The Choice to Love; Part II

Did you miss Part I? You can find it HERE. 

The Choice to Love; Part II

Word forms: woos, wooing, wooed 
1. to seek the affection, favour, or love of (a woman) with a view to marriage 
2. (transitive) to see after zealously or hopefully 
3. (transitive) to beg or importune (someone)

I'm not entirely certain why, but the word 'woo' always makes me laugh in a nervous sort of way. It's a strange sounding word that causes me to feel vaguely defenseless. It seems inescapable; something that I cannot alter.

I have never been a huge fan of all of the 'married to Jesus' stuff afloat in the world today, because the phrase usually seems like a way to either shame those people deemed in too great a hurry to get married or as a way for women who want to avoid a relationship to say 'no' without actually have to say no. So the whole idea of 'wooing' and 'Jesus' being part of the same sentence makes me distinctly uncomfortable. But 'wooing' is the most apt term that comes to mind when I try to describe the relationship that has evolved between myself and my Savior. With gentle and patient persistence, He has worn down the barriers I erected to protect myself from loving too much and trusting too deeply. He has awakened my desire for affection, and taught me about love. Not the hormonal and physical sort of love, but love of a deep and meaningful and sacrificial sort.
-Could any other love you like this?
-No. None other. 
I have occasionally commented that love and mercy are always the things that break me. If you give me the consequences I deserve, I can maintain my stubborn pride to infinity...and beyond.

Repay my shortcomings with grace, and all my resistance will dissolve.

Jesus showed me grace again and again. Through the Holy Spirit, I was repeatedly led to the foot of the cross and reminded, 'My grace is sufficient for you.'

Sometimes, I don't want mercy and grace.

Sometimes, I don't want my resistance to dissolve. Sometimes, I want to be stubborn and alone. Being broken, even in the gentlest way possible, is still painful and there have been some times when I almost wanted God, Jesus, the whole Trinity, to go away and stop loving me.

Instead, I was made increasingly aware of the reality of Emmanuel; God with us. With me, not looking down on me from some lofty throne, but walking beside me throughout my daily chores. And with such love and concern, my barriers began to crumble and the process of brokenness began.

God's presence was beautiful, yes, but it was also painful. It hurt when The Light of the World threw all my inner darkness into sharp relief.

Every time I succumbed, yet again, to my sinful nature, I could almost see Christ, Himself, standing by my side.

Every time I acted selfishly, I saw the pain that my actions had inflicted upon the One who had proved His love for me over and over.

I stood at the foot of the cross, washed in the innocent blood that my wrongdoings had spilled, and saw His dying face looking at me with tenderness.

He taught me about love through the persistence with which He loved me, even in my ugliness.

He disarmed my pride.

And the more He loved me, the more horror I felt over the sinful part of myself.