An Imperfect Love Story

An Imperfect Love Story

He saw her across the gymnasium – a petite girl with long golden brown hair.  His Science Fair project was on Bridges and hers was on the Human Body.  He finally got up the nerve to speak with her and bought her a Coke.  A couple years later they attended their Junior and Senior proms together but were heading to different states for college.

Over those years many hours were spent on dorm hallway phones and almost daily letters sent back and forth. Summers and holidays they happily reunited and by their senior year they began planning a future together. He was going to be a Civil Engineer and she was studying Nursing – funny how their early interests would become their careers.

Senior year of college, something wasn’t right – she became very ill. Graduation was followed by a trip to the hospital for tests and later major surgery.  He sat by her bedside praying while she recovered in the ICU – what was God doing?  They postponed the wedding even though she wrestled with God over that. She realized her fiancee had proven his faithfulness “in sickness and health”! Their bond only strengthened as they thanked God for healing and chose to keep Him in the middle of every day – good days and bad.  Their wedding verse;

bride-1837148_1920This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.        Psalms 118:24 (ESV)

 After the wedding they started their happily ever after and saved to buy a house. Three children came along one right after the other – a girl and two boys.  Their lives took a different path when child #2 was born with cognitive and physical disabilities. Those early years included open heart surgery for that little one and casts on club feet.  Doctor visits and seeing therapists became the new normal.  The now mother of three also continued to have medical issues and the daughter had learning disabilities. Challenging? Yes.  But nothing is impossible with God so they clung to His promises.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.     Jer 29:11 (ESV)

 Life was good just different because there are added concerns and some limitations when a family member has a disability. But days were filled with school, sports, church activities, celebrations and vacations just like everyone else. Most importantly they made life-long friendships.

Love and a solid faith in God along with a lot of family and friend support helped them overcome and in turn reach out.  They became involved with Family and Marriage ministry to help others. Communication and commitment is necessary while quitting is NOT an option. The couple also became involved with Disability ministries like Special Olympics and served in their local church.

They learned that every day is an opportunity for grace with communication being the key -especially when an apology is necessary. Often they would laugh or make a joke about something else going wrong. Laughter does help make the burdens lighter!

After 36+ years this couple still celebrates with gratitude for all God has provided. They have met some amazing people and traveled to beautiful places they never dreamed possible. Their story is far from over as now in mid-life they plan for the future and retirement. Their parents are gone and the children are grown with their own careers. The son with disabilities is doing well. There were many more difficulties as well as great stories through those years because life is an imperfect balance. They still have arguments and misunderstandings but at the end of every day find security and comfort in each others’ arms.

Life is not perfect but good.

What advice would they give you this Valentine’s Day?

Set priorities: God first, Spouse (before self) then Family and everything else

Laugh – A little bit (or a lot) of humor  helps along the way!

 Listening well helps avoid misunderstanding

Trust God is in control even when life seems out of control.

During the hardest times of life – PRAY MORE – God will give you the peace and strength to not only endure but to excel when you trust in Him.

Loving one another requires patience, over-looking faults and compassion.

Teach your children well.

Always kiss good night.

 

Review your own imperfect love story and have a blessed Valentine’s Day.

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Friendships Change

Friendships Change

Listening on the phone to my oldest friend talk on and on about her life I was getting annoyed. I could hardly break in to share about my family or what I was doing.  We were friends since Middle school and called “double trouble” by my parents since we shared the same first name – Nancy.

After high school our lives radically changed, I went to college and after one year in 2Nancy's 001college she enrolled in the Navy.  She eloped, had two children and was even deployed before I started my family and career. She served as my Matron of Honor and we stayed in touch through the years. But Nancy died before her 50th birthday from a heart attack and now I miss those unexpected calls.

My Mother told me that sometimes friends are only for a season and others, though few, last a lifetime. Change of location, education level, marriage or divorce and health issues are among the things that can separate people. What’s the difference between a friend and an acquaintance?  Shared experiences, longevity and the depth of the relationship make a strong friendship. Co-workers can be friendly but most often those relationships are left “at the office”. We don’t share a deep knowledge of our personal life or familiarity with someone who’s an acquaintance.

Did you know that we were created to have relationships? There is great truth in the old saying, “No man is an island”.  Good friendships bring richness to our lives, laughter and feelings of well-being as well as comfort, advice and support.  God Himself created us to be in relationship with Him.

The Fall

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say……?    Gen 3:1 (ESV)      And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Gen 3:8-9

People often question, “Where is God?” yet it is often our choices that separate us from His presence. From the very beginning God has been looking and waiting for us to come to Him.  Jesus stepped out of eternity to become human. He had family and friends. Jesus attended feasts, funerals and weddings. Trained as a carpenter He knew about a hard day’s work.  He was loved and betrayed – Jesus understands all of our joy and pain.Jesusbench

He calls us.

 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28 (NLT)

He loves us

 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life     John 3:16 (NLT)

He will never fail us

For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Heb 13:5 (NLT)

Jesus is the best friend you could ever have.  He knows all about us yet loves us anyway.  He took our place on the cross to satisfy our debt with a Holy God. He is faithful even when we are not. Our lives and circumstances change but He will never change.  This is the greatest relationship you could ever have!

 

Lord, thank you for great love – even when I didn’t care. Please forgive me for all my wrong doings. I need your Presence and your guidance everyday so please come into my life and change me.  Amen

Jesus friend quote

 

Please let me know if this blog has touched your heart…especially if you have made a decision to have a closer personal relationship with God.