It’s hard to believe that my wedding day is this coming Friday. In many ways I don’t think reality will set in for me until Danielle and I exchange vows later this week; the whole thing still seems like a dream!
As discombobulated as my thoughts are, I’m attempting to write a few words about this season in my life for a couple of reasons. First, to publically give God all the glory and praise that He is due for His love, mercy, and grace in bringing us together as husband and wife. Secondly, to encourage anyone who might be reading this—especially someone who might be going through a difficult season in life—that God is a God who gives us rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19).
All of this is a total God thing and we realize and recognize that only He could have orchestrated this. Although He used a precious, mutual friend of ours to introduce us, He was the matchmaker. Danielle and I met one Sunday in church after I preached the morning message. While preaching, I remember seeing her beautiful, smiling face for the first time. Looking back, I am blown away at the significance of meeting her in God’s house—His Word and His presence being the foundation of this whole journey.
When we met, neither one of us had the prospect of dating on our radars. We’d both been in a season of healing from the collapse of our previous marriages and were both perfectly content being single parents for the next decade or two! The unfortunate circumstances of our divorces, we found, were strikingly similar. After several months of spending time together as friends, it became clearly evident that God was at work in a deeper way and I actually proposed to Danielle one year from the day that I met her.
There are so many unique fingerprints of Providence all over our story—way too many to mention. One that comes to mind is that from the time Danielle was a little girl she envisioned having four children. Specifically she dreamed of three boys and one girl and that two would be biological and two adopted. With the upcoming blending of our family, that’s exactly what God will be giving her!
Our four children are thrilled about Mommy and Daddy getting married. Our eight year old son Levi (the one we thought might struggle the most with the marriage only because he’s a little older) is the most excited of any of them!
Danielle, simply put, is extraordinary. It’s so cliché in Christian circles that I hate to use the term, but she really is a “Proverbs 31 woman”. Line by line, the verses in Proverbs 31 describe Danielle. She loves God more than she loves me. She’s a hard worker and she’s thrifty. She’s my biggest cheerleader and encourager. She’s a phenomenal mother and she fiercely defends her family.
I’m very much aware that God hasn’t done all of this because I deserve it, or because I’ve been full of faith. In fact, during the rocking and reeling after the dissolve of my first marriage, I did less praying and Bible reading than I’ve done in years. It was the toughest season of my life and I didn’t know if the boys and I would make it. In that dark, desert place when my world turned upside down, I engaged in very little spiritual activity or personal devotional time with Jesus. But thankfully I had an army of people praying for me when I couldn’t pray for myself. And I had the Holy Spirit praying through me when I couldn’t find the words to pray in English.
All of this is from God and is simply a direct result of His unmerited grace, mercy and love.
God says to His chosen people, Israel, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth: shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). Maybe you’re in a desert place right now, but God is about to send a river of refreshing your way. I’m not sure what it will look like for you, or when it will happen for you, but God—in His sovereign way and His own time—will send His provision in the midst of your pain!
And they overcame… by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony – Revelation 12:11