Perhaps in response to preparing our hearts and home for our new baby, I've been thinking about something that God has given me--something that I could never have truly expected to receive although I continued to ask God for it in faith. My doubt had more to do with it being a fairytale than about God being able to provide.
When I became a single mom back in 2002 after over 8 years of marriage, everything that I had held onto as being real and true was ripped from my hands, my life, and my heart. The sacredness of the wedding vows I had spoken at the very tender age of 18 seemed so very far away, and while I never questioned God or blamed Him for the position I found myself in, I did question His design for family and marriage. At the same time, however, I knew that the only way to survive my new lot in life was to stay connected to God and the church. But often I found that the church judged me and made me question myself more often than not.
And yet, in time, I found healing from my divorce and the strength to reject the ideas that left me judged and marked with a scarlet letter. I found the grace and forgiveness that Jesus bought for me with his life on a crude wooden cross. I realized that although I had made choices and embraced decisions that ultimately helped destroy the marriage and family I was mourning, God looked at me and saw a precious little child who was hurt and broken, and reached out His arms to hug me and to calm me.
Ask me and I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen here. --Jeremiah 33:3 NLT
The same grace that Jesus extended to the woman caught in adultery, the same forgiveness he gave to the leper and to the criminal on the cross beside me were being extended to me. I just had to find healing and forgive myself. I needed to seek God first in my life and move on.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. --Matthew 6:33 NIV
As I let go of my desire for a man in my life and replaced it with the desire to live for and serve God regardless of what my life looked like, God led me to some truths I had missed previously. I read the book of Ruth in a new light. I saw the provision of a wife for Isaac (and the provision of a husband for Rebekah). I saw a different way of meeting and mating than what I had experienced and viewed growing up. I saw a different version of marriage and husbandry. And I did not know if I could pick that kind of person for myself, and oh how I wanted a husband like that for myself (and a father like that for my children!).
I wanted a love, a husband who would love me like Christ loved the church, and I knew the husband I had the first time around didn't know what that meant, let alone attempted to be that. I wanted what God wanted, and more.
I gave up my hunt for a husband, realizing that I was not equipped for the search.
And I decided to surround myself with Christian friends in my neighborhood--male and female--instead of seeking a boyfriend. I hit myspace looking for these kind of people in my neighborhood. (A large number of the people I saw there paid lip service to their faith, but I had learned how to tell from a few simple sentences which were not at the same place as I, and went into it with eyes wide open).
And little did I know, there was this awesome Christian man who had been on a journey of heartbreak, healing, and was also looking for someone to spend his life with. And you know what! ? ! He lived less than 2 miles away from me...and he wanted more kids (lots more! which is good since I came with three to start...)!
Over time, I realize that what I have with my husband, my second chance, is so totally different and exactly what God had intended for me from the beginning. And when I listen to "First Time" by Lifehouse, it speaks exactly what my heart feels. I am so grateful for the second chance. And to be honest, it actually is better than the first time. It's amazing what happens when we live within God's will!
Enjoy a little bit of Lifehouse for me!