Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where do I begin..... tell the story of how great a love can be?  If you know that song, it is one of my favorites, especially to play on the piano.  I've never seen the movie "Love Story", so I don't know why the song was written, but the music is beautiful to me.  Speaking of "love story", I want to tell you mine over the past four years and how the three parts that I see all intermingle. 

I think I have one of the most beautiful love stories ever written.  My beautiful love story also includes loss, healing and restoration.  I know that some people may not understand how a story can be beautiful when you lose a love one, but it can be.  Please don't misunderstand me, losing my husband was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to go through. One of the things that makes it beautiful to me is that God used my love for Jared to help Jared.  Not that God wouldn't have sustained him, but God knew that Jared desired a helper and a wife and to know that God gave him that desire in the likes of me is indescribable.  He knew that it was going to be difficult journey for Jared and I think I made it somewhat bearable for him in his last days.  What also makes it wonderful to me is that in the end God gave Jared complete healing.  It is beautiful now because Jared is in heaven and I got to see God work in amazing ways in my life through Jared and his death.  By the way, to this day, I can't sit through marriage vows without tearing up at the "sickness and health" line.  It still strikes me because I wonder if the couple really understands what they are vowing.  In this part of my story, I was able to love someone in a way that few people understand.    I could continue, but there are other parts to tell.
The second part of my love story was after Jared's death and healing of my heart.  It is the story of falling in love with my Savior more than I ever had before.  In my story, I knew that the only "person" who could offer anything to me was my Great Physician.  He was the one who understood my sorrow more than anyone.  I remember once when I was lying in bed, praying, when I was having a difficult time, and feeling how God came and comforted me.  It is a feeling that I will never forget.  There were a couple of verses that always spoke to me.  The Lord is my portion, says my soul,"For your Maker is your husband--the Lord Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." Isaiah 54:5 and He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21.  Of course put Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 62:8 in there also.  I learned so much about the Lord because it was just Him and I for many, many months.  Not that other people didn't help, believe me, they did!  However, I felt the most comfort from the One who sustained me, held me in the palm of His hand, provided for me, and loved me like no one else ever can or will.  Again, it wasn't easy, but as is with any refining process, I can see how all the hurt and pain helped change me to be more like Him.
The third part of my story includes how God can restore a heart.  I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says "love as though you've never been hurt".  I think that is true.  Loving a man and then losing him did hurt, but that didn't cause me to want give up.  I wanted to love again, I knew what it meant to love in a way that few people understand.  I could have taken the "easy" road and guarded myself against ever falling in love again, knowing that the same thing could happen in a instant.  As the Bible says, life is but a vapor.  I chose not to do that.  I remember reading in 1 Timothy the verse about young widows marrying again, I took it to heart.  I knew that I didn't want to be without a mate for the rest of my life.  Some people may think that was a betrayal to Jared, but I know that he would have wanted me to be happy.  He would have wanted me to continue to live my life to the fullest, including marriage again.  However, he would have wanted to make certain that the someone I married was a follower of Christ and treated me like a princess.
When God put a man into my life, I was not looking for it at all.  In fact, I had just written in my blog about how content I was with my life.  I think God has a sense of humor.  The man He placed in my life amazed me.  Early on he told me that he had noticed me a few months before, but he waited and prayed before he asked me on a date.  He wanted to make sure that this was the direction God wanted him to go.  I realized that God had put this man into my life for a reason.  If not to marry him, to at least begin to heal my heart and help me to take steps forward in my life.  That is exactly what happened, my heart began to heal.  I didn't realize how broken it had been and I had to work through things in my heart and life as time went on.   Thankfully this man was very understanding and patient.  This man even made mention once that because of what I had been through, he could see how it molded me into the woman that I had become.  That's where it all intermingles.  Everything that God has been doing in my life over the past couple of years has been preparing me for the third part of my love story.  This part has been developing over this past year and from an insiders perspective it has been fun to watch and to be a part of.  You've all met Mr. E., the man whom God brought into my life.  He is an amazing man of God and I am blessed beyond what I could have ever imagined.  He balances me and helps me in every aspect of my life.  He challenges me to be a better woman of God and I love how he prays at a moments notice when something needs to be taken to Jesus' feet.  He protects me, treats me like a princess and he is my best friend.  He also loves me and if it is anywhere close to how much I love him, then I'm one loved woman!  Last Tuesday, this wonderful man asked me to be his wife, I accepted.  I get the wonderful privilege of becoming his wife and I can't describe how happy that makes me. Part three is just beginning, but I'm loving how the story has already unfolded. :)

All three parts of my love story have taught me different things and have molded me into the person I have become.  I know that God's work on me has not finished and there is more molding and refining to come, but I am grateful for every part and wouldn't change my life for anything.