This story is how the poem/song "My First Love' came to be....
God had 'a moment' for me in the early hours of a 2014 spring morning in Colorado Springs. It's a moment I will never forget. As I share my story, I am hoping it will find it's way to someone who sees even a nugget of their own story. I pray there be healing for someone. God has a way of doing just that. Here's my story...
My blankets tossed in a heap; pillow squished between my arms like a captive marshmallow, body sprawled from corner to corner, but at least I was asleep. Obviously, it was another restless night. Last I remembered looking at the clock it was 2 a.m. This was typical of my nights. Wrestling with God about so many things kept me awake into the wee hours of the morning. When I finally drifted off to sleep, I wanted to stay there.
So, who was this now nudging me to wake up? I was alone in the guest room of a close friend who lives in Colorado. I had come for a visit during Spring Break. It was a long time since I had seen her so I was excited for some girl time together. It was also a safe place to be; a much-needed refuge from life at home; a place where I knew I was loved.
So, again, I asked, “Who is nudging me to wake up?” I wanted to stay sleeping! I opened one eye and glanced at the clock. It looked back at me like I should be delighted for this wake-up call. It was 4:00 a.m. The nudge persisted, and so I stayed awake. Wondering….what is this all about?
Tempted to close my eyes and fall back to sleep, a gentle and nearly audible whisper spoke to me. “I am your first love. Write it down.” Write it down? What’s going on? Again, the whisper came. “I am your first love. Write it down.” Clearly, I wasn’t to ignore this message. I turned on a light and found a piece of paper and a pencil. I wrote down the words, ‘I am your first love.”
Within moments words poured out like a flowing stream. Line after line, words came forth filling the page. I didn’t have to stop and think about them, I just kept writing. It was clear who was talking; I knew who woke me up with a whisper. I needed to hear these words. I needed to write them down.
Though I have loved Jesus all my life, He had fallen to second in my life. I had allowed another to take His place as my first love. Initially, the words he spoke charmed and seduced me into believing I was his everything; his one and only. I breathed in every word as if they were my lifeblood. Soon the words became controlling and then abusive. By then it was too late.
I was deeply entrenched in a decade-long marriage that I didn’t want to fail, unknowingly imprisoned by his control, and gravely blinded to the damage taking place. I heard his abusive, degrading, destructive words over and over –eventually every day – and they became my truth. I bought them because he said they were true. I believed the worst about myself because he said it was so.
Another decade went by. Lies, names, accusations were eating away at my body, my mind, and my soul, but oddly I couldn’t see it. God did. Others did. Why couldn’t I?
This awakening moment, a nudge and a whisper at 4:00 a.m. in a cozy bed in Colorado, writing down words that I titled, My First Love –it’s more like a song without a melody -- began peeling away the blinders, opening my eyes to God’s truth and exposing the truth I had been denying. Every word I was given, God needed me to hear. For too long I believed things about myself that countered who God says I am. No more.
God would use this moment a few days later to reiterate His truth one more time. It was a ‘woodshed’ repentant experience and my sobs were cleansing. Never again would I allow another person to take first place in my life. Jesus is my first love.
A year later, Lauren Daigle released 'First’. It was a perfect encore. And if that wasn't clear enough, she released, 'You Say' in 2018. She has since become one of my favorite Christian recording artists.
Lord, I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14