In Our Love Story, Part 1, I shared how God called me to live single-heartedly for Him as a young woman. Yes, it was a struggle saying no to boys as a teenager, but at the same time, I cannot say I totally missed out on the giddy, elating, intense and consuming emotions of teen love. God always meets us where we are, and God loved the teenaged me the way I needed, wanted, to be loved.
It may seem strange if I say that I treated God as my “boyfriend” during the years of my offering, but that was how I approached fulfilling my vow. All the time and energy a typical teenager would spend thinking and dreaming of a crush or a boyfriend, I wanted to give to Jesus. Going to mass or visiting Him in the Adoration Chapel were our dates, and my prayer times at home were our phone calls.
And the relationship never felt one-sided (lest I be deemed delusional). Jesus faithfully fulfilled His role in the relationship in ways unfathomably real.
The story about the anniversary note is one of the best testimonies to attest to this.
A few months after my “yes” to Jesus, I had realized that if I wanted to treat Jesus truly as my boyfriend, I had to celebrate the same things other couples celebrated, including a “month-sarry.” Looking through my prayer journal, I was able to mark the 19th of each month as little milestones of faithfulness. And so, in preparation for our 4th month-sarry, I planned out my day: evening mass at our parish after school, a visit to the Adoration Chapel afterwards–I even started writing a reflection for each mystery of the Rosary, just because I thought this would make Him smile. All this in an effort to make September 19, 1995 special for both me and my Lover.
I can no longer recall the specific details of how that particular day in school didn’t feel like a good one–maybe I received poor notes on an exam, or had an argument with a friend, or perhaps I just didn’t feel God walking with me throughout the day. All I remember was that by the time I was at mass that evening, I was pouring my heart out: I had been so looking forward to a memorable day with Him, why didn’t He make His presence felt? Was this day not as special to Him as it was to me?
As the mass went on, I started feeling a bit better. I was about to receive Him in the Eucharist after all, and that was always something special. I said sorry for my little internal tantrum, realizing that just because the day didn’t go as I had expected didn’t mean that He wasn’t celebrating with me. Also because, at the back of my head, I told myself the day wasn’t over yet.
After mass, as planned, I headed over to the Adoration Chapel. As I walked up to the log book to sign in my name and time, I saw a small piece of paper atop the page I was to write on. Written on it in bold, block letters was the following message:
To this day, I have no clue as to who wrote that note. But this does not stop me from knowing whom it was from.
I spent the next hour inside the Adoration Chapel thanking and praising Jesus for the best anniversary gift ever. I took the note, inserted it into my Bible (marking the page of Deuteronomy 6:5), and walked home knowing He was, and always is, with me.