I got home from taking Ruby Love to school this morning and gratefully sat down at the dining room table with my cup of coffee in hand ready for bible study. I opened my SheReadsTruth daily Lent study and read the 3 passages of scripture focusing on Simon the Cyrenian carrying the cross of Jesus as He made his way to Golgatha. I didn’t even get through the entire devotional before I shot quick text messages to a dear friend of mine who I thought would be encouraged by the words as well as a young Italian girl I am walking through this study with. Man, it’s good stuff.
So- that’s where my heart and my head were at this morning. On Jesus, the fully human, fully God man, too weak to carry His own cross, yet days away from conquering death. On my behalf.
On Simon, carrying the weight of His savior’s cross, which really, was his.
Worship music was on in the background when “Break every chain” came on, so the background noise came to the foreground as I cranked the speakers up, so moved by the words, so desiring to fully engage in worship of the God man, who carried my cross to the hill, where He would BOTH die, and defeat death. This profoundly mysterious God. Who devised a plan to save His children. A plan that would require the death of His perfect son.
WHO does that?? He could have made the plan be absolutely anything He wanted, and He CHOSE this.
And so for the next several minutes (ok, so maybe it was an hour!) I got lost in worship.
David has set the screen saver on our desktop to randomly pan through various pictures of he and I over the last 20 years. My desktop computer sits atop a small desk in the same room as my dining room table, so as I worshipped in my dining room, I was absentmindedly watching our relationship play out over the years. The first picture we took together at a social club function at Lipscomb University where I went to college, our wedding, our faces in front of the Eiffel Tower, Keanland horse races in Lexington, KY, Halloween year 2 of marriage, Gatlinburg, Hawaii, Washington, DC, Pregnant with Ruby Love, countless New Year’s Eves, tiny little apartments, dream homes, pets who have long since passed, friends who will be with us till the end. And I grew increasingly overwhelmed at God’s sovereignty in my life.
Very few people know this, but after 6 months of engagement to David Hannah, I gave his ring back to him. I told him I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t marry him. I was terrified. I was too young. I wasn’t ready (yeah- because ANY of us is ready for ’til death do us part, for better or worse!) And I went out on a date with another guy.
David wasn’t a part of my life plan. You know, the one I had carefully devised for myself at 18 years old. The one that included grad school, a successful career, a handful of “safe” adventures; that one.
It’s a funny thing, but on our second date, when he prayed over our meal at Perkin’s restaurant, there was a tiny little voice in my heart that told me this would be the man I would marry. And I spent the next 2 years trying to prove otherwise. I didn’t WANT to be married at 22 years old.
But praise God, He is sovereign. Praise God that He is reckless in His pursuit of me. I now know what Love looks like, because David Hannah has shown me over these last 20 years. The kind that chooses you no matter what. That believes in you. The kind that draws you toward the Father. Shows you the Father’s face. The life altering kind. David Hannah has been God’s instrument in my life over these years to SHOW me what His love looks like.
You see, God has been saving me from myself from the beginning. I certainly don’t make it easy, but He will not be swayed. He chases me down. He is not afraid of my 3 year old temper tantrums.
As I watched those pictures flash before me on the computer screen I realized HOW profound His love for me is. He’s been using things in my life, from the beginning, to show me His face. Things I didn’t want. Wouldn’t have chosen.
My sister got pregnant at 17 years old. – He taught me about compassion
My brother went to prison at 23 years old for vehicular homicide. My heart broke a thousand times. – Mercy
Year 2 of marriage. – Grace
Infertility, miscarriages- Profound Comforter
Cross cultural living- Provision, Sustenance
Mack Hannah’s cancer- My portion
This God man, who’s CHOSEN plan for the redemption of the world included the willing sacrifice of His only son’s life, continues to perplex me. His ways truly are not mine, His thoughts so far above my own.
And I fall more in love with Him every single day.