Our Love Story: Part VI: Merciful Blessings

by Lesley on January 2, 2012 · 10 comments

in marriage

This is the sixth and final installment of a series on how Jonathan and I met, fell in love, and got married. You can start the series by clicking here.)

Eight months after we were engaged, Jonathan and I officially tied the knot.  The months leading up to our wedding were full of typical distractions—dress hunting and cake sampling being the most fun of the bunch.

I lived in a little house overlooking the ocean with Lisa, Beall and Beth. Three of the four of us were engaged, so our house had a constant flow of bridal magazines and fiancées. Jonathan lived across town in a house full of rambunctious guys.

On August 14, 2005 I met him at the chapel for the second time. I still remember when the doors to the sanctuary opened, and our friends and family rose to greet my dad and I. The tears, oh the tears, as I walked that aisle.

(I just love this next photo. Doesn’t it just seem to say, “Can you PLEASE leave us alone for a second? I’d like to makeout with my new wife.”)

Jonathan and I worked very hard to plan a meaningful and God centered ceremony.  Neither of us are musically inclined but I knew I wanted my friend Erin to sing. A few months before the wedding I heard a Nichole Nordeman song called Gratitude. Even though the song isn’t exactly a typical wedding song I felt very strongly it needed to be part of our ceremony. In fact, Erin later admitted she thought the song was an odd choice at first.  The song is centered around hard times; in asking for mercy. I knew that every couple faces adversity at some point in marriage, and I loved how the song reminded us to thank God for the ways He provides and for the ways He teaches us to hunger after Him.

Send some rain, would You send some rain?

‘Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You’ll provide in other ways
And if that’s the case . . .

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger’s view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You’ll provide in other ways
And if that’s the case . . .

We’ll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead, and if we never taste that bread

For over six years since that August day, we have been given more than just daily bread. You’ve gotten to watch our love story unfold on these blog pages. There have been cozy apartments and worldwide travel, and jobs that pay our bills, and blessed bodies and even a little babe tucked under our new sturdy roof.

And now, a different chapter…a chapter where we are looking out on a cloudy sky as we pray for merciful blessings to come out of pain we don’t really want to live through.

Recently I’ve been reading the book of Ruth. It’s been a great book for me to read because it tells a story of God’s mercy. While reading Ruth I found a John Piper study that’s been a nice accompaniment, and through that study I discovered an old hymn called God Moves in a Mysterious Way (William Cowper). Here’s a line that stood out to me: You fearful saints, fresh courage take: the clouds you so much dread are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head.

I love thinking back to our wedding, and to a song that admitted, and celebrated, the tough parts of life. When I discovered Cowper’s hymn and noticed the similarity in words to the Nichole Nordeman song, I felt confirmation that we are currently standing under big dark clouds of mercy that shall break blessings over us. In the tough moments I have found myself praying over and over: “Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.”

So, that’s where our love story is today. We are currently living the part of our vows where it says– “in sickness and in health”-and I think we both consider the job to be the toughest thing we’ve yet faced together. But, that’s the thing—we’re in this life together—and there’s no where else, and no one else, I’d rather be with.

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9 comments
Kirsten
Kirsten

Just read the six posts, so beautiful. Thankful you have each other and are clinging to our great and mighty God. That song also reminds me of the mercy me song 'bring the rain'. Bring me joy, bring me peace Bring the chance to be free Bring me anything that brings You glory And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain. God bless and keep you guys.

Julie Fraga
Julie Fraga

Lesley, What a wonderful post! I love that you've shared about the commitment and bond you and Jonathon share! Praying for his recovery and for the dark clouds to roll away and bring sunshine and blessings! Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Sharon
Sharon

You and Jonathan have the real deal.

Christin Taylor
Christin Taylor

Lesley, I love this post. Thank you for sharing so honestly from your heart. It's a blessing to me. I needed to read this tonight.

April
April

You are a such a talented writer, Lesley. I've so enjoyed reading your and Jonathan's love story - thank you for sharing! Praying with and for you and your family as you embark on this new journey.

Laura Doyle
Laura Doyle

Big hug! What a beautiful ending to an amazing story. And again I am struck at the similarities in our stories. The Catholic ceremony was the most important part of our wedding day. We wanted it to be as long as possible. And in my toughest moments, I think back to that beautiful day and the beautiful ceremony. During labor and my eventual C-section, I had John recount that day and that ceremony. Thanks again for sharing your story with us.

Michele
Michele

Big love. Praying with and for you. He is mighty to save.

Katie
Katie

Oh Les, that was beautiful and now I'm crying. Praying that you'll be able to daily give thanks with gratitude- even as the big, dark clouds roll.

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