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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: January 8, 2016.

You could never quite tell how Amy was doing behind that vibrant smile of hers.  Widowed in her twenties, it was a burden that she seemed far too young to bear.  I often felt my heart groaning as I tried to comprehend the grief.  Whenever I was in her presence that angelic smile of hers somehow brought me not only peace, but also questions as to how she was handling it so well.

I knew her faith; her absolute trust in her precious Savior Jesus was the only thing that could possibly get her through this.   Yet even those of great faith suffer deep emotional trauma and misery when undergoing a loss of this magnitude.   Amy had invited Jesus to meet her in a very intimate, creative way that I had never imagined.

It was a typical women’s Bible study and prayer time.  About 12 of us sat around a table and started off with simple testimonies of how our walk with Jesus was being transformed.  Amy, whose face literally lit up the room said she had found a “new” way of meeting with the Lord.  She giggled a little, almost like a girl who had just found a new beau.  She proceeded to tell us about her “Date Night with Jesus.”

I have to be honest; at first I thought, “Well how cute is that!” and decided it was something for the younger women in the group.  A woman my age would sound quite silly testifying about her relationship with Christ in that way.  Amy shared how she had decided that she needed to know the lover of her soul in an atmosphere where it was just the two of them.  She would take an entire evening to focus on Him, read his word, listen to praise music, sing to him, pray to him, meditate on him, just sit at his feet or dance in his presence.  She beamed as she told us that it was a date she would always remember and repeat as often as possible.

I left the study praising God for this young woman, and others like her who not only lived what they believed, but practiced in a way that was revolutionary.  Ah, to be young again and look at Jesus through the eyes of a girl who has truly found the lover of her soul.

I went back to my way of walking with Christ, my way of doing life with Him.  I had already entered into the discipline of fasting and prayer with Wendy so I figured I had the market on intimacy with Jesus cornered in my life.  Yet, something about this new way of approaching the sacred romance kept tugging at my heart.   There was a yearning and yet a resistance, a sense of silliness yet a girlish excitement to say yes to a night with my King.

'Fast Friends' Book Cover

We had a tradition in our home while our kids were growing up.  Friday was Family pizza and movie night.   Attempting to point out that tonight was our family ritual; I was met with reminders of other plans.  I had forgotten about the slumber party my daughter was going to.  I had neglected to write on the calendar that the very same night my husband and sons were going to a sporting event.  That meant that on this particular Friday night I would have the house to myself.  “You mean I will be home alone” I said.  “Wait, you mean I will have the house to myself?!”  I cheerfully replied.  This just doesn’t happen.

The wheels started turning in my head.  This meant no Disney movie, no adventure/action film, and no greasy pizza!  I could eat whatever I wanted, watch any click flick I wanted; oh this was starting to sound really good!  And then I heard it, that still small voice whispering in my head “or, you could have a date night with Jesus”.  Now came the debate.  Do I selfishly spend the evening on my own pleasures?  Do I justify doing what I want, lazily laying on the couch with a big bowl of buttered popcorn watching whatever handsome actor I choose woo some beautiful young star as I live vicariously through her?  Or, do I choose Him; Jesus, as my special companion for the evening?  Do I take the leap and try something a little bit well, silly?

“Well, it will probably only last about a half hour and then I will get to my popcorn and movie.  I will have satisfied my curiosity and proven to the Lord that he does come first.  Anyway, how long can I really pray, or read scripture or praise, or dance for that matter?”

I got on my knees and I asked Jesus to be my date for the evening.   I got up and God in his perpetual faithfulness started inviting me into activity with him.  I felt prompted to pick up my Bible and read.  I did the old “I will just read whatever page it falls open to.”    Before I knew it my half hour was up and I had been drawn so deeply into the truth of God’s word, that what was actually 39 minutes had seemed like 2.

I suddenly had a desire to put on some praise music.  The lyrics jumped out at me. I found myself singing along, dancing around the room.   Next, I really felt like lying on my bed and just having some pillow talk with Jesus.  This went on for a while, alternating between praise music, singing, prayer and meditation on Christ.  In the stillness, His gentle quiet whisper reminded me of his unfathomable love for me.

You know, I didn’t even look at the clock, not once.   It was as if I was transported to a place where it was just Jesus and me.  I felt His presence.  It was perfect, at least until the phone rang.  I reluctantly answered and it was my husband saying that he and the boys were on their way home.  “So soon I asked?”  “Why, you weren’t gone long at all.”

“Not long?” he replied.  He proceeded to inform me that they had left at six and it was now ten pm.  “What, no way, it can’t be…” but it was.  I had been on a date with Jesus for four hours.  There went my half hour.  And it went so fast…four hours seemed like minutes.  “Don’t you want to stay out a little longer, maybe go for ice cream?”  I suggested, secretly longing for my special evening to continue.   No, they wanted to come home.  The boys were tired, the night had been long and well, you guessed it, I got home from my date long before I wanted to.

But what a night it was.  God had not only shown up as he had for Amy, he surpassed any expectation I could have ever had.  The word came alive, the praises rang out, the prayers were sweet offerings and the presence of my Savior had never been closer.   I was falling in love all over again.

And the age old question; “will there be a second date?”  Yes, and many others to follow, from now until eternity.



To learn more about how you can develop a deep relationship with Jesus, check out Suzanne Niles and Wendy Simpson Little’s new book, Fast Friends: The Amazing Power of Friendship, Fasting & Prayer

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