A characteristic that attracted Rick to me, was my confidence. My job as a workshop facilitator reinforced his image of me as someone that commanded respect. What Rick didn’t know was that on the inside I was very insecure and I felt unworthy of his love. In spite of his constant affection, Rick was unable to convince me that his love was genuine and that I was the most important person in his life. Three weeks before our wedding, we had a huge argument and Rick abandoned me, leaving me at a time when I needed him most.

King Solomon described his love’s appearance many times in the Song of Solomon. It is clear Solomon perceived her to be a strong woman because he said of her, “Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men” (Solomon 4:4). Solomon also used the word undefiled to describe his love, a term that means perfect and stresses moral integrity (8535). In spite of the respect Solomon showed his love, she did not feel secure in their relationship. On one occasion, Solomon abandoned his love because she had locked him out of their bedroom (Solomon 5:3-6).

Sexual intimacy between a man and woman is based on trust. It cannot be established or maintained if there is a feeling of insecurity in the relationship. The fight Rick and I had shortly before our wedding was due to my insecurity. I didn’t believe that he really loved me. In spite of his many demonstrations of love, I thought it was impossible for Rick to love me because I had been defiled when I was raped. What I needed to know was that Rick would never leave me or forsake me, but instead, he did.

Falling in love

Nine years ago I was blessed with the experience of falling in love with a wonderful man. I met Rick while I was on a business trip in another state. Ours was truly a whirlwind romance. On our second date, Rick took me to meet his family. Afterwards, it felt like my dream of finding a man that would love me had come true. I was so in love with Rick that when it came time to go home at the end of my trip, I could hardly think of anything but spending the rest of my life with him.

The Song of Solomon is the story of a woman that falls in love with king Solomon. The woman’s name is not given. Solomon refers to her as my love and says of her beauty, “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair” (Solomon 1:15). After being introduced to Solomon’s household, Solomon’s lover states, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick with love” (Solomon 2:4-5). And then she gives this advice, “I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please” (Solomon 2:7).

Falling in love in not only an intense emotional experience, it is similar to coming down with a bad case of the flu, if you have to be separated from the one you love. You become weak. You can’t eat or sleep and your heart aches to be in his arms again. My long distance relationship with Rick was torture. It was all I could do to just get through each day. My only hope of survival was the thought of seeing him again on my next business trip.

A conversation with God

The first conversation I had with God began with a spontaneous expression of a desire I was completely unaware of. My statement was like a confession. “God, all I want do is come and be with you in heaven and take care of the little babies there.” And his response was like a prophetic revelation, “Some day you will come and be with me, but until that time, I have much work for you to do where you are.” I received the message 35 years ago and yet it seems as if it was only yesterday the words were spoken to me.

The psalmist said, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). The word translated settled, nâtsab (naw – tsab´) means to station (5324). It is similar to what a soldier does while on watch. The words for ever designate an existence that is outside of time or “from the most distant past time to the most distant future time,” in other words, eternity (5769). Heaven is God’s home, but it is not a place in the universe. “God’s abode is a unique realm not to be identified with the physical creation” (8064). God is in or in between everything we can see.

The fact that we can hear God speak to us is unexplainable, but my experience indicates it is possible to have a conversation with God. The thing that amazes me the most about what I heard was that is was exactly what I needed to hear in the moment and every moment since then. The message was timeless and it has sustained me for 35 years. I don’t know how much longer it will be before I go to heaven, but I know some day I will go there, or should I say be there, as God is now.

I trust him

“But as for me, I will walk in my integrity: Redeem me and be merciful to me” (Psalm 26:11). The integrity that David claimed for himself was that he did not intend to sin. David did everything he could to keep himself from sinning and when he did sin, he confessed and repented of it.

David asked the LORD to redeem him and be merciful to him because he knew that in spite of his best effort, he could not save himself. The word translated redeem, pâdâh (paw – daw´) means to sever. “Padah indicates that some intervening or substitutionary action effects a release from an undesirable condition (6299).

At the time David wrote Psalm 26, he did not know how the situation with Absalom was going to turn out. David was confident that the LORD was on his side, but he did not assume that God would make it possible for him to return to Jerusalem. The only way that David could resume his responsibilities as king was for Absalom to be killed, and yet, David charged his men not to harm him.

David expected that if it was the LORD’s will for him to return to the throne, the LORD would take Absalom’s life through some divine action. David prayed, “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men” (Psalm 26:9). The word translated gather, acaph means to take away (622), indicating David believed that God could take Absalom’s life if he wanted to.

David differentiated himself from those who deserve to be punished. It is clear in Psalm 26 that David believed he was innocent and warranted God’s protection. David’s attitude was not arrogant, and yet, he spoke as a man that had never committed a sin.

David’s relationship with the LORD was such that he could speak of himself in a way that most people, even Christians, would not dare to. In spite of the fact that David had committed two of the worst sins imaginable, adultery and murder, David saw himself as a righteous man. He said, “Judge me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity” (Psalm 26:1).

The key to understanding David’s confidence is what he said about the source of his righteousness. After David said, “I have walked in my integrity,” he said, “I have trusted also in the LORD” (Psalm 26:1). The word translated trusted, bâtach (baw – takh´) means security or secure (982). David was secure in his relationship with the LORD. No matter what David did, he knew if he sinned, God would forgive him, because he already had.