Last week was hard and beautiful all at the same time. Do you know that feeling?
My brother and his fiance got married last weekend in New Orleans. Oh, I'm so incredibly happy for them! They are one of those couples that you look at and just know that there is no one else for them, they found their match. They are so ridiculously cute together. It was such a joy to be part of their special day and celebrate with them.
The church was beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. There were pretty stained glass windows all around and everywhere you looked was ornate. As I sat in the front row listening to the priest speak, giving his tips on how to keep a happy marriage, I found myself hanging on every word. As I listened I was also holding back tears. Happy tears and broken tears. This is the first wedding I've been to since I've really given my life to Christ. Oh, how much more profound and emotional it became. Somewhere deep down (more like just buried beneath the surface) feelings began to stir that I've held back up until this point.
I couldn't help but think of a past relationship that I so desperately wished could have been more. Feelings that remain from this are still oh so fresh and raw. (Tell me, does real love ever dissipate?) It absolutely broke my heart thinking how this could have been us. This alone was painful but this is so much deeper than a broken off relationship.
This was years of hoping someone could love me this much, to vow to spend the rest of their life with me. Wondering if there is really anyone out there who could love me that much. Years of reasons to doubt I could ever be that blessed. But it was more than that too.
It was seeing life in the light of Christ. It was questioning the promises He has for me. It was so desperately wanting to have someone to share this life with who loves Christ as much or more than I do. It was yearning for someone who wanted to commit to me in front of their friends, their family and our God. Since coming to Christ this has become something very important to me. It's absolutely necessary. I know without a doubt that I need a man who has a heart for God more than he has a heart for me. It is vital to having a healthy, happy relationship to set the foundation of generations to come. It just has to be.
All this thinking really broke me down. Satan is a sneaky, no good, bum. He took what was meant to be a joyous moment and made me sad. I didn't let it affect me that day too much but less than 2 days later it felt catastrophic. Suddenly everything that never worked out in the past became an indicator of my life to come. I hate myself for feeling that way. I still knew God's promises were true but suddenly it didn't felt they were meant for me. In this moment I viewed my life with Christ in the past 7 months as if nothing had changed in me.
On Monday, since we were still in town, we visited a cemetery. I don't know what you know about cemeteries down here but they are all above ground tombs. Something that has to be done because they are below sea level. Let me tell you, it is eerie beyond belief. It was far more ominous than any cemetery I had been to up north. Walking through this cemetery everything was dilapidated, overgrown, and in some cases there were even holes in the tombs where you could almost see inside. Death was literally within inches from where I stood.
It causes you to really reflect on life. Which normally would be a motivator to make the most of life because you never know when it will be your time. But I was in such a glum mood already that it just made things worse. I thought about my parents dying at such a young age. I thought about the age I am now and realize that if my lifeline is determined by theirs then I might only have 10 years or so left. Holy heck, that's depressing.
Dreams of getting married seemed smaller than anything now. Forget having babies and seeing them graduate. Or seeing their babies get married and have babies! I know, I know...my mind goes there. [I can see you looking at me disapprovingly over my crazy thoughts!] Up until this point I always hoped it was my parents poor health and my determination to take better care of myself that would allow me to live a longer life. But since my good friend recently died no older than they were and she was in good health...it just makes me wonder.
Flash forward. A lot of contemplation. A lot of feeling like my story is already written. That my future is no different than the past I left behind. It really hit me hard. Something that started out so beautiful made a turn for detrimental. Ashamed to say, I actually thought about turning back. Turning away from how far (I hope) I've come these past 7 months. I believed momentarily that it wouldn't make a difference. Thank you God that someone helped talk me out of that nonsense.
And in what perfect timing. This weekend I can celebrate the life I'm going to have because of His love for me. That God so loved me that he gave his only son to die, so that if I shall believe in Him I shall not perish but have eternal life. Talk about a love story that overcomes death's glare.
I have read quite a few posts about this weekend. That Good Friday was such a sad day for the disciples who didn't know which way to turn after losing their beloved Savior. That Saturday was a continuance of the disappearing hope and belief that there was anything left to live for, not knowing the joy that was coming on Sunday.
I'm definitely in this season of Saturdays. Oh, am I ever. Doubt, confusion, grief, loneliness, disbelief. Yup. I have felt it all. But praise God. Because Sunday is coming. Sunday crushes Satan. Sunday delivers on the promises of a brighter day. Sunday is the day I wait in anticipation for.
How wonderful. That because Jesus loves me I have this promise for my future and for hope. I always thought that was awe-inspiring, I would be happy with the promise of a future, but he promises hope too. He just pours out his promises for blessings. I can put it in my planner and wait for the confirmed date. It's coming. Because Jesus' love bears all things - he took my deadly sins and gave me life. His love believes all things - if I believe in Him and His promises then all things are possible! His love hopes all things - I have a reason to rejoice, I have hope and a promise for a future. Jesus' love endures all things - AMEN. Praise God that his love endures forever. That even though I have been living in Fridays and Saturdays that nothing I do, say or feel can turn his love from me. What a beautiful love story.
His love never ends. Hallelujah.