Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Love of My Lifetime

Today is my and my husband's thirty-fifth wedding anniversary! Thirty-five years ago ... only six days shy of my twentieth birthday.... I married my husband in a small, rural Baptist church in north Mississippi with only our parents and the preacher and his wife in attendance. We wanted a small wedding for many reasons. One was that my husband didn't think he could stand up in front of a crowd, another was that I didn't have the money for a fancy wedding, and another was that my Mama had passed away three years earlier and I really had no idea how to even plan a wedding on my own! But here we are....three and a half decades later....still happily married. I've been blessed to have a Christian husband who has taken good care of me all of these years. But even so, it's not him who is the Love of my lifetime because I found that in the person of Jesus Christ.
I was raised in a good Christian home and was active in church all of my life. As a young person I was morally good and tried to obey all the rules of those in authority over me. Looking back I think most of that was because of the personality I was born with....I was basically too shy and scared to try to do anything very bad! But even with all the "goodness" that others could see in me I was still restless and searching for "something".....I didn't know what.
During my teenage years I counseled with my pastor and my youth leader about the unrest in my spirit. Each time they would in some way or another assure me that they I was all right in God's eyes. But they couldn't see all the bad things in my heart. I could not lay my head on my pillow at night and relax, terrified that I might die in my sleep, or be in some sort of accident, and maybe....just maybe.....not be ready to face eternity.
In 1977 the Lord brought a new pastor to the little Baptist church where we were married and attended church. Through the preaching and teaching of this new preacher the Lord brought conviction to my heart with the realization that I had never really trusted what God had done to be sufficient to save me. I had always subconsciously thought I was "good enough" in my ownself to get to Heaven.....not remembering the Scripture in Isaiah 64: 6 that says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." When I finally saw....through the eyes of faith....that my only hope was through Jesus Christ and what HE did for me on the cross, then I came to Him and found the Love of My Lifetime! I have never been the same since that night. I hope that you ,too, have found the Love of Your Lifetime through salvation in Christ. If not, I pray that you will soon.
"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31: 3
May God bless you....


Deborah said...

Praise the Lord! I'm so glad you shared that. Sometime I think it can be harder for someone raised in the church to get saved than for someone who hears the gospel and doesn't have any prior 'head knowledge.'

Deborah said...

I think I forgot to say Happy Anniversary!!!!!!

lori said...

Happy anniversary!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Congratulations, my friend, on 35 years of loving and learning! What a precious witness you give to the power of marriage. I'm so happy for the years you've spent together, and I pray that many more will follow.

Keep living, loving, and learning as you go! I sure hope he's got something wonderful planned.


De'on Miller said...

Oh just when I think you can't get better, you do!!! ;) Of course it is Christ! But your honesty and your courage are to be applauded!

I am blown away by this post, Marilyn and now I understand why I have been so drawn to you lately.

You have been there for me since early on, but truthfully, in my darkest hours I was afraid you couldn't really care for me if you knew who I really was and could be.
I thought that you could never understand the absolute agony of the sin in my own life and so I never shared it with you. But since I have, you've never treated me with anything but compassion and the true word of God.

When I read your posts I almost feel like they are written for me!

Of course, we will always have sin in our lives b/c we were born into it and about the time we have one thing worked out, then the Word of God shines his light on something else. How faithful He is!

And how faithful are you to show Jesus and to give Him the praise.

So much of the time I think people are afraid of Christians b/c they think they will have to change. What they don't understand is that God will take us how we are, do the work in our hearts, and if we are willing, make the changes for us. By the time we are so in love with him, we can't help but want for our lives what He wants!

I've been a Christian for many years, and more than once I've gone astray from the life I know He'd want for me. But I am in His Grip, thank Goodness He abides by His Word and lets nothing separate me from him. Easy or hard. Long or longer. Whatever it takes.

But in the end, nothing in this world can equal our salvation which comes because of the free gift of His blood.

Happy A! Tell John that his dad's photo from 35 years ago reminds me of him!

De'on Miller said...

And Deborah is right on! It is refreshing to meet those people and read God's Word for the first time and believe every word!

Jana said...

Happy Anniversary!

Joyful said...

Happy Anniversary! Love the pictures - thanks for sharing them. The Lord has truly had His hand on your life and I'm so glad to have connected with you. You are enriching my life. I could relate to so much of what you shared here. Thank you for your open honesty. May the Lord bless you and your husband with many more years of growing closer to one another and together, closer to Him.

Leah said...

Sorry I'm late in wishing you Happy Anniversary!! God has truly blessed you and I'm so glad you share the pictures.


Vicki Courtney said...

Happy belated anniversary! Your pictures are so cute!

Okay, I stopped by to tell you that I made your ice cream pie recipe yesterday and boy, oh boy, am I the hero in my family!

Although, I did have some for lunch (yes, lunch) a minute ago and if my family doesn't hurry up and eat it, I could end up mad at you what with it being swimsuit season and all...! :)