Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life…
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
She wasn’t an answer to my prayer, because back then I didn’t pray for those kinds of things. Actually, back then, I didn’t pray for anything. I didn’t have that kind of relationship with God.
I’m just glad I wasn’t listening in on their conversation when God made His decision, and told my Bride-to-be about His decision over forty-five years ago.
GOD: “Lynda”, He said, after getting her attention with a gentle tap on the shoulder, “he’s the one I’ve chosen for you to marry.”
He was pointing at me—a then nineteen-year-old boy who looked to be no more than twelve, and acted much the same age.
LYNDA: “Oh please, tell me you’re kidding! Not him. I love him, but he’s such a mess.”
GOD: “I know he is, but he needs you. He acts tough. But he’s been on his own for a while now. He’s just trying to survive. Beneath that exterior is an insecure, scarred and frightened little boy, who needs someone he will eventually be able to trust, who will love him no matter what he does until he can begin to love himself and others…and love Me. I have plans for both of you for a family and other lives you both will impact—but it begins with you.”
LYNDA: “Okay, God!” with a clear sense of resignation. “If you say so—okay—I’ll do it”, trusting once again—and I thank God she did—the One she had come to know whom she could always trust.
And that’s how our journey must have begun. With that Divine conversation.
A journey marked yesterday by forty-five years of marriage. A journey marked by hope, failure, disappointment, tears and laughter, heartache and joy, commitment, forgiveness, change and growth. A journey blessed with a Son, Daughter-in-law, Granddaughters, God-children, extended family and friends, pets, and opportunities to make a difference in the world around us. A journey marked out by God.
All stemming from Lynda’s never-flagging commitment to the God of that conversation—and to me—those many years ago. And still today.
A woman who calls herself “purple lady” in her email address after the poem she loves written by Jenny Joseph—
“When I am old I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we have no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
And gobble up samples in shops, and press alarm bells…
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain and pick the flowers in other peoples’ gardens,
And learn to spit…
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”
My Bride is a woman who has always thought it more important to hold her child, daughter-in-law, granddaughters, God-children and more, than to straighten up her office space. A woman whom God told with regard to her husband and son, to…“teach him to learn to do the important things in life, so I can use him to touch the world.”
And she did. And we’re trying.
From Lynda I learned that work will wait, but children and grandchildren grow up too soon. I learned that eternal security and happiness—here and hereafter—doesn’t come from things or accolades from others, or from seeking approval you never got as a child, or from trying to be something you’re not—simply to gain the acceptance of others. I learned that it comes from being who God made you to be.
From her I learned that eternal security doesn’t come from the accumulation of stuff. I learned—slowly I might add—that eternal happiness, here and hereafter, comes instead from the memories of times well spent lifting, loving and living with other children of God. And from her I learned that eternal happiness begins in a personal relationship with the God—through Christ—who never left me in all of my yesterdays, and is in control of all of my todays and tomorrows—and all the way through eternity. And it’s the same for you, too!
From her I learned that it’s okay…
“[To] go out in my slippers in the rain…and learn to spit…” and a whole bunch of other interesting things, and to not worry what others may think of your sanity.
I learned that it’s okay to wear purple and to be who God created me to be, for others, for me, for her—and most importantly—for Him.
I should say that I seldom wear purple, but she does—a lot.
But then I did mention that I’m a slow learner, and she’s still working on me.
Happy Anniversary, once again, sweet girl.
Thanks for saying “Okay” that day to the God who loves you, and me, and all the world.
Keep wearing purple and doing what you do. The rest of us will catch up one day.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2012. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.