17 years ago on this day, a barely 21 year old version of myself walked down a long church aisle....most people fall in love, get married and then have children, ours was a little mixed up.
To say I didn't have doubts would be a lie.
To say I wasn't terrified would also be a lie.
I stood at the back of the church holding on to my dads arm and a stream of not so nice words was coming out of my mouth..( starts with s ends with t and says hi in the middle :S).....yes classy I know, and definitely not the magic words every bride says when she is about to head down the aisle on what's supposed to be the day she's always dreamt of.
My dad stood beside me and calmly said "It's going to be okay."
His chin quivered and we were both overcome with emotion, in that moment he was my rock!
My dad and I headed down the aisle and it was a beautiful ceremony, Conrad and I cried during our vows pledging eternal love, and the rest of the night went by in a blur.
We had two whole days of a honeymoon because I was in school, our wedding was on a Friday and I was expected back on Monday.
The first day I spent crying.
It could have been the pregnancy hormones, as I was 4 months pregnant at the time of our wedding (shocker), or it was me being me and doubting my decision.
I wasn't a big Jesus girl back then, sure I called myself a Christian, the kind that goes to church on the occasional Sunday and says the right things to the right people, but I didn't have relationship with Jesus.
I loved Conrad, at least was convinced I did, but did I really know what love was, it all happened so fast. We met in June and were married in January and we were pregnant, did we truly believe we loved each other or was it infatuation and lust?
Well 17 years later I can say that our growing relationship with Jesus has made ALL the difference!! The craziness of starting a life together pregnant, having Noah and then adding two more kids to the mix within a few years...we are still standing. Even though at times I wasn't actively pursuing Jesus, He never let go of me and us!!!
The ground in our marriage has been shaken, a few times to the core. Love at times was a definite decision, but through it all Jesus has remained our rock and He turned what could've been a statistic into what we have today; A marriage that is loving, growing, always learning, hopefully changing for the good and yes still takes work. We have three amazing teens, a family we are so blessed and thankful to have!!
Why did I share all this?!
Because we ALL need hope, Jesus was our hope! He was our only chance of survival, starting out barely knowing each other, and today I am so thankful that we have made it this far!!
Wherever you are, whatever circumstances in life you are facing...married, unmarried, divorce, job loss, young, old, facing illness, loss of a loved one, brokenness, doubt, insecurity .....whatever it is hold on to HOPE friend, Jesus truly loves you sooo much, trust Him and He will make a way, a path just for you, where there seems to be no way!
We are all on this journey together I am still learning to keep hope alive and to trust every day!!
Love you friends!
HAPPY 17th ANNIVERSARY BABE!! Love you party in a can and barrel of monkeys much!! Praying for many more years together 😘!!
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Thursday, January 08, 2015
God, brilliant Lord,
Yours is a household name.
Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
Toddlers shout out the songs that drown out enemy talk,
And silence atheist babble
Your handmade jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in your settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Your name echoes around the world.
Psalm 8 (MSG)
I love the picture that this scripture paints for me. There are two sweet babes in my life right now, Esmay and Scarlett and they have recently come into the stage of shrieking and babbling and it is so funny to listen to. As I read this scripture I was reminded of often what we call 'noises', these babes especially can get quite noisy and the picture it painted for me was one of beauty and praises being sung to God.
We can get wrapped up in our daily 'stuff', the cares of this world can weigh so heavily and yet evidence of God and praises to God can be seen and heard anywhere if only we look and listen.
This passage goes on to say how vast and glorious God has made the skies and everything in them and asks the question, why would you bother with us? It is a reflective question and yet I think the answer is simple, we are the ones with a voice, we have the ability to offer praises continually on our lips to our creator. The rocks, the trees, the animals, yes they will offer their praises and yet I believe our voices and our lives have the ability to create the most beautiful sound to God. I'm not saying that our voices need to sound beautiful, although that's a bonus ;), I believe it’s all about using our voices, however they may sound and using our lives, no matter what we may be walking through, to offer continual praises to God. He can take whatever we offer, the good, the mess, the shambles, the confusion and chaos of our lives and only He has the ability to create something beautiful out of it all!!
Esmay and Scarlett have this mastered, they are continually chattering and shrieking and we may say it’s just part of development and learning how to talk but what if, as this passage states, they are shouting out songs and gurgling out choruses that are worshiping the King of Kings and in doing so drowning out the negative!!
I encourage you to walk through this day with eyes and ears open to the praises being offered to God, our saviour and our creator after all HIS NAME ECHOES AROUND THE WORLD!
The second part to that is let’s offer our praise to God, offer up our lives; the mess of your marriage, the brokenness in your heart, the depression, the sorrow, the lack, the desperation, the guilt, the fear, the condemnation, the promotion, the excitement, the anticipation wherever you are at RIGHT NOW and watch and see what He can do!! He will bring beauty from the ashes and turn around all things for good, He will smile along with you in your joy and wipe away your tears of sadness…..Praise Him in the storms, the valleys and on mountain tops of life, because He alone is worthy of our praise!!
Love you friends! Hope you experience His love today!