I’m gonna be honest. I did NOT want to go to church yesterday morning. It’d been a beautiful, lazy anniversary weekend [the kind where I was in my PJ’s all day Saturday until we got ready to go to dinner & even then I think I could have gotten away with the yoga pants & tank top] and I wanted it to carry over to Sunday morning.
I stood and sat there my mind telling me the songs were out dated, that there are newer/fresher ones. With eyes closed I did my best to focus my worship and attention on the one who deserves them. Reminding myself over and over that He is delighted, and these are not meant for human ears or human hearts.
I was tired. I wasn’t expecting.
It’s sort of funny. It’s in those moments that God shows up with a mighty force.
God gift wrapped Ezra 5 & 6 and dropped them into my lap.
Mere moments into the message I sat there, staring and thinking this is for me. This is for us. In the midst of the chaos, in the midst of the waiting. When I did not even expect to hear from Him, God met us where we are at. Every part of what was spoken, spoke to our tired hearts & soul. Promises that we are not forgotten. That He will give us counsel. That He will lead us.
The evening before was wrought with arguing over these circumstances we find ourselves in. Emotions high. Aggravations and fears that awoke on my shoulders that just wanted to stay in bed. Frustrations that were slowly worked out over bagels and whispered feelings.
It’s just like our creator and the lover of our soul to arrive and whisper to us, “I know. I’m not forgetting. I will lead you.”
I laid in bed Wednesday night my brain slowly drifting towards dream land. Literally giddy over that fact that Shawn and I would celebrate ten years of marriage the next day. I kicked my feet like a child exuberant over a trip to Disneyland.
I recalled that this was probably similar to what I felt like ten years ago in a hotel room sleeping with my two best girlfriends anticipating the next day.
And as I laid there my brain getting heavier with sleep, my thoughts cried out in thankfulness to God. I know we wouldn’t be where we are at if it weren’t for His grace.
Grace to forgive and to apologize. Grace to make allowances for each others faults, and even grace for our own faults.
We don’t have a perfect marriage, far from it; but it’s a beautiful marriage.
It is one that we daily try to plant grace, and allow it to be fruitful.
When we got married I only saw the lifetime. I never considered the years that make up the in between – the ten, the three, the 28. I only saw spending the rest of my life with him. As we look through the telescope at another ten years and onto 30 more, we will only arrive at that place with grace wrapped around our wrists leading us forward.
Ten years. One decade. 4,017 days.
Ten years that number seems impossible. Yet ten ago today became the happiest day of my life. Dressed in white with purple toes, and blue flowers in my hair – all I wanted was to be his wife. The wait, hours that dragged by as I waited for the clock to strike. Checking for perfectly red lips in the mirror and tapping nails. My feet were never cold and neither fear nor apprehension were my bedfellows. I wanted to marry this man and I was completely unashamed.
A remix of Sarah Brightman’s This Love filled the pre-summer warm air and my anticipation grew as I made my way down the aisle. I nearly forgot to look at him. I just wanted to be with him. There he stood handsome, with a heart full of love just for me.
With veil covered face I pledged my love to him through tears of joy – it was an ugly cry with puckered bottom lip. This was the husband I’d prayed for.
Ten years later I still pledge that love, and he his to me. That this man loves me – loves me more than the day we wed still brings tears to my eyes.
We began our journey with the seal of a kiss, and a declaration that he was taking me home.
It’s been a beautiful decade.
Happy anniversary my beloved.
We reach with nimble fingers. Trying to grasp that which seems fleeting. When we think we have hold, like a sieve faith slips through.
With tears we fall. A hard thump on to dusty, cracked soil.
The difficult moments of life always seem to hit at once. Gathered into a pothole on this road are loss, pain, exhaustion, confusion…and the list goes on – until we find ourselves drowning in everything. It jumps us up. Detours our otherwise peaceful life.
We are not necessarily doubting thatGod will do the best for us; we arewondering how painful the best will turnout to be. – C.S. Lews
This week. The past seven days have been hard. Have been stress-fllled.
With two car accidents in less than 36 hours. Tensions that arise in marriages because of such situations. Friends who experienced attack after attack in the span of less than 12 hours because they are pursing what God has called them to do.
We reach. Our nimble fingers sore. We fall. We cry out to Jesus. The one we always need. At times our faith seems as dry as the ground we’ve just collapsed on. We see brokenness and chips where lush green grasses once filled our hearts.
And as we lay there. Tears that stain our cheeks and our hands slowly seep into the dustiness, rehydrating our brokenness. Faith comes in, in the stillness. Between the sobs for mercy. She rests her never weary hand on our shoulder, then takes our hand.
Darkness covers us with only the glow of the clock illuminating the room. I close my eyes. I open them. I squeeze covers tight against me. Anything to block the feeling and “seeing” the impact.
I roll over – my muscles aching – and reach for his arm. I call out his name and ask if he would pray. These vulnerable hours in the loneliness of the dark overwhelm my weary being. I lay my head on his chest as his words of gratitude for safety and belief that He is greater wash over me. His whispers for peace of mind and heart fill me as they rise to Heaven’s gates. I lay there a few moments longer after “amen” has been said. I hear his heart beating and I think how I love that sound. The comfort and security that exists when I’m in a position to hear it.
While marriage isn’t always blissful, and living with another sinful person is one of the hardest things I’ve done it’s these moments I cherish. Moments when nothing stands between us. When tie that binds our hearts tightens. We stand together. We stand and put the most simplistic faith and trust in God.
Sometimes life goes crunch.
Sometimes cars go crunch.
Sometimes life comes crashing at you like a vehicle into your rear bumper. The scream of bending metal and squealing tires. Everything around you going flying by and the aching of your body.
This is the way life goes some times. We go along only to be hurtled forward by an unexpected force.
It seems that things like this come into our lives when we’re actively seeking God about something or pursuing something. The enemy attacks trying to divert our attention from what we’re seeking God for. Little (or big) distractions.
Today a beautiful girl turns 11.
She means more to us than we could ever explain.
She is like a daughter.
Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it cuts like a dull knife working its way through lies that your heart wants to hold on to. Millimeter by millimeter it slowly severs the tendons of the lies.
It’s not always easy.
…………but it’s always necessary.
Sometimes it’s so much easier to believe the lies the enemy tells us. That God won’t answer our prayers. He plants seeds of doubt that bloom into giant trees of discouragement.
In the last 24 hours a mass accumulation of discouragement from multiple things came down upon me like a rock. I filled up a page in my journal of all my feelings. Line after line of I feel’s. I’m not discounting my feelings or discrediting them, but if you were to read them you’d see my lack of trust & my lack of faith. You’d see that it’s easier for me to believe the lies than believe the truth.
So right now – with the prayer of faithful friends & a godly husband – I’m undergoing the scalpel. I’m trying to believe the truth in the midst of the easy lies.
I lament my situations. I complain in my trivial pressings – whether aloud or screaming to myself in my head. Exhaustion, stress, the sick-and-tiredness of having to be an adult and have grown up responsibilities.
How I wish to swing on the air and feel the wind whip across my face. To run away and sit in my pity party.
I forget the non-trivial situations that others live with daily. Those who choose joy when their only travels are through internet explorations. Or those who don’t measure their worth by the material possessions that where whipped away by mighty tunnels of wind. These who cry out like Paul that their momentary strife is nothing compared to knowing Jesus and finding their worth in Him.
I am reminded again of my selfishness. Of the sin that still dwells within me. And it is that – my sin – that I should lament.
I honestly can’t believe it is May 03rd, and we are literally on the cusp of summer. This is a busy month for us.
I hope you all are doing well.
For the last several months we’d discussed sponsoring another child. We fully believe that we are called to care for the poor, and want to be obedient to God’s calling.
We decided a few weeks ago that we wanted to sponsor an older child through the term of their time with Compassion. Older children are less likely to be sponsored.
Since April 30th is the anniversary of when we started sponsoring with Compassion we decided to make that our consistent sponsorship date. We missed that date by one day due to a busy day Saturday. We sat down last night and sponsored this lovely young lady, Delinah. She is 19, and lives in Kenya – southeast of the Ugandan border.
We are thankful that God has brought her into our lives. And for the few short years we are able to sponsor her I pray that we can be a blessing to her as she is to us.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.