Last week I shared about the one thing I am most thankful for: The fact that God goes after me! That my God pursues me, no matter how far I may wander.
Today, I am giving thanks for my greatest blessing from God: My Marriage and Family!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34
My grandmother told me for years that she was praying for God to bring a godly husband into my life. My grandmother’s faith was lived out daily as she walked humbly and securely with her God. I believed her sincerity and trusted in her faith. Walking that faith out in my own life was a different matter!
I left a broken home bound for college alone and a bit frightened. I clung to the hope of the faith I witnessed in my grandmother’s life, and slowly but surly began to take my own steps of faith. I chose a Christian college over my dad’s attempts to persuade me in a secular direction. I knew that if I was going to make this faith my own, I would need to trust God with my whole life. I gave it to Him that day as I walked away from my father’s hurtful words, “that I would amount to nothing.” My heavenly father stepped in and changed and assured me that, “He was my father and He would never leave me or forsake me.”
That year he led me to my husband. We met in the youth group at the local church that I had walked to by myself and started attending. I asked where I could serve and they told me there was a class of 2nd grade boys that needed help. Many of those little boys were being bused to church from their lower income neighborhood. I was told that several young men were driving those buses, bringing those children to church each week. Little did I know that one of them would become my husband in less than two years.
While there is much, much more to the story, this is a blog about ‘Giving Thanks!’ I told as much of the story as I did, to truly give thanks to God for what He orchestrated in bringing Jim Swaney into my life.
The first time I ever laid eyes on him or heard him speak a word was when he taught a Bible Study at our college campus. I fell in love with his heart for God. It was clear to me from the beginning that his first love was God, and I only hoped I would come next!
Jim and I wrote our own wedding Invitation…
“Knowing that we are better together for Christ than apart, we commit ourselves to Him, His purposes and each other on this Eighteenth day of August…,”
This August will be our 35th wedding anniversary! We praise God for our relationship and give Him all the glory!
In a day and age when it is no longer considered “IN” AKA correct, appropriate, intellectual or accurate to repeat and commit to traditional vows that say, “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” I am glad we said just that!
God’s wisdom, God’s love, (not my self-centered, selfish love), God’s strength, God’s power living through us, and our steadfast commitment to His plan for our lives and not our own, has kept our marriage “Surviving and Thriving!”
I do not take God’s greatest blessing in my life for granted! I do not share this blog post lightly or flippantly. I do not take for granted the blessing and gift of my marriage. I know that many others have a very different story than mine. I believe that God is also a God of Grace and forgiveness and His great love makes all things new. But this is my story and it is a true story that begs to give God all the glory. It also brings me to my knees daily in sincere THANKSGIVING.
”Oh Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.”
We all have blessings in our lives that without God in them would be no more than good fortune. Those unique, defining moments that clearly mark the direct and divine hand of God in our lives. While many other parts of our lives may be falling apart or meagerly constructed, these blessings stand out as “ONLY GOD” activities!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
During this special week of THANKSGIVING, where our country still sets a day aside to give thanks, I thank God for my greatest blessing, my marriage. I pray you are thanking God for your greatest blessing this week. He deserves ALL the glory!
Wishing you all the Best of Thanksgivings!
Love and blessings,
Speak Truth Love