Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company of witnesses to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony…
Ah, marriage. There’s no denying that if you have been to a wedding ceremony, you have likely heard those words. But as believers, we know how significant that statement is. Marriage is holy. It’s a gift from the Maker of the universe. But when the going gets tough, do we take the time to realize how faithful He really is?
It didn’t take me long after our wedding to realize that my husband and I are just sinners in this world. Without Jesus, our marriage is doomed. But with Him, we have the potential to do amazing things according to His plan.
Recently, the Lord used a special picture to show me how beautiful, sacred, and amazing marriage is…and His faithfulness.
Let me explain.
A long, long time ago, my parents were roughly 15. My dad’s parents hosted a horse show in the field adjacent to his childhood home. One day, a girl who was an avid barrel racer, decided to check out the arena. Little did she know, she would soon be face-to-face with her future husband.
As she was practicing, she got a little nervous. So, kindly, the arena owner’s son reached out his hand to offer help.
He simply said, “Do you trust me?”
She said, “Yes.”
At 21, they were married. Twenty-six years later, they have six children (ages 10 to 24). They’ve shared countless memories and have quite literally grown up together. Has it always been easy? Absolutely not. But God has been so good to them. And thanks to their faith, they have been able to hold on during those turbulent times.
Four years ago, they decided to go on another adventure together. They built their home to grow old in, in the exact same field where they met. Now, instead of horses and community entertainment, there is a big farmhouse with a wrap-around porch, an incredible front yard, and a chicken coop.
But God makes the story even better.
After they finished building, my first words were: “I’m going to get married here.”
And I did.
A few days after I got the ring (three to be exact), I asked my parents if we could have the ceremony in their front yard. But at the time, I had completely forgotten what the field meant to my parents. Nevertheless, they agreed and went to work making all of my wedding dreams come true.
You may be thinking, “Hannah, I get it. It’s a field. What’s the big deal?”
God is the big deal. That’s what.
Do you think that 15-year-old boy in a field imagined he’d be walking his firstborn down the aisle in the same spot? Of course not! But he did. God had a plan, even when my dad didn’t know it.
Do you think that every time my dad frustrated my mom, she ever thought she would have ever had a full-circle moment where she would be dancing with her true love under the Mississippi stars in the place where she rode horses? Probably not.
God took two imperfect people from not even dating, to 26 years of marriage, celebrating the birth of six children, building a home, and passing God’s love down throughout generations to come, because He is faithful.
Maybe your family story of God’s faithfulness isn’t like ours. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still good and true. He still has a plan for your life, marriage, and every adventure you take. Romans 8:28 says:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Even when my parents didn’t have a clue what they were going to do in their life, God did. Just like he does for each and every one of us.
During this Thanksgiving season, I would like to encourage you to sit and ponder what and how the Lord has been faithful in your and your family’s life. Find the good, the bad, and even the ugly but consider how He still brought it all together for His mighty plan.
This year, I find myself even more thankful for that field and all the memories God gave my family. Because without a horse show in the middle of nowhere, I probably wouldn’t be writing to you today. But because God had a plan, and is faithful, I get to serve Him gladly.
God always knows what He’s doing. Do you trust Him?
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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart, (Jeremiah 29:11-13).