I want to move to Cape Town, if not live here then have a little vacation flat overlooking the bay on Simons Town. Many times over the past week and a half here I have found myself with mouth agape, blown away by the breathtaking views of mountains and sea as they intertwine in this beautiful place.
Surely I am undeserving of the views that captivate my heart and inspire me to sing praises to the Lord who created it all.
And God just keeps telling me to drink it in, to swallow it deep and let it settle into my bones, because all of this beauty is doing what he has meant to do since my first breath. You see, God has been romancing all of my life, but sometimes I am too blinded by my circumstances to see it.
So every once in a while he will take me away, to the mountains or the sea and whisper things that I had forgotten how to hear. And this past week, on the Hoerikwaggo Trail, those whispers were heard as a bold proclamation of his love.
Five days along some of the most incredible views you can think of, from the tops of mountains to soft sandy white beaches. All the while with a friendly guide who became like family. He knew everything there was too know about every plant that grew on the Southern Cape and would point them out to us.
There was one flower in particular, the Watsonia as our guide would call it, that had bright orangey-red, pink, fiery petals. It was one of the most beautiful colors I had ever seen and I would find that my eye would be drawn to it, standing alone in a field of green. As I admired it, I felt like God said to me that I too was painted that same vibrant shade that stood out so beautifully among the rest.
As we climbed my teammates would shout out, “There’s a Meghan, what a beautiful color.” And my heart felt that it might burst at the seams.
Each day brought a new beauty, a deeper feeling of contentment and love. And I couldn’t help thinking that this was exactly the kind of place that I would like to go on my honeymoon, until I realized that I was already kind of on it.
You see it all started over a year ago, on New Year’s eve in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our squad had just finished up our time in Africa and we were asking God for new revelations on what the next year might bring.
I remember sitting and praying to God and feeling a wedding ring on my finger. It felt so real that I would have to look at my hand to see that there was really no ring on my hand. I felt the Lord whisper, you’ll be starting the New Year off in South Africa, but next time you’ll be coming back with a ring.
I forgot about that moment and continued on my race, never knowing that God had never forgotten about what he had told me.
Fast forward to a year later and I am sitting in front a pool writing this, overlooking the bay of Simons Town, South Africa. Staying with an absolutely delightful family that took us in when our hostel fell through.
I wake in the morning with a giggle on my lips and a dog licking my face as the sun pours in all around me. It feels divinely set up, and for me this is pretty dang close to Heaven.
I’m finally realizing that I am truly the bride of Christ. And just like any groom wants to whisk his bride away to remote places to romance her, the same Christ does for the bride that is his church.
The hike was meant to be symbolic of the healing journey the women we ministered to would experience. As I hiked I felt slightly guilty that I was enjoying myself so much (some of my teammates had a very different experience on the trail.) Surely healing wasn’t meant to be so delightful, until I realized that healing just takes a whole bunch of love. And that was the very thing I was getting.
So I sit in awe of a God who romances us, who pursues and who never forgets his promises even when we do. I am so glad that after a lifetime of knowing I am the bride of Christ that I finally feel it.
Now it is my turn to take that love I feel to women who have known nothing but abuse and hatred their whole lives. So that they may know that they too are the bride of Christ and he wants nothing more than to romance them.