A Beautiful Forever

When I first started this blog it wasn't with the intention of becoming a "writer."It was simply to keep people in the loop of where our lives were headed. As I wrote my very first post, I remember the tears were streaming down my face. Yes, a lot of those tears were for what we were battling, but many of them were cleansing tears. I realized there was something about writing that gave me a release. There was something about putting pen to paper and letting it all out, every tear of frustration and the smallest of victories.

When we walked through a devastating last summer, writing started to give me even more than a release. It started to give me a purpose. All that being said, it still is so humbling to me that people are able to read my, sometimes futile, attempts at writing and gain something from them. I believe none of that's really because of me. It's because I desire the author of my story to write through me-to you. The places writing continues to take me make me laugh at just the sheer silliness of it all. Because at heart, I'm just a person with a pen trying my best to fumble through life, and writing about the journey the best way I know how.

Recently, the widows ministry I write for released a compilation of devotionals from the women of our writing team. A few of my writings are featured there. It was published and released this week. That makes me a published author something I never, in a million years, thought I would be. Yet I look and see another piece of beauty He's creating from the ashes of our lives.

As I always say, thank you for reading. Thank you for being a part of a community of people who are fumbling through this journey together. Thank you for the strength you continually give to me, and to each other.

20140605-120747-43667019.jpg My wedding anniversary is less than 4 weeks away. It is one of those upcoming dates that I have been anticipating with sadness for a long while. In honor of that day I recently wrote a posting for the widows site a write for. I wanted to share it with you all. It both speaks to the joy of what that day was and how I anticipate the memory of that day will be. I hope you enjoy it.

A Beautiful Forever

I am exactly one month away from celebrating what would've been my ninth wedding anniversary. Sadly, this will be the first one I've celebrated without my precious husband by my side.

A few evenings ago, I was thinking about my wedding day. I was thinking of the funny parts: like during our first dance when my husband turned to me and said, "I was so nervous I was popping Tums all morning!" Or when we had to do an enactment of us leaving the chapel, while our guests threw roses, because the limo didn't arrive on time and the photographer was set to leave.

I thought about the emotional moments of repeating our personalized vows to one another, and the long-awaited moment my groom was told he could kiss his bride.

As I was replaying each and every special memory, I tried to think of my favorite.

That one was easy.

It would have to be the moment I walked down the long aisle, straight towards my groom.

You see, I'm not a girl by nature who likes to have people staring at me. The thought of having a room full of them doing it all at once was enough to throw me into a panic. I remember standing at the corner, about to enter the room, and thinking I hadn't prepared myself for all this attention.

I heard the first notes ringing of the song I was set to walk in to and knew: it was almost show time. Where do I look? Do I turn to smile at my guests? Do I look for my family? Do I look at my Dad? My bridesmaids? My friends? Clearly, I hadn't read enough wedding magazines and had no clue.

As I sat there with my heart pounding wildly, it suddenly became clear. I look straight at my groom. It didn't matter in that moment how many people were staring at me. It didn't even matter who all was in the room. The only thing that mattered was the moment where a bride walks to her groom and commits all that she has to him, forever. His smile at the other end calmed my fears and put me at ease. As I stared intently at him, the rest of the room faded away, and the tears started to slowly fall down my cheeks.

I snapped myself out of the thoughts of my wedding back to my current reality. My groom was gone. Our love story cut short. The tears for what would be have been replaced by tears of anguish for what has become. And now, in a mere few weeks, I was going to have to face our anniversary alone. How in the world would I make it through?

The answer - lock eyes with Jesus.

Yes, I don't quite know what that day will bring me. Certainly, it could be a very painful day for me. But The Lord has painted a beautiful picture for me. In my head, I picture Jesus standing at the end of that long wedding chapel aisle. And I, the beautiful bride He sees me as, taking slow steps straight toward Him. The hurt and pain become the people in the room gazing intently at me. I have to ignore them. It's not about them. It's about Him and me. If I can just keep my eyes on Jesus, walking straight to where He stands, He will meet me there. He will take my face in His hands and speak His love over me. He will remind me of His promise He won't ever leave me.

In that moment, I will make a choice. I will choose to love and trust Him. I will choose to let Him carry me every moment of this painful day. Most importantly, I will choose to continue to surrender my life to the very One who promises me the most beautiful of forevers.