There are some things that just shouldn’t be put on a blog.
I haven’t blogged in almost a year because I needed to intentionally process with people, to glean their wisdom learned from mistakes and triumphs. I needed to feel wet tears and let mine be touched, I needed to see furrowed eyebrows and know that mine were being seen. I needed celebratory hugs and crooked smiles all around me. Its been a big year. I love family, both blood and the other kind, more than I ever have before. Not more than I ever will though.
I am convinced that sharing life will gain greater importance as I go on.
I turned 27 this year. We have a birthday tradition where we list our top 3 most memorable events of the year at a meal shared with family and friends. They aren’t necessarily the best events… but ones that will mark the last year of life.
My top 3 of my 27th year:
My Pappaw passed away August 19, 2011.
I got to witness my newest nephew, Graham Kristian, come into this world September 2, 2011.
The third was actually 3 events so I kinda stretched the rules.. the breakup, reconciliation process and then Engagement with Karley Neil (who is now my husband!!)
My top 3 can be summed up by Loss, Gain and Redemption.
My life was filled with.. life this year. It was beautiful. It may not have always looked beautiful, but entering with the assurance that God is actively redeeming the world and being able to hope in more than mere circumstance gave me the freedom to love, be healed, be still, and know that he is God.
Some of us have to persevere longer in the hoping and waiting. Some of us do not get to see the pieces of redemption we are desiring with our whole hearts. Some of us will have incredible disappointment. My heart aches over those and with those, knowing that I cannot ever fully know their grief. Although it may not seem like it in the midst of sorrow, we have attainable to us something that will never disappoint, something real and tangible that we can always rest on.
We can be reconciled to the one who made us and then become new. The old hurts caused us and that we have caused others can be put away. We no longer have to be defined by the grievances, but by who we were originally intended to be. There is one who took all the crap who didn’t deserve any of it, so that we could live without it and have hope for when our bodies ultimately fail us. I am thankful for being able to hope in something greater than a world that continues to bring pain. Having experienced redemption firsthand, I recognize it is my honor and responsibility to share the message of reconciliation and to actively be a part of the restoration process.
So, this is what I will strive to do.
This is the story of redemption that we put on our wedding blog.
We spent the next many months living and serving and playing and falling in love. We adventured whenever we could and lived life and grew together.
Along the way we learned each other and about ourselves. The Lord refined us and shaped us… which wasn’t always the most pleasant.After a couple years we figured out each other’s shortcomings, that communication is difficult and that vulnerability is terrifying. We finally released each other and Jesus held us both.
In that time the Lord reminded both of us who he made us to be. He grew us and loved us and guided us. And then, he taught us grace, forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption.
He gave us each new hearts. He redeemed our lives and made us whole so that we could fully love each other and best reflect HIS love.We are so thankful for the road we have traveled together–for the uphills and the scenic routes, the cruise controls and the stop lights. Our thriving relationship is proof that God redeems and changes people for his purposes. Now we understand his grace and have seen firsthand what he can do. We are SO excited to extend this same grace and love to those around us.
On our own accord and with our best attempt we are nothing… with his hope and grace… we are beautiful.My man moved to Santa Barbara to be near me in Decemember and asked me to be his wife on the 29th. We celebrated with family and best friends for a few days and have hit the ground running with wedding planning and house remodeling!
So stoked out of our minds to begin life together!!
Thanks to each of you for sharing in all of this with us. We hope that you are each encouraged by our story and through our redemption. God is so stinkin good!!