The Backwards Way into the Kingdom

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This was back when he was scruffy. 🙂 But still super handsome. I never thought I would get a guy with such pretty big eyes…or his charisma. So many things in him that I am thankful for. Many of them he grew up disliking. I adore those things about him.

It was the same for me. I grew up thinking my wild hair was a curse. I remember crying to him about my state of misery, and he just calmly told me that it was ok. “Give yourself some time. You’ve only started trying to figure out how to take care of curly hair a few months ago. I love your curly hair. Soon you’ll be a pro at managing it. I think it’s beautiful.” He’s a very nice man. 🙂

Probably most of you get tired of reading the tales of women in love. I have only one thing to say: Read no father then. This is a “us” post. Because I love  my fiance. And I love the God who brought us together. And there’s nothing wrong with talking about that. But you don’t have to listen. 🙂

I think there must be this big well inside of me that is building up, wanting to gush out the goodness of God and the experience of His blessings. I don’t mean a nice house, an expensive car, food, etc. When you run out of food, you go buy more. When you lose a job, you search for another to replace it. Such is life. Those things are necessary, and God BLESSES us with them.

But people…People can’t be replaced or manufactured. They cant’ be bought with sweat and hard work. People are gifts…not to hang on to, but to love and cherish. To hold with open hands before the Giver.

If a gift truly means something to you, you wouldn’t be careless with it, treating it  oughly or harshly. You would hold it carefully. You would be quick to forgive, long suffering, patient, and gentle with your words, never cutting painfully to the heart.

If people are gifts, give them the greatest gift: love. No, love is not infatuation. Love is not always feelings. It’s not denial of emotion.

God’s love is just something way beyond feelings. Love, given as continual sacrifice of grace and forgiveness should be chased after as a goal more fervently then a rush of emotion. Because He is the only One that hold things together and can make something strong as steel when the world expects it to fall apart.

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The Lord always finishes what He starts.

It’s surprising. But with the strength and foundation in place, the feelings of love that do come to top your commitment, are actually stronger and more powerful, then would be possible without hard work and those vows of grace. The backwards way into the Kingdom. (That phrase will keep coming up in this post, amidst the romance. 🙂 )

I might be weird, but to me, vows of grace go hand in hand with vows of commitment. To walk in grace towards a person is the most beautiful expression of love.

It’s just incredible how the Kingdom of God works. It’s so…backwards. You go backwards before you go forwards.

You lose your life to find it.

You die to live!

Image(This is where he asked me to marry him.)

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When you see something shiny, of course you want to run and and grab it. But the best things in life, and especially in the Kingdom, happen to those who dive headfirst into Jesus, the Person, and wait for the Prince to bring about dreams beyond even their imagination. It’s the backwards way into the Kingdom.

*I wrote this a while back. It was really hard to get it out the way my heart was saying it, but I tried. The miracles God has done in my life and in my fiance’s life are precious, and the fruit is incredibly sweet. I don’t know how to describe it. But…..this is part of our journey.

And this is how I see my Caleb: He has the faith of a child, the strength of a lion. He is a beast of a man, in love and in integrity. He has big arms that make my little guns look puny, 🙂 but he still makes me look better then himself in speech and action. His smile lights up a room, and when you hear his laugh, you’ll never have trouble recognizing it again. It’s just sooo Cabob.

He is humble. Too humble sometimes I think. :p When I think he should give someone a kick in the butt, he doesn’t need to defend himself or react. Instead, he starts telling me that he cares because he knows that someone is hurting.

He constantly surprises me. I see sides of him that are positively charming and funny. And every once in a while, a new dimenson is added to his personality that either wasn’t there before or was hidden. I love seeing the beauty that is there when a person is free to completely put down all pretense and expectations.

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He’s been misunderstood by those who don’t know him. It just makes me all the more thankful that God brought him into my life. It wouldn’t matter if the whole world didn’t like him; I know the truth of who God made him to be, and I love him.

He is a good man with a giant heart. He is passionate. He is stubborn. When God sets Him on a path, He is faithful, true to his name meaning. But at the same time, he’s flexible and open. Often, when something doesn’t feel quite right to me and I kick and scream and protest, 😉 he is very open to hear what I feel God is saying to me. I really appreciate that about him, even if I am sometimes very imperfect in my responses.

He is extremely sensitive to the voice of God, but he wants to grow in learning to love me like God does, which doesn’t usually come naturally for any human. In our relationship, he gets an A+ for wanting to grow in leadership and being willing to go beyond passivity and transition into passionate, Spirit led love and leadership.

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He’s managed to keep childlike faith and expectancy in his relationship with God and the knowledge that God’s input in life is more important then man’s opinions. Something I’m learning from. 🙂

Someone made a joke that it’s ok if he’s a perfect knight to me now, or something like that. Does that mean I will change my mind later? What is that? like… a curse? 🙂 Like just give it a year, and I will hate his guts? (Yeah I know it was a joke, but it got me thinking at how distorted love is today.)

What is love? It doesn’t come and go. Love isn’t something that I give when I “like” someone. Love is hardest to give when we see a person’s faults, but most rewarding when we extend it, not begrudgingly, but with the deepst, purest favor that says, “I know you’re not perfect. I see your faults. But look at me. I have them too. I give my love to you as a gift, unearned.”

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People who joke about how I won’t like cabob a year or two down the road get on my nerves, and I think it’s a poor view of love, even if it’s a joke. Maybe I take jokes too seriously (ha) but it probably comes from feeling strongly about what is being made fun of.

No, I’m not maried yet, but if marriage is anything like the Kingdom, I already know it’s not easy, but it doesn’t wear out or fade. God makes all things new, and I will speak that out for my marriage instead of listening to curses. 😉

What is this world coming too? Couples pretend to be perfect for eachother while dating, and then when they get married, suddenly they stop pretending?

I guess we’re different. I don’t know if we’ve ever had pretenses with each other. It’s NOT always happy, fuzzy feelings. Sometimes we hurt eachother when we get upset. We have been raw. Honest. From the start. It was the only way. It is what it is.

Josh Wilson has a song that says, “Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for.” That song has been like a motto for me.

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Believe me, I have seen cabob at his worst state. (and vice versa) I don’t need someone else to tell me bad things about him when I know both bad and good better then anyone. But you know what? I LOVE HIM ANYWAY. 🙂

When I love him, when I honor him, when I give him the gift of my favor, it throws open the doors for Jesus to heal and restore and do miracles beyond what you could imagine.

We see and know each other’s faults. But you know what? It’s ok. Love covers a multitude of sins and all kinds of annoyances and junk. Why do we put so much faith in satan’s power to destroy lives, but we don’t believe in God’s redemptive power to transform what Satan meant for evil?

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 We set un-achievable expectations for the people in our lives, yet we expect so little from God. We have so little faith in the works He promises to do IN those people, let alone ourselves.

Instead of looking at our circumstances or nasty issues, why on earth are we not looking at the Healer who makes all things new?

I am not defending cabob because he’s my favorite man in the whole wide world. 🙂 I just want to speak out the truth of believing in God’s finished work, and LIVING as if it were actually finished in a person’s life. That’s what God’s done in my life and in both of our lives. It has set me free. It has set US free.

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There is freedom in agreeing with God. Belief/faith opens the door for the works of God that are already done in Heaven. Unbelief closes it.

Open that door WIDE in your relationships! See what God will do!

Anyways, all that to say I am so proud of my darling. He keeps growing and changing. I see him on his bad days. I see him on his good days. But it doesn’t matter what day it is, I am proud (I’m gonna start crying) because he knows…he can not survive without the presence of God in his life every second. He knows he is nothing without God.

That, my friends, is a good man. That is the kind of man you want. (But mine is taken, sorry. :p)

But when you find a man like that…Or better, when God brings him to you, don’t squeeze him too tightly. Don’t suffocate him with your expectations. Shower him with your favor, no matter what you feel. See what happens. 😉

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That is the backwards way into the Kingdom that makes men and women successful. It’s recognizing the favor of God that can not be earned, but is possible because of grace.

Good men don’t become good men overnight.

Good men happen because of a good God. So invest your life in Him first, and He will “invest” His riches in you.

Invest your time in praying for your man, instead of nagging him. Invest in dying, so you can live.

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It’s the backwards way into the Kingdom.

I love you, Caleb A. Kanagy. 🙂 You light up my world and fill it with laughter and joy. Thank you for being you.

With God, you are a warrior, a leader, and a protector. The best is yet to come. ❤

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5 thoughts on “The Backwards Way into the Kingdom

  1. I walked through this, smiling and nodding inside, with you. :’) Yes, I know Cabob has gone through a lot of fire in relationships, but I have always marveled how he could walk away, bearing the pain of others’ wrongs, and yet not lash out at them. And the joy just deepens to see him grow to a place where he can release and be so free in who God has made him to be. I’m so thankful He has given Cabob a woman of faith and steadfast love. Thank you for loving him like you do. :’) You are both amazing. And I mean that. ❤

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  2. Yeah girl, don’t listen to those people that say enjoy the romance while it last because someday you’ll wake up to reality. They annoy me too. :} The truth is it gets better all the time. I thot I loved Nelson when we were dating and I DID but nothing like I do now! 🙂 Love and marriage is definitely one of God’s most amazing creations. You’re on an amazing journey…enjoy every minute! 🙂 ❤ -Amy

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  3. you described him to a T. Keep on loving him the way you do. seems strange that your my cousin and I know Caleb better. He’s always been a speciel person in our family.And now I am proud that he will be part of the family.I think you guys are AWSOME for each other! Love you guys!

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