We all came together again, after decades, to celebrate the restoration of a marriage. We had all attended the same church in the early 80's, while starting our new married lives and early parenting days. If you were a fly on the wall, you wouldn't have know all the years that stood between us all, yet, the bond that had brought us together before, still glued us all together.
Each couple had their stories. The rise to success through their early years of marriage, the dreams playing out on schedule and then the devastation of the events that hit us all in our 50's. All the men had seen their successful careers come to an end in their 50's, as they all enter their 60's, they see life through new eyes. All the women shared the ups and downs, through their tears and their laughter, they all told of God's faithfulness. Career loss was only one blow that began the list of struggles, that would have taken most people down for the count. NO ONE had missed life's blows.
We laughed about how we never could have guessed all those years ago, that life would hand us such incredible struggles in the midst of extreme joys. We celebrated God's goodness and faithfulness.
The light that shown the brightest on this day of celebration was the fact that even though life had thrown some very strong curves to each couple.......................ALL...ALL...MAY I SAY IT AGAIN...ALL had stood on the solid rock and stayed faithful in their walk with the Lord. There wasn't a word of bitterness, there wasn't a shaking of the fist to the God who created this world. EACH...I say this again..EACH pointed to the Lord through it all. Each shared how He had been greater than any trial.
I stood among these couples with gratefulness. Their testimonies built my faith. Their walks strengthen my own. Faithful through the ups and downs of life is what Faith is all about.
I opened the book my husband bought me for Easter. This Too Shall Pass, here is my reading for today.
Lord, I have made it through the long dark night and now I stand in the joyful light of your love. Help me to spread my wisdom and experience to others so that they, too, may know your grace, your mercy, and your enduring love. Let me be an example to them of how your love heals and renews and makes whole again.
Let me be the guide that helps bring others back to the safety of your shores.
No one, including God, ever promised us a life from struggle and suffering. In fact, we are pretty much assured of challenges and obstacles, for how would we grow and become stronger and more loving without them? How would our character develop without trials that help mold and shape our personality? But what we are promised is that every cloud comes equipped with a silver lining in the form of powerful and profound life lesson that we will one day be grateful to have learned, no matter how hard the process.
That sums it up. I was so honored to be among these couples, who have been through the fire and now are allowing His reflection to be seen in their walk. They have, and still are among the faithful.