Greta’s long brown tresses draped down the white bedsheets. This was the moment that she had waited for her entire life. Her heart pounded within her chest, truly coming to life for the first time. She had never found anyone who loved her like this: one who had such reckless passion for her, one that came to her rescue, and the one that had been committed to wait for her if it took her entire lifetime.
Her mind raced through all of the bad relationships she had chosen over Joshua. She had known of him and his desire to be with her for what seemed like forever, and maybe that’s the reason she took him for granted. She pushed past him, time and again, to get to the bad boys, the tough guys. They were fun and fun to be with for a season, but it always ended up in disappointment.
The first one introduced her to sex. That became a fun game with one tough guy after another. Each time it got a little rougher, and whether she liked it or not, she played along because it was attention, it was the love she craved.
She could see Joshua, here and there, out of the corner of her eye. She ignored the hurt look in his dark eyes. His gloomy look of disappointment just seemed to light a fuse in her chest.
It’s not like I’m cheating on him. I’ve never been his. She shoved past him again. He just doesn’t get me. He thinks he knows me, but this is just who I am. She paused in thought for a moment. This is who I want to be.
Over the course of the next few years, she sank deeper and deeper into this world of needing more, but these cheap thrills seemed to not be fulfilling any longer. She began to feel used. There was no passion, just a few moments of a rush that only left her feeling emptier once they passed.
One day, Mr. Badboy introduced her to some new drugs. Those days were fun, and for a while, it seemed that she had found a new rush that satisfied, until that night that it all went wrong.
Greta could scarcely get the words out, “Help me.” She watch Mr. Badboy turn and dart from the scene as she felt herself slowly fading. Darkness began to overtake her. Fear crept into her spirit. What if I die here? Will anyone even find me here? Will anyone even care that I’ve died?
Swarthy shadows crawled toward her. Tears welled in her eyes. Thoughts of Joshua filled her mind. How much he had loved her. How long he had waited for her, and she had only disappointed him by running to every other man right in front of him. Surely, he’d never want me now. Then the thought came, But what if he does? What if he could?
Her eyes opened to creatures formed from scales of darkness peering straight into her soul. Their sinister chuckles let her know that soon they’d claim her.
“Joshua!” She forced the words from her mouth with her last ounce of strength, and her limp body slid to the floor of the abandoned apartment building, and everything went dim.
Greta could feel her body jerk. “Clear!” The words were loud and forceful. She could feel it jerk again.
“She’s back, guys.”
Beep, beep, beep.
Peace. All she felt was peace. She could feel a strong hand slide into hers, and her heart thumped with life like it had never known before. Is it him? Is it Joshua? She wanted to open her eyes, but the lights were so bright. She tried to open them, but she could only blink rapidly. The lights were so bright.
“Settle down, Greta.”
She felt his grip tighten around her hand, and she squeezed his hand back. Her smile curled tighter. She tried to open her eyes again.
Suddenly a gentle whisper hummed in her ear. “I will always come when you call me. I’ve always been here, but I want you to be mine.”
I knew it. His voice was soft but deep. Suddenly, his grip released, and she could hear his shoes clack against the tile floor as he walked from the room.
No! Don’t leave, she wanted to say, but she was slowly fading to sleep.
“Okay, this will help her sleep. Let’s let her rest. Nurse, keep a close watch on her, and let me know if anything changes.”
Greta could hear the piercing beep of the heart monitor as she sank into a deep sleep.
When she awoke, it was dim in the room. She glanced at the clock. Midnight. Surely it was way past visiting hours. She wished it wasn’t. Oh, how she wanted to see Joshua. She had never felt so loved. She had never felt so IN love with anyone.
Why had she never noticed his arms were strong enough to easily carry her to safety? Why had she never realized that it was how much he valued her that made him wait for her so long? Why had she never seen that he wanted to give her so much more than just a quick thrill? He asked of her a life-long commitment because that’s what he was willing to give her.
Just then, the door shimmied open. Nurse DaLinda bumbled through the door pulling her cart. “How you feelin’, honey?”
“Well, thank the good Lord. We thought we was gonna lose you for a while there.” Her dark brown eyes widened with compassion as she glanced down at Greta.
“Good thing my friend Joshua found me.”
The nurse wrapped the blood pressure cuff around Greta’s arm. “Who?”
“Joshua, my friend who brought me here.”
“Sweetheart, you came by ambulance. An anonymous tip called in.”
“No, my friend Joshua.” Greta cleared her throat. “He was here holding my hand just after you guys resuscitated me.”
“Honey, there wasn’t no…” her voice trailed off. The nurse smiled and pulled her stethoscope from around her neck. “Oh, you mean, Yeshua.”
“What? Greta struggled to sit up. Who?”
“Miss Greta, you were born in this hospital, weren’t you?” DaLinda’s eyebrows raised in confidence as she counted Greta’s blood pressure.
The nurse’s white uniform glowed against her dark skin. “Honey, I’ve prayed over every baby born in this hospital since 1982.”
Greta’s eyebrows crumpled. The nurse continued, “You see, I pray that Yeshua pursue each baby, and I’ve heard some mighty incredible stories over the years.” She puffed a slight chuckle.
She cleared her throat. “Yeshua has been persuing you your entire life, sweetie. He’s in love with you. Has been all along. You may have pushed past him to get to other things, but he never gives up on you because he just loves you. He sees you as priceless, Greta.”
DaLinda brushed the hair from Greta’s eyes, and she could see the tears welled in them.
“But I’ve been so mean to him, and–he still came for me?”
“He always will.” She draped the stethoscope back around her broad neck. “He always will.” The Velcro ripped as she pulled the blood pressure cuff from the young girl’s arm. “Now, he wants to know if you want him as much as he wants you.” She winked at Greta. “Is there anything else you need before I go?”
“I think I need to talk with Joshua.”
“Go ahead, Honey. He’s here.” She softly patted Greta’s arm and turned, pushing her cart back out the door.
Greta’s long brown tresses draped down the white hospital bedsheets. “Joshua?” A bright light shot through the wall, and a warmth filled the room. Through the bright light, she could make out Joshua’s face. “Joshua?”
“Why didn’t you tell me who you are?”
“My presence reveals who I am, but until you step into the light, you only see me through the eyes of darkness.”
Greta smiled. “I see you now! And if you still want me, I want to be yours.”
“I’ll take you.” Joshua’s smile beamed with a radiant light. “Just wait until you see all the incredible plans I have for us together.”
Greta felt a warm sensation tingle through her heart. “What is that?”
“That’s me awakening your heart and making it new.”
Never had Greta felt so loved, so prized, so valued. Never had she experienced this kind of peace and hopefulness. “I’m so sorry I waited so long to come to you.” Tears filled her eyes.
Joshua’s gentle hand wiped the tears from her eyes. “Don’t live in regrets of the past. I’m making everything new. I know the plans I have for you. They’re plans to prosper you, for your good–plans filled with hope and for an amazing future, not to harm you. Just trust me! There will be times that it will be hard. The enemy wants to kill, to steal, and to destroy you.” Joshua took Greta’s hand in his strong hand. “But I came that you might have life, and have it to the fullest.”
And from that moment on, Joshua held exactly to his word and commitment. He formed a new creation out of Greta, as he does for everyone who truly calls out to him. Yeshua (Jesus) is the master of taking broken, used things and making them into beautiful masterpieces, and he will begin his work the moment you surrender.
In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it. John 1:5 (AMP)
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. Psalm 23:6a (MSG)