Last year in February my son married the girl he has loved since Junior High School. Their relationship had been up and down and off and on for years. I knew that my son believed with all his heart that this girl was meant to be his and honestly, I wasn't so convinced. I prayed for him for years that God would help him to find a girl one day to be his bride who would bring out the best in him and him in her. Someone who would be his intellectual equal, who would engage not only his heart but also stimulate his mind. Knowing him like I do, I knew this would be important for the longevity of the relationship. I prayed that this girl would not break his heart as it had been previously and that they would grow more in love every day as my husband and I have. This kind of love is possible through the grace of God. Not only is it possible it is very likely if the Lord is directing the path of your heart, your spouse's heart and your marriage. Inviting Him into the center of all of your life, including your relationships, opens doors and floods your heart with the capability to expand beyond anything you ever dreamed possible. It is possible to fall more in love with your spouse daily and I wanted this for my son.
It is no surprise that I was less than excited when he told me he had reconnected with this former flame and it was pretty serious. The state of their relationship throughout the years had left him pretty bruised and I didn't think he could revisit that or those wounds that had only recently healed. I was skeptical and more than a little concerned for his well being. Again I lifted the situation to the Lord and as usual the answer was clear, "Be still, and know that I am God". I had put this child I treasured and his heart in God's hands and now it was time for some trust. Not a place this Momma is comfortable being, you know, that hands off mouth shut sort of place. But I obeyed and gave my son the acceptance he was seeking, truthfully after a not so pleasant knee jerk reaction that I regret.
It wasn't long before he brought this lovely young woman home to re-meet his parents and hopefully mend some fences. He knew his father and I had misgivings about her and he wanted so badly for us to embrace her and draw her into the fold. Through God's workings in my inner most thoughts and instincts I felt at peace with her and in spite of my son's misgivings I pulled her aside for a private chat to "clear the air" between us. Amends were made, healing had begun and forgiveness was given and received. The genuineness and honesty of it all still chokes me up a bit to this day. It simply astounds me how gracious God is to me and how beautiful His work through the Holy Spirit can be if we simply let go and let Him be God and not try to call all the shots and take matters into our own hands. I put myself aside in this situation and let the Holy Spirit flood me with compassion for this young woman and the events in her life that led her to some of the choices she made that were not healthy for her and later impacted my son. I felt moved to seek her forgiveness for not giving her a chance those many years ago and drawing judgements without investigating the situation fully. I was not fair to her and I had to own that. Drawing on the Lord for the strength of character to ask for that forgiveness was humbling but also liberating.
How many times do we feel His tug at our hearts to let go of what we think is best and trust that His path will ultimately lead to a true and lasting happiness and peace? Why oh why do we resist? How many times does He have to prove His trustworthiness? Why should He have to? Isn't He God after all? Why do we think we have a better plan than what the Lord God Almighty, Creator of All can come up with? It truly is laughable when you stop and think about it.
Fast forward to February 2014 and the day my son became a husband to this same lovely young woman. As his father and I sat side by side, hand in hand on the "groom's side", I was not able to look into my son's eyes as his back was to us. I sat there thinking about how it made sense in one respect for the family and guests of the groom to sit on the same side as the groom stands and for the family and guests of the bride to sit on the same side as she stands. But on the other hand it made little sense because I spent the entire wedding looking at his back. I wanted so much to see my son's face as he took the love of his life as his wife. I wanted to see the love in his eyes, the joy in his heart coming out of every part of his posture, the way he looked as he held her hands and promised her forever. I found myself getting a little frustrated that I couldn't see these things. I expressed my frustration to God in a small and quick prayer and asked for His guidance. The answer I received in that moment took my breath away a little. I wasn't expecting it. He said to me, "Look into HER eyes...".
What I got to see in that moment still gets me teary eyed. (Yes, it's not that difficult to get me a little teary eyed! LOL) I saw in her the love she had for my son. I saw everything I had prayed for him reflected in her eyes at that moment. She loved my son with her whole heart and it was pouring out of her like refreshing rain watering the sun parched places in his heart that thirsted for that love. She was everything I had prayed for, everything. I had to let go of my stubbornness as a mother, believing that I knew what was best for my child and realize that he was God's child first. As much as I loved him, I still did not love him as much as the Lord does. And now he is loved even more by his bride. There it was staring me in the face, answered prayers.
No, letting go is not easy and we hold onto our self will with all our might. Not feeling in control is frightening, unsettling and not always pleasant until we realize that we never were in control; it was only a myth of our imagination. Embracing God's plan for your life, trusting Him, does not always feel natural. We are of this world unfortunately and we are of sin, so the ways of God are not always our first instinct. It does take training to lean into His will, to study His word and become more familiar with His ways and His desires for His people. It takes A LOT of practice. Marriage takes a lot of practice, patience, endurance and commitment. But the end result of that practice is trust, reliance, reckless abandon of self will and a desire to serve Him in all you do, a desire to serve your spouse with your whole heart and finding daily that your capacity for both is ever expanding. Yes you can love your spouse more and more daily. Yes you can learn to trust God more and more. Yes you can! All things are possible, amazing, more beautiful than I have adequate words to describe when God is the front, the center and all around in everything you do. Asking God into every aspect of your life and trusting Him with your whole heart, even when you're not sure He hears you (which we mainly feel like when we are not getting our way!) will reap benefits beyond your imagination.
In conclusion I would like to say that I do not practice this perfectly every day and I do still fall into fear and despair from time to time because I take my eyes off of the Master and lean into my way of thinking and behaving. I would never dream to mislead anyone into thinking I am perfect or above reproach. But I do fight everyday to overcome the forces of evil that cloud my thinking with worldly things and try to stop up my ears from being able to hear God speak to me. Hearing God is a daily exercise regimen that calls for obedience, perseverance and spending time daily in His word. But the fruits of this exercise is a spirit that is lean and fit and ready to do battle armed with the assurance of God's presence by your side. Never take your eyes off the Master! Take care and God Bless!!