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In the Middle

I had a chat with a bride this morning and was immediately encouraged and charged for the rest of my day. Just checking on a date for the Spring, she couldn’t help but show her heart, her feelings, about the sanctity of her day…what it really meant. In her words, ‘We are marrying each other.. to the Glory of our Gracious God and Savior.. and want to capture the day in that way, in every way’. Wow. You know, to some of you that might not be such a big deal, but then again? Have you ever been lost? I mean really lost. Completely. To the point where you aren’t sure if the road you’re going down is helping or hurting the situation. I have. I’ve been lost. Oh, I’m the kind of guy who can always tell you where North is. I have this built-in compass. You can spin me around like we’re going to take a whack at a pinata and I’ll still have my bearings. But as sure as I am about my directions, I’ve still been lost. A different kind of lost. The kind of lost you find on the journey of life. When Kari and I got married, we were lost. We haphazardly struggled through those first years, and while some of those years were beautiful and breathtaking, others felt like sandpaper. It was much like the little steel ball in a pinball machine. Some days we were bouncing around on an electric high and other days we were just being bumped and shook and spun around. Always there was the realization that somewhere, down there, past all the helps and the last ditch efforts, there was a gutter and a deep hole.

We came right to that point. That place where our marriage was either going to sink or swim. And we’d been dog-paddling and treading stormy waters for over a year. Exhaustion was setting in and we were both about to give it up, just let each other go.

Then something happened. Instead of pushing and pulling for our own desires and wants, playing that endless tug of war, we made an impressively surprising move. It was the slightest move. So small you couldn’t even see it from the outside looking in. But…….oh but…. from the inside looking out, the world turned upside down.

Our marriage turned around. 180 degrees. We rediscovered passions, desires, dreams….each other. We reforged a bond and built a foundation stronger than any before. And then we grew. We sprouted. We realized there wasn’t a glass ceiling, but instead a sky so blue to reach up to. We took real gulps of fresh air for the first time, and our love moved to an entirely different definition.

We not only salvaged a love and a story, but a friendship and a promise and a strength stands today in hearts that once were filled with ashes. I love her more today than yesterday. Tomorrow, I’ll love her more than I could have realized or comprehended for today.

So what was that most microscopic move? We set down our selves, and we put Christ in the middle. We just acknowledged that we were His workmanship, and we let go. The rest wasn’t us. It was Him. Not me. Not her. His move was the move that made the valleys green and the rivers run again. His hands picked us up, and His hands brought us together again.

I’ve been lost. But the funny thing about being lost is that you know how deep and high and wide is the joy of being found. When I hear from a bride that is planning a wedding, and she has made the decision in her heart to put Christ in the middle, I know she’s already demonstrated the single most important act of love to her Love, and together, before they even say ‘I Do’, they’ve made the most crucial step that I’ve ever seen in my experience of marriage.

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