The reProposal

 “RE”: the word {ok prefix} the Lord gave me for this year. 

As I was praying for a word for my new year I heard Him say “RE” and I kept waiting for a full word but  all I got was “RE”. I felt a little jilted, boy, was I wrong . Over the next few days and weeks  He  whispered a sweet running list of words starting with "Re". ReDeemed, ReTurn,ReBorn, Reclaimed,  ReStore, ReDo, ReLearn, ReGrow, ReCover, ReWedding……..you get the gist. He said it is the year of  Redemption and ReTurn: everything we had done outside of His will would be redeemed and everything that was ever stolen or wrongly given away will be returned.  

It has been 7 years since Micah and I met the Lord and hid this marriage under His covenant to heal. 7 years that He has been working a miracle. It was 7 years before that we got legally married,  this is the year that we get to celebrate the fruit of the journey we have been on, and to redeem that day in the courthouse.

The first time I saw Micah I knew  was going to marry him- and all I could see was the back of him…….

    On Feburary 19, 1994 I walked into the kitchen of the restaurant  where I was working  and I saw the back of this guy standing at the giant mixer. I knew right then, it was so weird. He had a chef hat on, long red hair 1/2 way down his back and crazy purple patchwork pants- I knew that was MY man. The girl next to me (who had seen the front of him) said “ Check out that guy, I’m gonna go ask him out” and I said “ You can go do that but I am gonna marry him.” I didn’t even really know how those words were coming out of my mouth but they were.  I made up an excuse to walk to the back of the kitchen so I could see the front of him - he says he knew even then that I would never have gone that far into a kitchen except to peek at him. Still true today. The managers of  the two mall restaurants ( he was in our kitchen borrowing the mixer cuz the other restaurant’s wasn’t working) apparently then talked on the phone and set us up on a double blind date for the next day. Both managers told us to meet them at the restaurant bar before our shifts started so they could talk to us.  After a while of awkwardness and getting clued in by the other employees staring at us and giggling, we figured out we were actually there to meet each other. He remembers that I didn’t offer him any of my milkshake and I remember knowing that something Big was happening. We decide to meet up at after work and we started dating.

  The very first time we were “married”, a nurse at general hospital married us. We had been dating about 4 months when Micah had an accident with a table saw that left him without a 1/3 of his thumb. I got a call telling me to come to the hospital- thankfully I was not there to see it happen. By the time I got there visiting hours were over and the nurse said that I couldn’t come in unless I was his wife. “She’s my wife” he said, “Yeah, I’m his wife,” I returned and we were “married.” From then on we considered ourselves married and we saw no reason to make it any more legal then that.  The nurse did the proposing and Micah was the one in the gown.

{We were talking recently about how weird that was  that we  were so quick to “marry”. I said to him, “I was so desperate for someone to love me and not leave me, how pathetic was that?" He said “I was so desperate for that, I cut my finger off. That’s even more pathetic!”}
Us with our friend's son Josh, about a month before we got married.

 On March 17, 1997 the pressure was building for us to get legally married. I mean we were 8 1/2 months pregnant - the grandmothers were FREAKING out! So we called our parents and said to meet us at the courthouse. If my dad could have gotten a shotgun past the security he would have- just for the joke of it (sort of). It was not really a joyful occasion; nobody even took off their coats. Micah did have his favorite pot T-shirt on though- so, he  was dressed up. We asked the judge if we could make some modifications to the legal ceremony to make it more “us”. We went into his chambers and told him the things we didn’t want him to say.  We asked him to take out a bunch of stuff I don’t even remember and all mention of God- we told him we didn’t worship the “American God/Jesus made in America’s own image”- and we didn’t want that included in our marriage.  He said “I have to say a certain number of words to even make this legal, I can’t cut everything” and looked at us like we were crazy. He looked at us with a mix of disbelief, suspect, sadness and probably with a foreknowledge of the coming doom.  He must have known that even though we were signing marriage papers it was really divorce and devastation that was surly to come of this.

We spent the next 7 years living out what happens when you ask God to stay out of your marriage. Then in May of 2004, in the center of the mess we had made & at the end of a broken marriage, Jesus stepped in and intervened.

We are going to invite the Judge to the reWedding.


       7 years after we surrendered our marriage and lives to Jesus we are no longer simply under the covenant of “I don’t like you and you don’t like me, but we both just gave our lives to Jesus and He hates divorce, so we’ll just see what He can do with this mess”. He has taken that choice to trust Him and been so faithful with it. It has been a long road, if anyone had told us that day that it would take YEARS before we would say “ we are in a good place- our marriage is healthy and growing” we probably wouldn’t have chosen it. Thankfully though, He does not give us all the information He has. And here we are- in the year we get to celebrate the redemption and restoration of our marriage.

   On Dec 12, 2010 our family went to our small group. The Lord has given us such a rich community of people who love us and have watched as He has changed us. We had left this small group when the Lord had called us out of New Song 2 years before and rejoiced when He told us it was time to come home to them. When every thing was done and we were about to leave Micah said he had something he wanted to share with everyone so we all regathered in the living room. He started talking about how we had been in prayer about if we should sell our house or not. We had heard the Lord say a year earlier “Move, your season of seclusion is over” and so we thought He meant to move, sell the house and get out of the countryside where we are pretty secluded.
We had spent a year trying to be obedient to what we thought we heard. We “laid it on the altar”, we love our home and where we live but if He had another place for us to be we would rather be there, in His will, then in any house we loved.

 We hadn’t realized that the “season of seclusion” was the season away from our church home for His purpose, and he was telling us to go back to New Song. So, even though we had been asking when we could go home, when He told us we could we missed it. HH HHowever, He also explained the “season of seclusion”  included the years we had secluded ourselves even within our community.  We had moved out there to be secluded over 10 years before. We were not living a life that you would want lived out in other people’s view.  Then after we met the Lord He had kept secluded as He hid us under His wing and healed us.  As we prayed through this we caught a fuller picture of how secluded we had been, even in the establishment of our marriage. We had joined in private in a courthouse, joined not for the Lord in covenant and celebration but hidden and hurried, with every one's coats still on.

  It was time to have a wedding!
 We have talked about it off and on but never thought it was time – “still work to be done”, was our mindset. We wanted to be in a place to celebrate the amazing work the Lord has blessed us with by remaking our marriage. Not that we thought everything would ever be perfect, we know that will never be on this earth, but in a place of significant and stable redefinition. We are there! This is the year! We are going to redo all the parts we did wrong the first time. There was no asking of my father’s blessing, no proposal, no planning, no dreaming, no dress, no coming together to publicly celebrate our love and most importantly no honoring of God and giving of a marriage to Him.  This time we are going to do it right.

  What I didn’t figure in was the “no ring” part- but Micah did. Micah took Adi with him to pick out a ring for me. They chose a 3 diamond setting. I love that! 3 always honors the Trinity and it is a symbol of the yesterdays, today and tomorrows we will have- a diamond for each. I didn’t know what they were doing except having a day together. Their day was a trip to the jewelry store with a stop at my parent’s house on the way home. Micah asked my dad to speak to him alone. He apologized for the way we had first gotten married, how he had not honored him by asking his blessing, how he had robbed my dad of the chance to walk his daughter down the isle, how we were and who we were when we did this the first time. He asked him if he could do it right this time… My dad was so honored by that. It was a big wounding we had inflicted on our families, my dad had always dreamed of walking me down the isle. I am his only daughter. We had taken that dream from him. He was touched that we are going to give it back. I have never felt more honored then when I found this out, that I was worthy of asking and receiving a blessing for- was very healing to me.    
    So that night as life group was ending  Micah had something to share with the group.  Since we had come early to pray with our leaders about how we felt the Lord was saying not to sell our house. (They had been getting the same thing about the situation. So we felt very released from that call.) I thought he was going to share that with the group, they had all been praying with us about this for months. He started talking about our “season of seclusion” and I was chiming in here and there (as I do) and at one point I saw Lori (our sweet friend and LG leader) trying to get my attention, she was giving me the “shut up and let him talk” look. And so I looked  over at him and realized he was not talking only about the house- he was PROPOSING! He nervously ( how great is that!) pulled out a ring box and asked me to remarry him.

Lori had already pulled out her camera and was taking pictures. A camera that had totally run out of batteries that morning was amazingly able to take the sweetest pictures of this moment.

And so, here we go- redoing it all!


Fernvale Community Church

Fernvale Community Church

    I wonder how many details of this wedding we will have known all along that I misplace and have to be led back to? I bet there is an easier way- like listening to Jesus the first time and staying true to who we are, the dreams we’ve had and the road we’ve walked... For years we have said we were going to have our wedding at the little Fernvale church. It’s historic, sadly not the building anymore, that was destroyed by a tornado- it’s a new building now, rebuilt by a miracle of God- but it’s historic to us, to our story.

  Years ago when we were still so lost, when the world we had chosen to live in was crashing down around us, the Lord started to break open my heart to make room for Himself. In the year or more before Micah and I were calling it quits and separated unto divorce, something weird started to happen. I didn’t want to admit it and I fought it all the way but when ever I would drive past the Fernvale church my heart would swoon. I could not control it and it made me so MAD! I would shake my fist at God and that church and yell “oh no, not you Jesus”.  I did not tell anyone and I just kept yelling and shaking my fist every time I drove by. I have thought since, how strange I must have looked to anyone who was inside and saw me every day- “oh there goes that crazy lady shaking her fist at us again”. I remember the few times that I drove by and nothing happened in my heart- even as the “HA!” was coming out of my mouth- my heart ached. That REALLY made me mad- I actually missed the swoon..?... those were the beginnings of the cracks in my wall.

  After we fell in love with Jesus, that church was forever sealed in my heart. Then when I drove by it was a reminder, an Ebenezer, of His wooing. It was so sweet to drive by the tiny historic church in the valley that the Lord had used to draw me to Him.

   On February 5, 2008 a tornado raged through our valley. As we hid under our house, under a layer of prayer that we could almost touch and under our massive dogs who laid on top of us as the tornado hit, the sweet 120 yr old church was being swept away. Our hearts broke as we saw that the only thing left was the front step and the sign.  Yet from the backseat I heard Teagen gasp and say “ Look what the Lord spared us from”. Our hearts filled with gratitude and sorrow. The community mourned, and celebrated- for as brutishly as that wind tore through our valley leaving trees, cars, homes and the little church ripped up, flattened and fallen in a pattern that eerily stamped the path of the wild tornado- no one lost their lives. People had made it to safety, the group of homeschool children meeting in the church had gone home just hours before and the prayers of many covered our lives.

    A few months later we saw that the Fernvale congregation was meeting in a barn (a really nice barn) up the road. The small church family was clinging together despite their house being gone. Then Jesus started whispering to our hearts…. And one day we knew, we had both heard God. We were supposed to go there. We perked our ears up to hear Him for sure- at the same time trying to add our own ideas into the plan. We had it figured out that we would phase our family into this new church. “We’ll do 2 weeks here at New Song and then 2 weeks at Fernvale for a couple of months” trying to be oh so logical. Which actually meant feeling safe by dipping our toes in instead of jumping all the way in.
When we went to church on April 2,2008 Jesus informed us of His timing and His logic. He made it quite clear that there would be no “dipping in”, this would be our last week at New Song and we were to fully jump into what He was calling us to do. It was a very powerful day. Both Micah and myself felt as if Jesus had come to church that day just to show us the way we were to go. What we did not know was that Jesus had showed up at another church as well, to powerfully turn the hearts of it’s people to the Fernvale Church.  

   That same morning the pastor of Grace Center asked the congregation to break off and pray as families, asking God for an amount that He would like them to donate, but he didn’t tell them who or what they were donating to. The church was alive with excitement as the Lord told each of them how much to give. The church of 1000 members, who are still saving up to build their own new building, dropped over $200,000 in a basket then piled into their cars to deliver it to a little church meeting in a barn 20 miles away. The amount they gave was, of course cuz it’s Jesus, the exact amount of the difference between what the insurance company was giving and the amount it was going to take to rebuild the church that was blown away. http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/cow/Grace_Center060908.aspx

 On Jan 1st of that year the Lord had given me a word that I had actually stood up and shared with everyone at New Song. He said to me “This is the year that you and Micah will become one”. Even though for 4 years Micah and I had both been loving and seeking Jesus, we were not loving or seeking each other. Our walks, since coming to Jesus, had been parallel to each other- existing together only in the sense that we were standing together under our covenant, the covenant  we had made with Jesus to stay together, not because we hated the idea of our divorce but  because HE hated divorce. “I don’t like you and you don’t like me, but we both just gave our lives to Jesus and He hates divorce, so we will see what He can do with this mess we’ve made” was our covenant. What we did not know in  January was that the way He would do that would be to pull us out of our church home, and set us out alone together on a 2 year journey to get to know each other .

  We spent a year  with the Fernvale Community Church. The people there are great, we so enjoyed settling into  our community and being with neighbors. We learned a lot in that time about who we are in Christ, the call He has placed on our family, the preparation we still need and how perfectly He has made us for each other. Jesus used this temporary home as a way to re-introduce us to each other. That year we got to meet the new husband and the new wife that Jesus had been making and given both of us. That was the year that we became ONE.

 And so as we plan our reWedding  at the Fernvale Community Church we reflect on the symbolism and history it holds: being broken down to the foundation and built back up by HIM, the way Jesus is always working behind the scenes- going before and behind us and the special place it holds in our hearts as a place of drawing, growing and sealing our love for Jesus and for each other. Thank you Jesus.

is this the perfect place or what?


The reWedding blog begins

OK so here I go. Gonna tell ya right now, I am a free-speller so if spell check misses something I'm ok with that. Also Paul (Bible Paul) is my hero, and that man loved him some run on sentences and to veer off in rambling mid-sentence tangents---as do I. Lastly, I have never really been interested in punctuation rules so I apply punctuation randomly as I see fit. Oh, there is one more thing, I always took the note on the side of any graded paper, written in red, saying "You write just like you talk" as a complement. Therefore, a comma is a pause and a paragraph break is me taking a breath. You have now been warned of these things.... as the editor types move on to next blogger.

Well now that you have read the fine print if you are still with me,this blog is about the our upcoming reWedding. Hopefully this will keep my mind and hands busy as I have 9 months to plan a wedding and that seems like a really long time to plan one day. We'll see.

And I will tell you our story in these blogs- cuz it is quite a love story, written by Jesus.