Friday, May 27, 2016

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

Today is my wedding day.
Although I’ve always loved love, I haven’t always understood what it is. I don’t know why because my parents love me well. They’ve loved me through seasons where I’ve been easy to love, and seasons where I didn’t give them many reasons to want to love me. Close friends and mentors showed me glimpses into the heart of God in the ways they’ve loved me. Yet, I chose to seek this idea of romantic love, and not always in the healthiest ways. It’s been the one area of my life I can say I truly believe I haven’t been good enough. In almost every other sphere, I’ve known in my head that I need God’s grace, but I don’t know if I’ve truly believed it in my heart. However, in romantic relationships, I’ve seen my depravity. I’ve seen myself take short cuts to try and gain the “love” I’ve desired since my elementary years only to end up disappointed and left to process through the consequences of my actions.
I heard someone say this week that in a marriage relationship your need to be loved has to already have been met. Through the journey of my last twenty six years, the Lord has revealed his love to me in powerful ways. Without that relationship and revelation, I know I wouldn’t be getting ready to get married today. Because I wouldn’t be the right person. I’d still be on the crazy train, searching for a man to meet the needs that only God can. I still jump on the crazy train every now and again. When I’m not pleased with my performance, when I’m looking to others for affirmation, or when I’m letting lies creep in and tell me my identity. But, I’ve learned how to fight those, and in this heart of mine, I now know who I am, who I belong to, and what I’m about. I’m a daughter of the King, and I’m loved by Him.
So today, I get to marry Andrew Jordan Wolfe. And, I’m the luckiest girl because of it. This is a man who truly loves me. He loves me in a way I haven’t experienced before. Already, he often knows why I’m frustrated before I’ve found the words to articulate it myself. He knows the way a good run gives me time to work the crazy out with Jesus. He understands my heart and the way fresh flowers, lit candles, and a handwritten note make me feel like the most delighted person in the world. He takes time to do the unexpected and take me on a random road trip to a restaurant in a no-name town, a bike ride to a new ice cream joint, or a Sunday daydreaming drive. He captures my heart when I get to see glimpses into our future while I’m watching him mow the lawn at the home that’s now ours. While I’m handing him the screwdriver as he’s installing a new dishwasher. He lets me into the depths of his heart and his dreams, and what I see there are some of the most inspiring things. Things I get to be a part of. Things we share and get to make happen. Together. But more than all of these things, and all of the things I haven’t mentioned, like how strong he is, how handsome he is, what a great coach he is, how funny he can be, how smart he is, how much he cares for the well-being of his sisters, how hard-working, motivated, and driven he is, the man I’m marrying today is a man after Jesus’ heart. He leads me into making time for Jesus, praying over the things of our hearts, and spending time in the Word. He’s constantly in pursuit of Jesus, and it keeps me running after Him too. He’s committed to seeing both of us become who God created us to be and live the life God designed for us.
Being in relationship with Andrew is the most tangible expression of God’s grace I’ve experienced. I haven’t done anything to deserve it. Given, what I thought I wanted, I don’t know where I’d be today. I know those experiences shaped and molded me. But, only because of the grace of God. The unnatural, forgiving, life-changing grace of God. My choices shouldn’t have led me to marrying Andrew today, and yet I am. I’m marrying a man with a shared vision for our future. A man who shares in so many of my greatest passion and joys. A man who protects me and fights for us. Today is important to me not just because of all the joy it contains, but also because what will happen today between Andrew and I is a glimpse, a foreshadowing, of what God’s going to do for his people.
We, as believers, are the bride of Christ. We’ve been redeemed and reconciled to him. Jesus’ work on the cross allows us to accept the undeserved gift of grace that pardons us from the sinful nature of being human that we can’t find a way to pardon ourselves. And, once that happens, we begin the life long process of sanctification. Being made beautiful and more like Jesus, waiting for him to come back.