faith, freedom, food

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Fruitful Blessings

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Fruitful Blessings

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The past few days have been some of the greatest of my life. 

Johnny came home Friday night. 
He called me at 9:45ish and said in a tone I will never forget, “I’m outside.” Because that tone so echoed the insane excitement, butterflies, and ultimately peace and reverence that my spirit felt.
I remember the walk to the door and the opening of the door feeling endlessly long before I was in Johnny’s arms. I cannot remotely put to words what it felt like to be held by him. When I went back in to get my coat so I could meet his nephew, who was waiting with his brother and sister in law in the car who had dropped him off, it was too long away from him, and I couldn’t believe or fathom the blessing of my boyfriend, my love actually being outside. But I came back and he was. 
Meeting Henry was unreal. What a beautiful miracle.

We came back inside and that night is a blur. A few tears, lots of catching up, lots of laughs, so much smiling. We headed out to Kathryn’s birthday party after just a few hours, where Johnny got to meet for the first time Kathryn, and reunite with her boyfriend Matt, Kevin, and lots of other people. We had such a good time and so many good talks, including sharing with questioning friends the story of how we met. And fell in love. And all night, looking into my love’s eyes and listening to music with him and being with our friends I was struck over and over with how unbelievably right, glorifying, and close I felt to Johnny. 
Closer than ever, after 4 months of separation.
Praise the Lord. All praise and glory to Him, not because this closeness has anything to do with Johnny and I, but because the very truth of our closeness is a work of Christ and by His Spirit we know this relationship is good for Him. 

The next day was very chill. Johnny and I made lunch, watched Boy Meets World, caught up on music, and I just got to chill with my best friend. And give him his birthday present, a cross “military chain” with an engraving of his favourite bible verse. 

Johnny’s been staying at his brother’s house, whose roommate has the most beautiful dog named Sampson!
Saturday night, we went out with some of my closest friends Daniella, Michael, and Ryan to a board game cafe which was also so much fun. It was so amazing to be with Johnny and my friends altogether again. 
Sunday morning Johnny and I had breakfast at my place and watched a short but absolutely incredible sermon called the Lineage of Majesty. We headed off to church at the church I’ve grown up attending, St. Peter’s, where Johnny saw my mom, dad, grandparents, and little sis for the first time since he’s been back. We all went for coffee after with Courtney’s friend Bailey, too, which was great.
Johnny and I spent Sunday differently than we had originally planned to, as plans were cancelled. After church, we went home, made lunch, and went with Johnny’s brother Stephen and fianc√© Amanda to check out a potential venue for their wedding– which they signed off on! It was beautiful, and an honour to be there and with Steve and Amanda. By both the owner of the venue and later Amanda’s dad, Johnny and I were asked, “So when are you getting married?” 

And yes– Amanda graciously invited us for dinner at her family’s home, which was so beautiful and so evidently shining the Holy Spirit. Amanda’s mom is hilarious, and her dad so humble and kind– and, as foster parents, there were three sweet kids that had dinner with us, too.
Johnny and I felt blessed to sit in on the wedding talk and plans before dinner. Amanda’s mom graciously made me a dairy free pulled pork which we had with rice and salad. We all sat down and prayed and thanked the Lord for the evening and the food. I knew immediately that Johnny knew the fear in me. The pork had so much sauce on it. I was automatically trying to figure out how much there was. Rather than listening to conversation, I spread it around my plate and forked it slowly, finally eating little pieces of it. Spirit convicting me and Cassie mad at myself for not engaging much in or starting much conversation and Johnny squeezing my hand, smiling at me with tears eyes, whispering encouragement in Christ. Man. Praise Jesus. 
The devil was conquered and I ate the entire meal.
I felt angry for how much Id struggled. Was mad that I was completely not myself and without position in Christ in front of a new family so wonderful and so gracious and important to me! And at the same time, the devil whispering, How could you eat that? Before, you would have so easily figured out a way to avoid eating any of that. You just consumed who knows how much sauce… meat… blah blah blah blah… 
it was so loud and I prayed and Johnny knew, Johnny saw, Johnny was praying. I felt his prayers. After dinner, he suggested so kindly we go for a walk, and we did. 
And Johnny, rather than lifting or boasting in or dwelling on our love for each other, helped me to lift up convenant with Christ, and we talked about the victory Jesus already has over this enemy. Reveled and marvelled over it. Praised the Lord and showed love to each other. 
We finished the night at Amanda’s house, where the Lord so fulfilled love and His Spirit so I was able to walk in Him. The four of us went back to Waterloo where we watched, as Johnny had suggested because he knew how much it would mean to me, one of my favourite and the most brilliant movies The Jungle Book. If you have not read my blog post on its Christian parallels, check it out here. Johnny loved it and talked about most of what my blog mentions afterward based on how he interpreted the movie, which was so cool to talk about.
Today was shopping day. I was exhausted for some reason, but nonetheless had so much fun shopping with ma love. Time with him flies. No matter what. I had a cappuccino and oatmeal for breakfast which Johnny said he was happy to “just watch me eat.” 

This man who empathized with my pain so much last night he was crying, was loving me so genuinely in reverence and kept saying how he wanted nothing more than to see me free. All of this is a testament to our Lord Jesus and how beautifully He has worked through this distance to meet Johnny and I exactly where we are. 

be thou ravished always with her love. PROVERBS 5:19

We shopped, anyway, for family and friends and drove around listening to music, all of it timeless. All of it just making me want to cry because I’d missed it more than I’ve ever missed someone. But just so good.
We met Johnny’s two brothers and sisters-in-law (well, one soon-to-be) and the new beautiful baby Henry for lunch at a Zoup, which was delicious. We played a board game and caught up with each other for the rest of the day, and I loved getting to be there, seeing the amazinng brothers all close and catching up, forever getting to know them better myself, and of course the girls too. And holding Johnny’s nephew, so amazing!
The whole weekend has been such a blessing and one that I have learned so much in and through. I’m so joyful and happy proclaiming the Lord’s goodness in this distance and ultimately that there would be no strength, no perseverance, no freedom in this without His guidance and FORTRESSING might. 

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