The theme of youth camp this year was "Pursuit" - mainly that God pursues us and that we should pursue him in return. So every night, preaching out of Ephesians, the camp speaker (who happened to be an ETBU alum - go Tigers!) connected what he said with some aspect of pursuit.
And every night after the worship service, we all divided up into our own church groups for church devotion time, a time to talk on a more personal level about what God was doing. As the only leader for our group, it fell on me to guide our group discussion every night.
I think for the youth it can be somewhat difficult to really grasp how fervently God pursues us. Now, you have to understand that the youth have pretty much literally watched mine and Matthew's relationship play out since the beginning and know both of us very well. One or both of us has worked closely with them for our entire relationship. So I found that the easiest illustration to use for demonstrating pursuit was our relationship.
The youth loved it because it gave them a chance to make fun of my love-sickness. And it seemed to be an effective way to illustrate the theme of pursuit. The funny thing is, though, that the more I thought about it and talked about it with the youth, the more I discovered that there is so much more I understand about faith and my relationship with God now that I'm married.
I have always expected to understand more about my relationship with God as his child and he as my Father once I have kids of my own. I believe there are aspects of that relationship that I simply can't connect with until that happens. But I never expected that to be the case in my marriage relationship (which was naive of me, I admit).
The Bible is clear that the Church is the bride of Christ, and he is the bridegroom - Ephesians 5 displays that relationship so well (see Mark 2 and Luke 5 as well). But for whatever reason, I've never connected that with my relationship here on earth.
I feel like I've been given this new gift (along with my incredible husband) to seek and explore and understand better what my relationship with Christ is in light of marriage, something that I couldn't quite grasp in my prenuptial days! And I think it goes to show that I am never "there" spiritually, never "arrived." There are always new things to learn about God and my relationship with him. Not that this is news to me - I just understand it in a different way. And this excites me! It excites me that, just like there will always be new things to learn about Matthew, there will always be new things to learn about God. I love it!