I took wedding pictures the other weekend. It was an absolute honor to be there. It was also a total God thing that I was there. It's just so incredible how God works in, and through and around our lives and intertwines people together.
A while back, in one of my earlier journal entries, I had shared with you of when I was cooking at a Bible Camp and I had felt God leading me to share part of my testimony with the counselors of the camp. One of the ladies that I was cooking with that week, was also listening to my testimony. Her daughter was not living at home at the time and making the same wrong choices that I had been making 17 years ago when I was only 15 years old. I had shared how I had left home at 15, gone against everything my parents tried to teach me and turned against God. During this time I had met a wonderful man but we were both living a life that was not pleasing to God. At a time when I had no place to live and I refused to go back home, a dear friend suggested that I go work up at a Bible camp and that's where I met God for who He really was. I rededicated my life, moved back home, finished school and got engaged. My soon to be husband became a believer, a Christian before we got married (praise the Lord!) and we've now been married nearly 17 years.
When I shared my testimony at this Bible camp, little did I know that God would use this to bring this woman back into my life 3 years later. I'll never forget the words she said to me back then, "Lisa, you've given me hope. You've given me hope that my daughter will come back home and come back to the Lord."
This past February, my son had a basketball tournament in another town. I was watching his games and I remembered this lady whom I met 3 years ago lived with her family near this town. I went and knocked on her door. She remembered who I was and invited me in for coffee. I told her that over the past 3 years, I had thought about and prayed for her and her daughter many a time and asked how things were going. With much excitement she told me that her daughter had come back home, finished school, quit the wild life, was going to church, her boyfriend had received Christ and their lives had completely turned around! Amazing! God is so good and is so faithful in answering prayer! There had been an incredible change in their daughter. As a family they were going on a missions trip to Africa and then there would be a wedding in the summer but they hadn't yet found a photographer. :-) hmmmmm... Well, I slipped out my card and a couple days later I was asked to be the photographer for the wedding. She had taken me into the shop where these two young people were working and they were listening to the Bible on CD - they did that everyday! WOW! God is so cool!
On the wedding day, I had such an incredible feeling of being used by God and being a small part of his Great Big Plan of life. Again, I felt led to share part of this story with everyone at the reception. I said, "Every now and then you get a small glimpse of God's Big Picture in life and this was one of those times." It was such an incredible honor to be a part of this very special day. This young girl had rebelled against her parents teaching and against God but then realized the error of her own selfish ways and chose God, and so did her boyfriend. Together they chose to have a Godly wedding and to make God #1 in their marriage. I am so proud of them and so were their parents and you can bet that the angels were celebrating too.
It was an emotional day with very full hearts. It was a dual celebration - a celebration of a prodigal son & daughter who came back to God and a celebration of new lives beginning together as one through a God-honoring marriage. It was a day to celebrate who God was and what He had done!
This had been my story, our story, mine & Roger's. You know, God always brings people into your life that go through similar things that you have gone through to encourage, support and pray for them. You never go through tough times in life for nothing - there's always a purpose behind it all - and a perfect plan. God's plan to bring people back to Him.
This day also brought back many memories of our life and our marriage. Has is always been perfect? No marriage is but when you keep God in your marriage, you can work through anything. There have been ups and downs, that's how life is, but God is always there, helping us through - just like He will do with this young couple. There may still be consequences for wrong choices that have been made in our pasts, but God can ALWAYS bring good out of anything and use it to teach us and bring us closer to Him. So, I was celebrating too because on this day, God was reminding me where He had brought Roger & I through, where He had brought us from and He was giving me glimpses of where He was bringing us to.
Thank you God that I was able to be a part of this awesome celebration. Bless this wonderful couple as they begin a new life together with You! Thank you for all you have done! Amen