When I first met my husband, I wasn't a coffee-drinker. I drank tea. I had tried coffee once or twice - thought it was - well - vile.
But he was a coffee drinker. Loved his morning coffee - would drink it cold from last night's pot, or even from the pot that was brewed two days ago.
But I loved to linger over breakfast with him, sipping a hot cup of something. So, I decided to give coffee another go. I told him about my previous experiences and he (since he knew how the coffeemaker worked and I didn't) decided to start me off easy - with coffee made only about half the strength he took it. Besides, he must have reasoned - it meant he could have twice as much.
I put milk and sugar in it - we didn't buy cream back then. And I found it bearable. I enjoyed the company for sure - and over time I learned to look forward to it, to learn little tricks to take the bitter taste away. After all, I grew up liking coffee ice cream. So a few grains of salt in the batch took the bitter taste from it and before long I could even say I liked it.
Then all he did was slowly, carefully, turn up the volume. He started making it stronger.
Today, I can't imagine starting my morning without a cup of coffee, sometimes two. (And yes, I did learn how to use the coffee maker!) It's still something that he and I linger over, and often I am known to say "Oh, that's so good!" when I take my first sip of the morning.
But I enjoy it when he's not with me too. This morning I got up early (not by choice) and when it became clear that I wasn't going to get back to sleep, I got up and made a pot of coffee. I sat with a cup and soaked in and enjoyed the company of Someone else who never sleeps...nor does He ever get tired. That's one of the "perks" of waking up early: more conscious time with Him.
I built a relationship with coffee, with my husband, and with God the exact same way. I went at my own pace, spent more and more time with them, and learned to love them.
Lately the relationships with my husband and with God have both been deepening. As God has brought me through the process of the last 2 years, I find I want to spend more time with Him, not less, and that I enjoy being with my husband - and with myself - much more than I could have thought possible.
It's addictive really. A good kind of addiction - because the human spirit is an addictive entity and was designed to only find complete fulfillment in one place: intimate relationship with God. Lesser addictions - especially when given first place - harm the spirit, whether they be to substances, to things, people, power, money, sports, culture, or whatever. People can even be addicted to church and to church events!!
But this - this sense of peace and lightness inside - this is priceless.
I think I'll go back for another cup this morning.