In a handful of days, my husband and I will celebrate ten years of moments together since we walked up that church aisle as man and wife. Our marriage hasn't been all wide smiles and and pink peonies and bliss, but it certainly has been blessed. He is my match and living life with him makes me a very happy girl.
I look at this photo and grin back at the blushing, beaming, nerves-a-mile-high bride who was a breath away from saying “I do” and stepping into a life with her groom.
What I love most about this photo is the passage on the classroom bulletin board behind me.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11
I didn't notice the verse on the wall until months later when I saw it in this picture. It's like a little God-wink. That fresh-out-of-college bride had no clue what the future would hold. But her God knew.
God knew every failure, every fall, every heartbreak. And He forgave and carried us.
He knew that we would struggle to have a baby. And He used that time for His glory.
He knew we would grow our family through adoption. And He brought us together with our Josiah.
He knew that Josh would leave his work as a carpenter behind and become a pastor. And He planted us in Michigan to serve our church and community and raise our family.
None of this came as a surprise to Him. He knew all along.
When the unexpected came and threw us headfirst into the unknown, our edges certainly would've frayed if our Savior had not been woven with us. When we unravel in our brokenness, He pulls and wraps us tight and we draw in close.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:12
It sometimes feels as though our wedding day was a lifetime and forever ago - much has happened in the decade since then. There has been great joy and loss and hurt and love. There have been arguments and forgiveness, moves and new experiences, plans and parenthood.
Just like the bride in the photo, we still do not know what will come our way in this lifetime. What do we know? That we're safe in our Father's hands. We are weak, but He is strong. We know His plans are better than ours. We can trust Him. Because the One who knows and controls and provides is the One who holds us. We are in this together. We are to give thanks for today and celebrate the beauty our Creator has filled up our life with. We can embrace the unexpected even when it's scary and hard. We must pray that in both hurt and in joy, we will remember God is always good.
And we cling to the Hope that we have. And the perfection that awaits us because of Him - the most beautiful plan of all.