Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beauty and Blessing, by M

I'm writing today as a married woman! Woo hoo! Actually, we've been married a little over a month now, which is crazy to think about. So many massive changes just in the last 33 days!

People have been asking me frequently about how married life is going and I tend to give them the same response - "It's been AWESOME! But of course, we were on the beach in paradise for half of it!" haha But, the reality is that while paradise (ie: French Polynesia) was awesome, marriage itself has been even more so. We are loving it and having the best, sweetest, richest time in these first few weeks. We could not feel more blessed or be more grateful... our cups are overflowing with goodness.

As I was reflecting on all of this during the honeymoon and trying to process how much has changed, I was reminded of a moment I had pretty much exactly three years earlier. In February/March of 2010, I was arguably at the lowest point of my adult life. Many of you know that story, so I'll spare the details here... but suffice it to say that I was totally and utterly broken. I didn't recognize myself physically, mentally, or emotionally. I ended up spending several months at home during that time to get back on my feet, and pretty much the week I got home, I was whisked off with my family to their pre-planned spring break trip to Mexico. It was a huge blessing. And during that trip I spent a lot of time reading, a lot of time eating (very much needed for me in those days!), and a lot of time sitting in this one hammock and looking out at the ocean and thinking. I remember gently swinging in that hammock and just thinking about how I wanted to trust in God's plan for me, but that I just didn't know how... because what I'd experienced of that plan so far was just too rough for my liking. I remember looking over the crystal water and knowing that God, who could make such beauty in this place, could certainly make my life beautiful, too. But how? When?

Over the next three years, time went by and my heart and body healed, and that moment faded into the background of a life that was becoming full. And I didn't think about it again as I moved to a new city and found new jobs, made new friends, went on dates with new people, and allowed God to remake me into a better version of who I was before. I became happy... I met my husband... and three years later I found myself in a hammock in French Polynesia, unable to do anything but marvel about how things have changed. In just a few years?!

I say all of this because I believe that if I could go back and talk to the young woman in the Mexican hammock, she probably wouldn't believe the story that I would have to tell her. It would seem probably like too much... too good to be true. Yet, that is my story. And it makes me want to shake myself (haha) and ask "why do I not have more faith!?" Why do I (even to this day) struggle with anxiety over the future when God has proven himself to be faithful? Not because He brought me a husband or He restored my health, but because He has written a story of redemption in my life... and He continues to do so each day. Even when you don't see it coming... even when it feels like the only direction you have been headed is down, God is moving in your life. He is worthy to be praised for that.

So, here is my praise for Him and the work He is doing in my life. And here is my challenge to myself and to others: you have no idea what God has cooking for you in the next three years. Trust Him. He is faithful.

 French Polynesia!