I can't put into words how much I miss hugging the people I love. Something so simple as a hug is something I have realized I take so much for granted. But in a hug, so many things are said. And without hugs from the ones you love, you realize the importance of the words that are said through them. I texted my mom yesterday and told her that I can't begin to explain how much I look forward to the moment when I step off the airplane and get to hug her and Tony. Those two hugs will mean more to me than words could ever express. So something I ask of each of you this day - don't take for granted being surrounded by the people you love, and cherish something as simple as a hug.
So enough of my hug soapbox... I want to share what this time of loneliness has led me to. It really has led me to complete dependence on my God. I've never had to seek the Lord as my friend. In the past, I have sought Him as my Comforter, my Healer, my Strength, my Joy, and my Peace - and He has proven faithful in becoming those things to me. And now, I am trusting that He will reveal Himself as my Friend. As a friend who sticks closer than a brother as it says in Proverbs 18:24. And in seeking Him as my friend, I have chosen to memorize the first eight verses of Psalm 63.
"Oh God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singling lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me."
I find so much comfort in this Psalm because of the promise it reveals. In verse 1 we declare, "...earnestly I seek you..." And then in verse 5 - "My soul will be satisfied..." Because of this clear promise, I can rest assured that Jesus will be my friend. I am seeking Him earnestly as that. Not only will my soul be satisfied, but satisfied as with the richest of foods. I think about those Sundays when Tony grills the best steaks, and my mom cooks cheesy ranch potatoes and fried okra and rolls - how my stomach is so full, so satisfied that it actually hurts. That is the satisfaction I am promised and eagerly awaiting. To have such a close friend in Jesus that I might actually get annoyed with Him and His closeness. Of course I'm joking. But really, to know Jesus as my closest friend would be so beautiful. And that is what I am praying for.
And here, I come to you again, asking you to join me in this prayer. That Jesus would satisfy my lonely state. That I would experience Him in a new way and that He would wrap me in His arms and let me experience the joy, the comfort, and the encouragement of His hugs.
Thank you so much for your prayers and know that my love pours out to you all even from so far away.