It was a very cold February 14th and two college students were on their way to get married. The subway was packed with folks going into the city, with the Jackson 5's latest hit blasting from somewhere, some laughed and talked, some silently looked out the window and we nervously held hands and pondered on what we were about to do.
I was in an emerald green knit dress and my soon to be husband wore a sport coat, tie and slacks. We were married by a Pastor who was a friend of someone we knew. You see, even though we were both brought up in church with loving parents who taught us the correct way to live, we chose the incorrect way to live. We believed that our way was better, love was all that mattered. That if you truly love someone, it was alright to live and pretend like you were married and enjoy all the benefits that comes with it. When I look back now, I am amazed how God STILL loved us and with such patience. Even though we had chosen to turn from Him, go our own way and live the opposite of what His Word says...He was still right there, not condoning us, but speaking to us. I know that there were people praying , because no matter how far we had fallen away from our upbringing, there was something inside of us that knew we had to do what was right.
A few months before our wedding we had welcomed a son into our lives with great joy, but underneath was always that foreboding feeling of shame and the question: When he gets older what will we tell him? Looking into our son's innocent, big brown eyes God spoke to us to do what we knew was right. Even in our sin but with people praying for us (unbeknownst to us), we decided to get married. Yes, love matters, but we knew that it was more needed in order to have have a peaceful life. God was with us, even in our sin, He was there, gently nudging, speaking and loving.
Time and maturity brought us a comfortable life for our little family. Nice homes, cars, health, but we knew that something was still missing. A neighbor had been praying for us to give our lives to the Lord, our reaction to her was that "She's crazy". But God was there, still being patient and picking up all the broken pieces that fell off, the more we tried to do it our own way. Soon after having our brand new car stolen, we decided the answer was to move. God was still there with us orchestrating incidents and experiences some pleasant and some not, that finally caused the scales to fall from our eyes and we accepted the Love that He was reaching out to give us all this time.
We both had done things in our lives up to that point that we were ashamed of, that we knew God was not please with, but now as I get to know Him, I realize that He was there all the time. You see God is not like us humans, He does not turn His head away or ignore the ugly, horrendous things of life...no I believe that He looks full face into those things, because He sees someone that He loves underneath. He never gives up, shakes His head and walk away...no His love endures, even when we have failed Him...and He wants us to know Him. He wants to one day use all those broken pieces that He has picked up along the way, to remind us that He was there with us all the time.
God allowed two foolish and immature young adults who were living in sin, to get married, have a wonderful son and though not perfect (what is, but HIM ) but blessed life. Our lives were filled with 31 years of many happy, joyous memories, but there were also times of sadness and most of all learning and growing in Him. I cherish every moment because it is making me into the woman that God has designed me to be.
Why do I share such intimate details of my life for all to see? Certainly not for fame, for my story could have remained with the stain of shame and rightfully so, but you see this story is not about the love that my husband and I had for each other...this is about HIS love for us. When we accepted the Lord Jesus into our hearts and lives, He removed the stain of shame through His forgiveness and perfect unconditional love. God was with us all the time, through all the bad choices and things not pleasing to Him and He never once looked away. When we experience the joy of human love it is a gift that God has so graciously given us the ability to give and receive, I praise Him for that, but nothing can compare to His love for us.
February is the month of love that will be celebrated world wide with hearts, flowers, sweets and all things lovely and fancy! My front doors will display hearts and inside you will see touches of "love" all over the place, because I am a great fan of Valentine's day and all that goes with it! You may be the recipient of some of those hearts, flowers and fancy stuff, if so I celebrate with you...but also remember to receive His Love...He wants us to Know Him...Know His Sacrifice for us, Know that He never turns away...Know His Love...