Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and SnapChat didn’t exist 24 years ago. Neither did the internet for that matter. And frankly, I’m glad. My life to that point had been a series of fender benders, speeding tickets and finally a train wreck; all of them culminating at this day, our wedding day. July 20, 1991.
Colin was not to blame for any of those earlier events. In fact he turned out to be the Knight in Shining Armor sent by the King of the realm unbeknownst to this Ragamuffin. The Wise King knew exactly what it would take to win back this bruised, broken and unlikely heroine. Because He causes all things to work together for our good, this is a tale of redemption and healing; a story we all want to have woven into our own lives.
One doesn’t expect a story to end well that has a rough beginning. Many tales that begin badly end worse. But God has had a different plan for me that I often couldn’t see or hang on to. Yet He continues to persevere in working ALL of my life’s circumstances for His good purposes. I certainly don’t deserve His mercy. But because of Who God is, mercy and grace is what He has poured out on me. On us. Three kids became a family 24 years ago today. In homemade clothes, with the help of family and friends, we began simply. Making a commitment we didn’t really understand but have remained faithful to. Raising not one, but eventually two sons, both now men. Good men. God’s abundant grace poured down.
Two cats, three dogs and one goldfish were all members of our family. There were the two rats, two anoles and one snake that had their stays but they weren’t really an integral part of the family. Raising people and animals gives one a perspective of the importance and difficulty of sacrifice; a small inkling of what God has done for each one of us.
Letting go of old hurts, choosing the path of forgiveness over bitterness have been gentle nudges from God through Colin and our sons. It seems time and again, I’ve been the one to need the most shaping, the most re-working on an emotional and spiritual level; the loves of my life have been some of God’s shaping tools. Reading and studying His Word, growing up together, learning humility, expressing kindness sincerely, and looking to one another’s needs have been life lessons we have learned along the Way.
I am awed by what God has done through our marriage. Our sons are real people with real choices who know real acceptance by both their heavenly and earthly Fathers. They have great relationships with Colin and each other; of which I am amazed. These are results out of my hands people. I joke about holding up a sign that reads: Don’t Go This Way! and yet young people seek us out, asking for time with us to learn how to walk this life. Humbled is not a big enough word to express my feelings when a young woman asks me to meet for coffee. Tears of thankfulness to our good God stream down my cheeks as I write this.
There are at least a couple dozen reasons why this marriage should have crashed and burned at various points over these couple dozen years.
He has intervened again and again, saving, sanctifying, guiding and directing us back toward one another and upward to Him.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28