Today's post is a bit lengthier, for which I apologize. But when God does something so big, so dramatic in your life, you can't help but share it. Grab a good cup of coffee. This is a good story of a really big God and a really fragile girl.
Nostalgia has overtaken me these days as the Mr and I are about to celebrate our first anniversary. My mind cannot help but travel back to what was happening a year ago. Sure it's normal for the weeks leading up to your wedding to be stressful with the last minute to-do's and such. I experienced my fair share of this as I made list after list every day. But deep down I was dealing with something deeper than flowers and dresses and music. I was about to face one of my biggest fears-marriage. I grew up in a wonderful family, but with a very, very, bad example of marriage. To me, marriage meant anger, violence, temper, fear, insecurity, and trying to just survive. Growing up I told myself that would never happen to me. But after teenage and early college years when I found myself stuck in an abusive relationship of my own, my eyes were painfully opened to the truth. I wasn't exempt. Nobody was. Nobody had the gurantee that their marriage wouldn't end up like my parents. I had already lived in fear for the first 18 years of my life, I was determined to not step back into it. No matter what. So I made a promise to myself that I would never get married, I would simply never take that risk.
Fast forward 2 years, when the Mr walked into my life. I finally agreed to being friends with him as long as he agreed to never date me and never ever fall in love with me. (I may or may not have said that the first time we ever hung out. Charming I know.) One night he told me he had been lying to me and he had always committed to 100% honesty in our friendship. He was in love with me. Even though it wasn't allowed. So slowly-very slowly-we started dating. I kept one hand on the door at all times if I were completely honest. But then he had to go on a trip for work, for 3 long months. It almost killed me, or so it seemed. As soon as he got back, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and somehow I never hesitated. It wasn't until the wedding got closer that I started going back to those promises I made to myself. I remembered the pain and the tears that I had vowed to protect myself from. So what was I about to do? I freaked. I almost didn't do it. It had nothing to do with my love for him, I've never knew I could love someone like I love him. It simply came down to the fact that I was facing 2 huge fears-marriage, or a life without him. I cried myself to sleep night after night.
I did marry him. With much trembling, I vowed forever. And I never looked back. The fear of losing him over losing myself and my "protection" did not compare. Mr has taught me what marriage was, what love was. No life is not perfect, but it is so so very good. He is patient and loving and gentle and slow to anger. Every morning before we start the day, he holds me and prays over me. The times that I would run far far away from me, are the times he holds me closer and loves me more than ever.
A year later, I'm still trembling. But not because I married him-but because I came so close to not marrying him. I came so close to missing out on this life that we share. I think about it almost daily as I look around in the simple moments of shared looks, morning prayer time together, laughing til we cry, doing dishes together, or evening kisses and remember these moments are gifts from God that I almost said, "no thanks" on and missed completely. So I live in such a humble state of gratitude as I think about the stubborn feet that God had to use to get me to where I am now-maybe more this week than other's. He has made all things new indeed. And with deep pain and deep risk has brought forth deeper joy than I could have ever even fathomed.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, all my inmost being praise His Holy Name. Praise the Lord all my soul and forget not all His benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. -Psalm 103:1-5
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