The morning dawned crisp and sunny. As I started to open my eyes. I immediately started to get excited, knowing that today was going to be a very special Valentine’s day. I said a quick prayer that God would help me be strong to face the day ahead and to remember to take each moment as a gift, not worrying about anything. But, there was no more time to spend lying in bed – there was so much to be done to get all of us ready to leave on time!
The morning was a blur of activity as I quickly ate a few bites of breakfast, fed the kids, doggie, and the fish, put in some laundry, loaded the dishwasher, and stuck Randy’s shirt in the dryer to de-wrinkle. (I was running out of time to iron anything!) I quickly picked out clothes for the kids – going with the blue and white theme of the day – and reminded my teenager, K@, to choose something within those colors. I plugged in the hot rollers and curling iron, and set out my pearl headband from my wedding day, makeup, and hairspray: it was almost time for ME to get ready!
I sent Randy to go and pick up my sister, with the younger two kids, and I stopped to catch my breath….. I looked again at the lovely dress, wrap, and shoes that I was so blessed to borrow for this special event – the sequins, pearls, and embroidery caught the light… and I could hardly believe how God had brought all of the details together for His special answer to my prayers. I started to think back to how I made it to this day, and what I had to overcome to be at this point of receiving such blessings ….
Randy and I have been married for 11 blessed years.
As each anniversary came and went, I would ask God to help me
make it a memorable and lovely time for my husband.
When we approached our tenth anniversary, I felt God tugging at my heart
to start planning for us to renew our Vows.
But, I talked myself out of it.
There were so many reasons why I couldn’t see HOW
God was going to answer this unspoken and private prayer of mine:
there was a lack of finances and time to plan things
(to please my overabundance of perfectionistic ideas),
not to mention the fact that I now had health problems
and didn’t want to be photographed at my weight….
I cared more about how I was going to look
than being able to focus
on the beauty
of making a memory with my husband….
Maybe I am the only one here that struggles with being self-conscious
and wanting everything to be perfect.
I know that I am loved and accepted
with an unconditional and overwhelming love
from my LORD
and my husband,
but there are moments when I still allow
that slimy and negative voice of the liar
to keep me from walking in freedom and joy.
This was one area that I knew that my mindset
was keeping me from being blessed.
I had to make a decision to “step out” of myself – - -
and allow God, my husband, and others to bless me,
even when I felt like I didn’t deserve it.
All of a sudden I was jolted back to reality and the fact that it was almost time to leave – - – and I was still in my nightgown, my hair wasn’t done, and for some reason, my aunt hadn’t arrived yet to help me get ready. We were running behind schedule - but, I took a deep breath in and exhaled a prayer, ignored the ache in my stomach, and started rolling my hair, Randy sent me a text, letting me know the he was almost there with my sister (the photographer for the day), and I saw my aunt and mom pull up in the driveway.
By the grace of God we got the rest of the things together (lunch made, me ready, Randy dressed, and the car packed up), and we pulled out of the driveway 30 minutes later than I had planned. We were on our way to our special day with special people to share this special time with us. I closed my eyes and fought back tears as I thanked God for His Hand upon me and for making a way for us to renew our Vows when I didn’t see how it was ever going to happen for us…..
The rest of the day was magical and we shared many lovely moments together. I could see God’s Hand of blessing over us as we committed ourselves anew to God, each other, and our children. When driving home from the event, I remember looking out the window at the stars, feeling wrapped in the blanket of His blessed Grace.
His Grace led me to do something new,
to ask for help and let go of my pride,
and to celebrate each moment as it came,
letting perfectionism and fear go.
When I see the beautiful pictures of our special day, I don’t remember being stressed, even with the issues I had with getting the kids dressed to coordinate with each other, or the remembrance of running late because we were waiting on the other members of our party to arrive, or wondering how things were going to come together….
What I do remember – and what I will always remember – is the fact that I was blessed above and beyond my wildest dreams because I walked in faith out of my comfort zone into a trust in His Perfect Love for me. In doing so, I was given many beautiful memories, special pictures, and, above all else, the opportunity to be standing next to this man for another day, and I pray, for many years to come.
What a gift to have this chance to love and be loved by my husband…
and to experience the Perfect Love of my Lord Jesus.
To Love, to Be Loved
17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry …. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life … is one not yet fully formed in love.
*If you want to see the official video of the event, click here! *