Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ten days!

The excitement is building. The butterflies are taking up residence. Preparation is in full swing. The candles, the ribbons, the lace, the flowers; everything seems to be heralding the moment that will soon be arriving.

Ten days!

I can hardly believe it. When I think of all God has brought me through, from the happy go lucky kid, to the scared, suicidal girl, to the uncertain teenager, to the confident young lady, and now the anticipating bride, I am humbled at His awesome love. God has been so good. He takes broken pieces and makes something more beautiful than it could have ever been otherwise.

Even now as I sit to write, my mind is swirling with memories, thoughts, and answers to prayer; yet the words escape me. How does one describe the faithfulness of God, the surprises He planned for her as she followed Him, or her excitement in marrying the man of her dreams? Or how can one put into words the look of pride or the tears of joy in her parents' faces as they watch their daughter taking steps of faith to follow the God they pointed her to all her life? How does one begin to share all God has prepared and invested into this one moment, and yet look forward to a future of continued service to Him with another of His servants? What words could tell of the feeling of being totally and completely LOVED, not only by the Creator and Sustainer of life, but also by another faulty human being such as I?

It seems all I can say is, God is good. Yet, that seems insufficient. God is wonderful and awesome, and His plans far exceed anything that could have entered my mind. He loves His children, and loves to give them good things. His secret is with the righteous. He reveals Himself and His plan to those who seek Him. What a God!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Love Story- Part 6

So... this is getting long and drawn out, and I'm sure many of you are wondering if I'll ever finish; especially since I've been busy with wedding preparations and have left off blogging for a time. Well, it is worth the wait. The ending is pretty good! Just let me grab my journal and I'll continue the story.

It is actually quite special to go back and read my journal, as I wrote many times of God's faithfulness, mercy, grace, and blessing. God truly is good to those who seek His face.

Perhaps the next great event to tell you about would be when God called me, specifically, to the country of Georgia. Michael is a missionary on deputation (or, gathering support) to go to the country of Georgia. I have always, it seems, felt the call to the mission field; however Georgia had never entered my mind. Meeting Michael, I knew that if I married him, I would go to Georgia, because my call is to follow my husband, wherever that is. Yet I knew that it would be easier down the road if I knew now, before I went, that God wanted me, specifically and specially, to go to the country of Georgia. That day came in mid-December, shortly after returning from the visit to Michael.

"Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not wither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light." John 12:35b-36a

The words seemed to jump of the page at me, as if God had written them with this very moment in mind. Georgia is full of darkness. The people need the light of Jesus, just as I received here in the States. At that very moment, I knew that God wanted ME in Georgia, and not just Michael. That evening, I shared with my burden with Michael, and of course, he was thrilled to hear.

Michael had told my dad and I that he wanted to visit me to get to know me a little better. Unfortunately, I was not living at home with my parents, which could make a courtship difficult. After a little bit of prayer and discussion though, he came up to visit me at my Aunt and Uncle's house where I was taking care of my great grandmother. There were plenty of chaperones to chose from there, so my parents were quite content with the arrangement.

Displaying Barbara's Visit 007.jpg
Michael and I at a concert
December 2013

New Years, perhaps the coldest time of the year, Michael had some free days on his schedule, so he drove up to see me. We went ice-skating, mailed out his prayer updates, put a puzzle together, went on a date, and had all kinds of fun. It rather surprised me, but not in an unwelcome way, that I was so comfortable around Michael. There had never been another guy besides my dad that I am so comfortable with, who makes me feel safe, accepted, and wanted. Michael was more than a "boy-friend." He was a blessing. A confidante'. An encourager. He helped me grow to see God more clearly than before, and to see how God sees me.

Here is an excerpt from my journal just a month later:
"I love so dearly the man God has brought into my life. It really is a blessing to love and to be loved, to have someone to serve along side with me. The friendship we have is so deep that it brings a sense of communion that goes beyond fellowship. It really is nice not to have to travel life's road alone. Thank you, Lord, for such a gift. Words really cannot describe my heart-felt awe and gratitude at your beautiful plan.
Speaking of plans, Michael and I have set a wedding date! It is so exciting..."

No you didn't miss it. We did indeed set a wedding date before Michael proposed. Does that sound odd to you? Well, I guess you'll have to wait until later to find out why...