Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weekly Word for May 18, 2013

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts . . .
(Romans 5:5)

Our story begins with: “And they lived happily every after”. What did you say? That isn’t a beginning of a story? It’s funny how we think beginnings should happen in a certain way. But they don’t! Any moment in time - - - can be a new beginning. Whether it is right at the start of something new; or way down the road of life - our story can begin again . . .

For Thou art my hope; O Lord God, Thou art my confidence from my youth. (Psalm 71: 5)

So today, our story actually begins with a boy, and a girl. The boy gave his promise of forever - to a pretty blonde girl. In front of all his relatives and friends, as well as before God, he held her hand and promised that he would take her as his wife - for all of his life.

She had given her heart to her very first love. In her eyes he was strong, and would protect her forever. So on a warm summer evening, she walked toward him in her beautiful white dress - promising to love him - all of her life.

As the boy and girl grew in their marriages, and in years, they started to see their lives differently. The boy realized that his dreams had been put aside, and he wondered if he would ever find those dreams again. The girl was blessed with two beautiful children whom she adored. She loved being a momma, but being a wife had somehow brought fear into her life.

The boy and girl had finally grown into a man and a woman. Both had started to see their marriages as flawed, and even hurtful. They wondered if anything would ever change - because promises had been made - before God, and in their hearts.

And hope does not disappoint . . .

Every plan that we make, every beginning in life - does not always have a happy ending. But happiness does come along, when we least expect it . . .

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven -
A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1 & 2b)

Breaking apart is never an easy thing to do. There is a ripping and tearing that happens - when “one” is broken into pieces. Whether it is a heart - or a marriage - the pain is awful . . .

The boy had never expected to find himself in court for a divorce. But his wife had left him; and this day was about ending what had begun so many years ago. Emotions seemed to fill his being! There was guilt and anger, grief and even relief - as he struggled through facing the judge. When he left the court that day, “freedom” did not feel very good. He wiped tears away as he headed for his car. He wondered how long he could keep the sobs from taking over his being, as he cried for his broken heart - and broken life . . .

A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep; and a time to laugh;
(Ecclesiastes 3: 3 & 4)

The girl left the courthouse, going over and over the words she had just told the judge. They seemed so hollow, ringing in her ears. She knew her heart was breaking; realizing the truth, and yet knowing she still loved him. She tried to wipe the tears away, as she watched her “ex-husband” walk away from her. How could this day have come to be? How could she face tomorrow, so broken and alone???

Sometimes the “broken road” before us, leads us to blessings we never expected . . .

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me;
Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand . . . And will save me.
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
(Psalm 138: 7 & 8)

Our story began with a boy - and a girl. They were walking on two very separate roads, facing very different lives. And then - - - “life” happened; and they found themselves walking as friends, together.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me;

Ted and I never thought that we would find joy and happiness after our divorces. We never thought we would find love - or each other. But life has a way of bringing “surprises” as we stumble around the corners that are before us.

I truthfully believed that my life as a wife was finished after my divorce. I concentrated on my daughter, and on ministry for a number of years. And then, I met Ted once more. He had been one of the many friends who had helped me right after my divorce. I hadn’t seen him in 3 years when he walked into my bible study. His heart was broken, and my heart went out to him. Soon, a friendship started to blossom between us. It was a friendship based on the Lord, as well as hurts we had both been through. Soon, we were talking every day, helping each other to rebuild our separate lives. What we didn’t realize - was how quickly our lives seemed to be growing together.

The very first time we kissed, I think we were both shocked by the love that flowed through that kiss. Although we tried to stay apart, love kept pulling us back together. Before we knew it, we were in love - and planning our lives as “one“.

God is love, and the one who abides in love - abides in God,
and God abides in him.
(1 John 4: 16)

Ted and I have been married for over 12 years now! They have been years full of joy and love - and of course - surprises! Each moment, each amazing memory, are like little gifts that God has given to us. They remind us that our days together are just that - - - a gift from God!

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God - and knows God.”
( John 4: 7)

I guess what I have learned in this life is that “blessings” have come when I least expected them. Sometimes they were big things, like the first time Ted took me to Niagara Falls and there were fireworks going off - as we stood watching the falls. The beauty and wonder of that night - was amazing! There have been the simple
moments - when a beautiful card has touched our hearts - and said exactly what we needed to hear. And then there have been the blessings that we never expected - the ones that healed our hearts - and our lives . . .
for love is from God . . .

Quite a few years back, Ted and I were visiting with my brother and his wife. As we talked, the subject of my parents’ anniversary came up. My brother was very upset with my mom, as she had made it clear that she expected him to give her a big party! As we talked, we all seemed to have the same thoughts, that we really didn’t want to put on a big party for my parents.

As we left my brother’s house that day, Ted and I talked a little bit about my parents - and the demands they always seemed to make. I told him how hurt I still felt, whenever I thought about my parents. Ted held my hand that night, and we started to talk about happier things.

Time has a way of changing our view of things. My dad had been diagnosed with cancer for a second time. My mom seemed to be having a hard time with her memory. Ted and I started to spend a few Saturdays at my parents’ home, helping them with little projects and repairs. As the time got closer to my mom and dad’s 50th anniversary, Ted and I started to think about giving my parents a party. As we approached my brothers, I still wasn’t sure how this was going to go.

Both of my brothers said they would help. I knew my brother Rob was still struggling with his emotions, but he also wanted to help me. I was so thankful that he felt that way. It was Rob and his wife Donna - who came up with the idea of a gift from all of us. It was a video of pictures, with music behind them - of my parents’ lives. It sounded like a great idea, and so we all started looking for pictures of ourselves with mom and dad.

As the weeks went by, there were so many plans to be made. We made a menu, and Ted and I planned out all the food. There were table clothes to be rented, and decorations to buy. Everyone was pitching in to help. And then the day finally came . . .

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; . . .
Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own,
Is not provoked,
(and) does not take into account a wrong suffered.
(1 Corinthians 13: 4 & 5)

As my mom and dad walked into the room, the hall looked so beautiful! My brother Wayne and his wife Anita had decorated each table so beautifully. Ted, my brother Rob, and Jen’s fiancé Dan were all working in the kitchen. They worked together so well, laughing and talking as they made amazing food! I watched as my mother and father slowly walked from table to table. My dad was using a walker, with my mom holding his arm. I stood and watched - as my mom beamed at her 50th Wedding Anniversary Party.

That day was full of laughter and joy! My parents’ best friends gave a toast, reading from the bible. Everyone seemed to love the food! And I can still see the picture of my little grandson, peeking over the table, as my mom and dad cut the cake. And then it came time for their present . . .

(Love) believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 7 & 8)

As the video started, everyone became quiet as each picture went by. I stood beside Ted and my brother, watching as our lives began in that video. Tears started to fall, and I knew that the Lord was right there in that room. Ted pulled me close, as the video continued. There were pictures of their wedding, and the children that would follow. There were Christmases, and birthdays, and each of our weddings. There were also pictures of my parents with each of their grandchildren. The music was perfect, as it played behind each memory on the screen. Finally, the last picture remained on the screen. It was of my mom and dad holding hands and smiling - as the words “Happy Anniversary” rolled past. I turned to look at my brother, and knew he was moved by the video as well. It was a video or our life - of who we were - and who we are. At that moment, I knew that my heart had found healing, and there was love for my mom and dad . . .

Love never fails . . .

Our story began with a boy and a girl, who’s lives seemed full of conflict and change. The story - - - is my life. I have had endings in my life, and new beginnings too. I guess that is the promise that God gives us. He will be with us - in the endings - and giving us new beginnings. He gives us blessings when we least expect it. And His promises are for our entire life . . .

My question to you is - where is your story? Are you at an ending, or a beginning? If you are finding yourself facing the end of something, that is where you will find God opening a brand new door for you. You just need to ask Him. When you do, surprises await you, around every corner . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)

God bless you and keep you, as you face each new day.

In His Love,

Debbie & Ted Ayers