I walk into what has quickly become my favorite little spot and immediately feel at home. My friend Lynley walks in to meet me for lunch, and we slip into our quiet corner of conversation and soul sharing – we are building upon something that God began over a year ago. We are making time to know each other. How nice it is to be seen and known.
My new friend heads out and leaves me there to write. To fill up pages with thoughts and characters that have been longing to be given life for many, many years. JohnnySwim, Taylor Swift, and Kasey Musgraves sail through my ear buds, and I just – write. I can do this because Josh’s new schedule is flexible – it’s fluid. So, he can give me Friday afternoons. He can give our kiddos Friday afternoons. We can make the life we want our family to live.
I get up for a bathroom break only to discover Ben and Dustin are still chatting in the back by the window. We are in a small coffee house/bar and grill [quirkiest, most fantastic little place there ever was] and there they are – two people that I know. Two people that are my friends. I toss them smiles and high fives and marvel at the feeling that is stirring in my heart.
Joy. Pure, untainted joy.
Maybe this sounds like your life all of the time. Maybe you run into people you know more than you’d really like. Maybe you have lunch with friends who are your people all the time. Maybe you get time to be fully you like it ain’t no thang. But for me – oh for me – Fridays and all they carry with them are precious weekly gifts from the hand of a God who loves me sweetly.
I settle back in at my table and consider it – this joy. I am quick to temper it, to reel it in, because I tend to do this. I feel really excited about a place or a thing or a person until the new wears off or disappointment sets in. “You’re still in the honeymoon phase,” I say to myself. “Don’t get too excited.”
But then the Holy Spirit whispers, “The honeymoon phase matters. Embrace it.” So, I consider that. I roll it around in my mind a bit. He’s right, obviously. The honeymoon phase does matter. It matters a lot. What I do in it and with it matters more.
Relish it. Live entirely in it. Laugh. Love. Be giddy. Enjoy it. But most of all, bow low. Bow low and give thanks to a God who will call me to a thing and then pour out sweet gifts just to confirm that calling. Because when it all disappoints – and it will because no thing, person, or place is blissful all the time – I must not forget the bliss of the honeymoon phase. I must not forget this intoxicating, never-want-to-leave, want-to-know-everything-there-is-to-know-about-this-season-this-place, falling in love feeling. And I must not forget the one who initiated it.
So, today, I bow low in gratitude and lean hard into the Honeymoon Phase. I say loudly, “I love this place. I love this season. God’s sweetness overwhelms me!”
“That’s great for you,” you say, “But I don’t love my place. I don’t love my season. And I don’t see any of God’s sweetness anywhere.” I’ve been there, too, but it’s important to bow low anyway. To wrestle out the goodness of God. It’s there. I know. Because in all seasons, God draws us to himself. He pursues our hearts and opens our eyes to His goodness.
Jesus always gets us where we need to be.