An Anniversary Post (3)

In lieu of our 9th anniversary: A celebratory post, to remember, to give thanks for, to reflect and of course post pictures!

 I remember it as if it were yesterday. His form walking slowly, deliberately across the church parking lot. Head down, hat on, arms lanky, hands already calloused. I was watching through the window, I knew he was walking towards me, to find me. And I couldn’t breathe. I was matching hot dogs to buns. Why was it so hot all of a sudden? I meant to get a way, to catch my breath but I couldn’t move so there I stood with hot dog in hand, staring as he walked in. He smiled. Then I smiled, my heart beating faster. I think it was then that I knew.

I loved this boy-man.

I had been fighting it for so long. Not sure if it was right. I had told him I wasn’t ready to be committed to a relationship. I needed to focus on God and His call for my life. I was prayerful. I was scared. I had been told not to. So how do I ignore this? This feeling that controlled my every thought, and now my very breathing?

I remember sitting next to him that night, very aware of his closeness, his smile, his smell. I remember praying. God, help me to trust you, with these feelings, with my life, with his life, I want to obey, help me to trust…

When I think back to those moments I am reminded of God’s care and of His providence. Even then he was preparing us for something greater.

I have found that same prayer on my lips so many times these last 9 years. In the moments of not knowing, not understanding, wishing it were different… God help me to trust… I want to obey.. help me…

And He has. He has been faithful to carry us in the times of darkness, to hold us up when we wanted to give up, to whisper, I’m here, when we felt abandoned and Just wait, when we knew this couldn’t be ‘it’.

Several months ago a dear friend asked me, “Do you view your marriage as a blessing? Can you be thankful for it?”

In my answer I saw my heart. God had carried me so far, yet still I had not yet fully surrendered to what I did not understand… His providence… His perfect plan for our lives… His heart for His people.

God has used that simple question to transform my heart and turn it towards my husband and towards my marriage in such a sweet, miraculous way. I could not write these posts if it were not so.

I can honestly say that God has brought Dustin and I to a very sweet place in life, with each other. I am even saying that after a little spat we had last night! Oh how thankful I am!

It has taken a long time, but God is faithful even to the most wayward of hearts. What I had to realize was that God had been working the whole time. Not only working, he had been in my very midst, a vital part of what was happening in and around me. Before time He had chosen to use what would become my biggest idol (my marriage) to break my ideal of how life and God worked together.

I thought I had to protect Him from all of the bad and ugly, to separate Him from it. What I am learning is that God chooses to use the “foolish things of the world to shame the wise; He chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chooses the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of Him…” (1Cor.1:27-30a)

I am the foolish, I am the weak, I am the lowly, the despised, the broken, the blind, the crippled.

And through the pain, the suffering, the questioning, He was calling me to something more, something greater. Just as he does each of us, my friend.

God has given me new sight. He has allowed me to see some of the purpose in it all, an unpromised blessing I do not take for granted.

Refreshment from repentance – Acts 3:19-20

Eternal glory that far outweighs my troubles – 2 Cor. 4:17

Comforting others with the comfort I have received from God – 2 Cor. 1:4

Post – abortion ministry

Submitting to God, resisting the devil, him fleeing – James 4:7

The peace of Christ ruling – Colossians 3:15

The word of Christ richly dwelling – Col 3:16

Going to Ukraine to encourage women

Bearing with one another, forgiving one another and being the recipient of – Col 3:13

Being met by God – Philippians 4:19

The eyes of my heart being enlightened to the HOPE to which I have been called – Eph.1:18

Learning to truly love my husband

Seeing Christ’s power being worked out in my life – Eph. 1

Having proof that He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will – Eph. 1:11

Finding contentment in the midst of discontentment

Fulfilling the law of Christ through bearing another’s burden – Gal 6:2

Being Free – Galatians 5:1

Being restored to grace – Galatians 3:3; 4:8-9,15; 5:1

Having the opportunity to show my children what grace looks like in the every day.

God working – John 5:16

Watching my son walk with the same gait of his father

A heart of flesh instead of stone – Ezekiel 11:19

Sowing tears and reaping songs of joy -Psalm 126:5

Being set free – Ps. 117:5

Forgiven, healed, redeemed, crowned, satisfied – Ps. 103

Seeing beauty in the un-beautiful

Being given a crown of beauty instead of my ashes – Isaiah 61

Marriage becoming a blessing…

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