I’m sorry if these last few pieces have been a bit deeper. I hope you’re up for it, but honestly if you aren’t then it’s truly ok. Read what you need today and skip mine. I’m not hurt or offended. This isn’t for everyone. I’ve tried to sit down and write cheery little articles that would brighten up your mood, but I just can’t do it. I’d rather go to the depths of the darkness with you and fight to hold on to the promises while we wait for the sun to rise.
All of the simple, beautiful moments of life all tie together along with the broken and joyous. They give the detail and color, but these big strokes give direction and shape. The darkest, hopeless of my days are behind me, and in some ways I believe the darkest, most powerful are ahead. They are the moments that I was the most honest with God and the fabric of my soul and understanding were refined and cleaned. I have seen the faithfulness of God in a way that no one could have described to me. I understand obedience and fidelity better now whereas before I feel like they weren’t even on my radar. They hold priority and value in my heart now. They are precious to me.
I stood across from you while we exchanged vows, as we pledged our lives to each other. In sickness and in health. For richer and for poorer. I had no way of knowing how life would unfold and in my error I believed we could fabricate perfection on our own. I’ve come to see that I control almost nothing of this life, except for maybe the clothes I choose to put on each morning, and the rest is reactionary. You have steadied the course through pain and trial and I have underestimated the quality of your character. Your words are few and underneath this quiet exterior is a man who has allowed his God to mature him, heal him, and lead him. You have allowed God to access places I didn’t even see.
I feel as though I’ve suddenly turned around to see you changed. As I cleaned out my office last week I found papers from the Chicago hotel we stayed at for the marriage retreat almost 4 years ago and on it were 40 prayers we listed. I can’t tell you how many are answered. It felt like dreaming back then. It was almost silly to me to write down that many. I almost want to laugh at the absurdity of it all. It just doesn’t make sense on the outside.
In these passing months I have had to give fear back to God. The fear of losing you. Grieving one opened the door to the realization that there’s more loss coming my way. If I live any length of life this won’t be the last time I experience loss and pain. This is just the beginning. I won’t live there though, and I won’t look back in regret wishing I would have loved you deeper and truer. I won’t hide myself. I will risk everything knowing I’m not promised a single day more. The Lord is a husband to the widow, and Proverbs tells of the woman that could laugh at the days to come.
I couldn’t fathom that. Laughing at the future? Surely she knew what kinds of things the future held. Yet she knew how much bigger her God was. How good and worthy He is to be worshiped and praised in all circumstances. Joy doesn’t discredit sorrow. We suffer also. My Jesus knows sorrow and He is also the fullness of Joy. He does both. So shall I.
When it comes down to it, I’ve been called to be obedient and faithful to what’s been given to me. I refuse to live in fear. Lord, help my disbelief! Help me when I’m double-minded. Help me when I lose my vision and focus. Help me when I feel so helpless and discouraged and I forget your promises. Throw these mountains into the depths of the sea and may I stand singing your praises and shouting your truth! May the wind and rain throw and thrash and let this house stand as a promise and as a testimony of your will and mercy.
Lord, YOU have done all these things. YOU have gone before us and parted the waters. YOU have set us on a hill and allowed us access into the secret places. YOU have allowed us to speak life and hope. YOU have given us these children and given us each other. I am so absolutely humbled by it all.
And now I’m finding myself torn between pleading that it never changes, and praising you when it does. I’m not fixated on death, or at least I don’t think I am, but I want to trust you with it all. I’m more aware of the costs now. I refuse to live in fear and I refuse to burden this man with feeling like he’s the foundation of my safety and provision. YOU are. Let hope rise. Let darkness tremble in your holy light. Let ALL see that you are God. You are holy and good and worthy to be praised.
Give me only what I need for today, and lead me in every step. No regrets. No holding back.