missions, strategy, people groups and nations, I realized that God too had planted a seed in him, the same seed He had planted in me: the call to die and live for Christ’s Kingdom. When I realized that God has placed us at the same school, with the same passion and calling, I understood that the voice I had heard a year ago telling me that Titus was man I was to marry was truly the Lord. But what could I do? God had specifically told me not to pursue anyone, not to do anything but wait on Him to bring the one He had for me. So I waited, and prayed a lot. At one point, I mourned because I truly thought that Titus was falling in love with one of my good friends. I was confused and miserable watching their friendship, but I obeyed God, letting my desires pass from my hands into His, knowing that My Beloved loved me, and knew what was best.
And then, out of nowhere, it happened. Titus secretly spoke to my Dad to get his permission to date me, and then (glory!) he asked me. I could not believe it! It was like Christmas. After the waiting, the prayers, the letting go, and constant dying to myself, God lovingly placed Titus into my hands. The first 3 months we dated we spent apart. I worked that summer on staff at a camp for people with special needs. We wrote letters back and forth, and had very little contact over the phone. It was agonizing and wonderful. Those letters we wrote back and forth to each other are still the greatest treasure I own.
We dated six months, got engaged, and married just over a year after we had started dating. It was heavenly. I had to pinch myself sometimes because it was so good.
God is specific and His plans are perfectly formed to the tiniest detail. He orchestrated everything, down to the place where Titus asked me to marry him. Titus surprised me with a beautiful ring on the top of Sugarloaf Mountain back in my hometown. I had never told Titus this, but years before, I used to climb Sugarloaf every week with my backpack, lunch and my Bible. I would sit on this ledge with God and pray for my future husband. That very ledge is where he proposed to me, the very spot. Titus did not know, but God knew. It was a sacred moment where the confirmation of Heaven descended over my whole heart, and I knew in every part of me that the Lord was pleased.
Today I have to confess I am a bit proud. Not of anything I’ve done or said, just because I’m proud of our guest poster today in an almost maternal way. I’ve known and loved Claire Bailey since she was just a dorky pre-teen with braces. To see her evolve into such an amazing 20-year-old woman who is beautiful inside and out is just a privilege. I’m totally saying this to embarrass her completely -but I do also mean every word. Claire speaks of taking advantage of every beautiful moment, to seize the day that God has given us in whatever way he shows us. ~Heidi
I slammed on the breaks and had the decency of mind to throw on a blinker before impulsively whipping into Nightbird Books.
“What’s with this 45 degree angle of a parking lot. That’s stupid.” I thought as I grabbed my bag and headed in for a quick look around.
After a short conversation with the clerk girl with the vocal tone of a yoga instructor, I found a window spot next to a giant (and occupied) Birdcage. With no music, all I hear is the rainbow-y birds chirping and cars, muted by the sunshine bathed windows. I glanced at the birds to witness what I can only describe as non-consensual and giggled in a fit of immaturity.
Located across the street from U.S. Pizza on Dickson you’ll see Nightingbird’s vine entwined patio sporting several picnic tables and wooden seating. Inside there’s a café complete with an espresso machine, but the books really steal the show. From photo essays to children’s books to humor to craft tutorials, everything is clearly labeled. There’s only one or two copies of each book, alleviating the typical book-store clutter.
As I watch the cars meander down Dickson and people strolling down the sidewalk, I’m hit with the here and now. So much beauty and goodness is packed into the part of life I am experiencing this very second. I have driven past this delightful bookstore countless times, but to discover the wonder of what’s right beneath my nose was applicable on so many levels.
Believe it or not, worship is an act of being present. You cannot worship your Creator by re-living last week or worrying about next year.
And He wants you right now.
Understand that you are in this moment by intention, not accident. So slow down and encounter the love of God, right here.
Two hours later, I lazily walk out into the sunshine and blink a couple times before going on my way, blessed with a fresh perspective and a new favorite place.