Tag: God’s love

wedding rehearsal
wedding rehearsal

Teacher: For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven:

2 A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, a time to collect the harvest;
3 A time to kill, a time to heal;
a time to tear down, a time to build up;
4 A time to cry, a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, a time to dance;
5 A time to scatter stones, a time to pile them up;
a time for a warm embrace, a time for keeping your distance;
6 A time to search, a time to give up as lost;
a time to keep, a time to throw out;
7 A time to tear apart, a time to bind together;
a time to be quiet, a time to speak up;
8 A time to love, a time to hate;
a time to go to war, a time to make peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 the Voice

And so it is, this is the day our second-born niece and her fiancé have chosen to marry. Family has come from nearly all corners of this country to witness and love, to pray and dance and mostly to fill the space with joy we have for the one we know and the one we will now call family.

It is no easy thing bringing families together. It is no easy thing reaching across the unknown and saying, “Welcome”. We do it for her and we do it for my brother, his first daughter to wed. The first to leave home and chart this new way that won’t always look like the path we’ve walked.

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We celebrate for my sister-in-law, for all the mother-of-the-bride has borne literally and figuratively. I marvel at her strength and resolve as this child who, though second born, was in charge from the earliest of days, chooses a mate and chooses life and gives the name she’s worn to another.

These are hard days for parents and they are days filled with hope and push us in our faith as prayers grow stronger.

They have been and will be surrounded by a love that always looks to Hope. This is the Love that will support them and has supported us.

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Father and daughter
Father and daughter

In Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans shares a chapter with thoughts on marriage. Several passages I’ve highlighted as she looks beyond the current debate on marriage we’ve seen played out in recent days.

My sweet, stubborn, niece, most that any of us can tell you about marriage is it has to be lived to know. But here are some words from RHE that, after 37 years of life with this guy also known as your favorite uncle, I know to be true.

“Marriage isn’t about sticking to a script; it’s about making a life together. It’s not a choreographed cha-cha, it’s an intimate slow dance. It isn’t a formula, it’s a mystery.”

The best one to mark your way is God. That will always be. Enter this mystery, slow dancing your way to His rhythm knowing you are loved. Always.

faith

faith

Shoeboxes covered with hearts, the fancy lacy paper doily kind. The little cards you’d take to class remembering to give one to everyone not just your friends.

word hearts

The pastel chalky candies with silly phrases that were more fun to play with than to eat. Maybe that’s just me.

That time when Valentine’s Day was fun and silly and innocent and meant nothing more than the box of cut out cards and box of candy. Maybe chocolate!

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Our first Valentine’s day together, he proposed. Two months after our first date, or was it 6 weeks? Too soon and too scary and his words were certain and sure and mine, mine were weak and timid and how could I have been prepared for that?

Then

us 1977 polaroid

I should have seen that look. The one of love and maybe I did but I was too…..what? young? Definitely. It was more than that. It was not understanding this kind of love. One that spoke of a future and one that was deeper than I’d seen or known.

I was 19 and my future looked like next month.
I was the child of divorce. Love looked broken to me.

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37 years later, his words are still sure and mine, weak and scared, but sure.

Kids miss a lot. You don’t wonder if your parents love each, you just assume they do. It’s  looking back and realizing you didn’t see celebrations. Not for each other. No anniversary celebrations. No gifts exchanged. I didn’t see them hold hands or hold that gaze. What 8-year-old looks for that? What 12-year-old thinks of more than the confusions of adolescence?

Maybe their generation didn’t make a show out of celebrations. But where was the show of love?

this year

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My Guy

And then this man comes along who shows you all you’ve never seen between man and wife and it’s good but it’s new and you have no idea how to respond to his gentleness and sincere words.

The tension has always been there. The one created by the undoing of one marriage that birthed trust issues and built guards around the heart as if the heart can be protected once love comes in.

I haven’t made it easy for this man. He’s made it easy for me. Easy to grab his hand and hold close to him because he knows my fears threaten to overtake me at any moment. He knows my strength is a façade to keep hurt at bay. He knows and he still loves.

Nearly every, maybe every Valentine’s Day he says this is the day I asked you to marry me. He smiles because he knows I still squirm. I become that 19-year-old who knew nothing of a love between husband and wife. The girl who was just beginning to learn how my parents divorce had torn apart my world. The girl who was scared to say yes but more scared to say no.

He likes to see my face flush and me short for words. He knows my story. He sees deeper than my scars and he sees what I haven’t been able to see for myself.

In recovery we say ‘God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself’ and he did.

We know it was God’s bringing together and it is God’s keeping. It is learning God’s love that never gives up, always looks for the best, keeps no record of wrong.

God’s love that wins. God’s love that lasts.

When I accept God’s love I can accept being loved and I am.

This is the way of love.

faith

Just past the midway mark in the write31days challenge and I’m changing course a bit to link up for Five-Minute Friday and continue the remainder of this writing challenge with the word prompts provided by Kate, our gracious host of FMF. Ready? or not 😉

I still remember the conversation where I discovered how different we can measure distance. It’s not kilometers or miles but with time. Mama asked how far we lived from a certain place and I replied not with miles but with time. “We’re about 20 minutes away.” “But how far?”, she asked again. Like in miles? That’s often irrelevant where I live. But in her small town, where the outer most edges of town can be reached in 10 minutes, it was more about miles.

I’ve been missing our kids lately. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many miles they live from us but I know it’s too far. It’s 4.5 hours to the closest and the boy? that will take longer than a days drive.

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with Tim

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I know that when I want to rest in the sound of their voices and laughter two hours would seem too long. Though it sounds pretty good now.

I’ve sat through movies and meetings that are too long. Sermons and services. I’ve been the one at times going on too much, too long, having trouble finding the end.

In my longing to be with them, I know that in their presence or not, there is no end to our love for each other and no end to God’s love for us. The love that never changes, never fails.

faith