September is a month of memories for our family. It is the month we got engaged. It is the month Dan was ordained as a minister. It is the month we moved to Florida. There are other significant milestones and birthdays of special people that we celebrate over this month. I love months like this. I love reminders. I love to look back to see where we have been and just how far God has brought us.
On the night Dan got down on one knee in New Orleans, LA and asked me to marry him, I didn't have a full picture of what the last thirteen years (or next fifty) would bring. I didn't understand what it would be like to get married and immediately move two states away from my family and friends. I didn't know that we would have serious tests and trials. I didn't know that that I could ever feel any different than I did at that very moment. I said yes! (and even if I could see into the last 13 years, I still would have said yes!)
On the night he was Ordained into the Gospel Ministry, we had no way of knowing what that would mean. We knew God had called and equipped Him. We knew God was faithful. But, we didn't know where He would take us. We didn't know that messes we would walk through with people. We didn't know the ugly we would see. We didn't know the ways our heart would break sometimes over the choices people make. But, on the flip side, we didn't know the joy of leading entire families to Christ or seeing the chains of sin broken. We didn't know beauty of standing "with arms high and heart abandoned" side by side with other believers several times a week. We didn't know the immense happiness that comes from working with other ministers who live out their calling in such beautiful ways. We didn't know what was ahead but we knew He was there so we knew we wanted to be there too.
On September 13, as we drove into DeLand, we (once again) made that journey feeling confident this was the leading of God and trusting Him to work. It was hard. We missed our friends and family. We were in an unfamiliar place. We went to bed that night taking a deep breath and asking God to hold our hands every step of the way. Two years have now passed and our God has been so faithful to us. We've gotten to be part of some of the most wonderful ministry opportunities. We have seen lives and relationships restored. We have seen people on the brink of disaster embrace God and change their lives. We have walked with families through terrible tragedy. We have seen other ministers live out their callings and change lives. We've been encouraged, discipled, cared for, challenged and prayed for.
We don't know what even today will bring but we do know that the same God that was there on the September day Dan slipped a ring on my finger was also the same God who heard the prayers of so many people at Harmony Baptist Church on the September night of Dan's ordination. And, just as we trusted Him to direct us two years ago as we pulled into this unknown city, we trust Him today. He has been so faithful.
The Lord has done great things for us and we are FILLED with Joy. Psalm 126:3
P.S. Maybe next September I'll be able to write a post about the joy that came from losing all of my pictures and then being unable to blog for several weeks. I'm unable to see joy in this situation just yet. Unfortunately, the one who can help me has had the busiest few weeks of our entire marriage so blogging and photo restoration has taken a back seat. Maybe I'll blog about that next September!