Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Making All Things New - an invitation

Twenty-seven years ago, a girl barely 19 years old took the hand of the 20 year old boy standing in front of her and with all the innocence and hope of those 19 years shining in her eyes said, "I do."  Twenty-six years later, she sat on a bench beside him watching the wind pound the waves of Lake Michigan into the sand, trying to find the courage to tell him that she'd spoken to their daughter's psychologist about starting marriage counseling.  When she finally found the courage, he admitted he'd been thinking the same thing.  

Over the course of the last year of counseling, we've had times where it felt like two steps forward, one step back.  Other times, it's felt like one step forward, two steps back.  While there's been progress, it's been slow.  At times it seems there've been more tears than laughter; more hurt than hope. 

A few weeks ago, at a point where our hearts were more broken than ever before, we took a night away to talk through some things.  The drive to the hotel that night was one of the longest, quietest drives we've ever had.  Neither of us knew what to expect that evening.  We began with prayer.  We ended with prayer.  There was prayer through the entire evening.  And... there was God.  In the midst of our tears, God met us there in a totally unexpected way.  Jehovah Rapha – the God who Heals – showed up in all His glory.  He restored what was broken, redeemed that which had been lost.  I can't begin to explain what happened that evening... except to say that the course of our marriage was changed forever with a night neither one of us will ever forget -- a night that had Jesus' fingerprints all over it.

At one point that evening, I looked into my husband's eyes and with all the hope and love given by my Savior shining from my eyes... I whispered, "I am my beloved's and he is mine."  Spoken from my heart, the words paraphrased from the Song of Songs were a vow; a promise; a reaffirmation of the covenant we had made twenty-seven years ago.  I meant it with everything that was within me.  At that moment in time, at this moment in time, those words mean so much more than the "I do" I'd promised twenty-seven years ago.  I understand so much more now all that those words mean.  

On that evening, with the words from Song of Solomon, I renewed my wedding vows to my husband.  This Sunday, after the morning services at our church, we will renew those vows before God, family and friends.  We understand more fully now what those vows really mean... and they mean more to us now than ever before.  We will also exchange new rings – not to replace our wedding rings, but to represent our renewed commitment.  The Song of Solomon rings bear the Hebrew inscription from the Song of Solomon – the words I spoke as a vow that evening.  We've also had them engraved with the words, "Making All Things New."  God is doing a new thing in our lives.  We want to acknowledge and remember what it was He did that night – moving beyond our wildest imaginations, hopes or dreams.

We know that there is still healing and learning to come.  We are continuing with counseling.  But now when hurt comes, we seek solace and comfort in each other's arms, covering each other in prayer and drawing close to our Savior.  We are choosing to seek the joy that God has promised and choosing to fight – together – the evil that would seek to destroy it.  Now, more than ever, we appreciate the vows that we have made; the vows we will be renewing. 

Perhaps it seems a little strange, but I think we are just as excited about renewing our vows as we were to say them the first time.  Originally, I had thought we would keep the renewal of our vows simple and private.  As we thought more about it, though, and the incredible gift that God has given us, we realized we couldn't keep that to ourselves.  We want to be a testimony to what God can do – what He wants to do.  We want to share the incredible joy He has brought us.  We still want it to keep it simple, and we don't want anyone to feel obligated.  But... if you want to share in our joy... and witness what God is doing... we'd love to have you there.  


1 comment:

  1. Absolutely awesome! Thank you so much for sharing! Yeah God!