Thursday, May 30, 2013

Birthday Blessings

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12

For so many years, I held onto a hope that seemed impossible.  I knew that the Lord had something amazing waiting for me, but I just had to stand in obedience until He brought it to fruition.  It is true that "He [makes] all things beautiful in His time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11), but it is sometimes so difficult for us.  Our bodies long and yearn for the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams.  We become heart sick when it seems like we'll never receive the promise.  We ache for what we do not know.

But, then something beautiful happens...God comes through for us.  The joy that is found on that morning is beyond compare.  This year has been a year of desires fulfilled.  I am reveling in the goodness of a Father who would see fit to give me all of these good things.  It's amazing.  It's humbling.  It's more than I dared to dream.

I began this year with a perfect day, and have been experiencing joy like I've never known.  Today was another of those days.

In order for you to understand the meaning of the gift I received today, I need to give a little bit of the back story.  In many Christian traditions, it is customary for a teenage girl to receive a purity or promise ring as a symbol of a commitment to remain pure until marriage.  When I was 16, my parents gave me a purity ring.   promised to wear it and honor its meaning until the day my future husband replaced it with another ring.  The night Nick and I were engaged, I sent this picture to my parents and told them I'd kept my promise.

My hope has long been that I would melt the gold from my ring to make my husband's wedding band.  So, a couple of weeks ago, Nick and I visited our family jeweler and designed his wedding band.  I left my ring to be transformed into a wedding band for my future husband.  I can't wait to give him that band on our wedding day!  

Although we were able to use the gold, I was left with a solitary diamond.  We talked about possible uses for it and ways that we could feature the meaning of the ring from which it came.  But, with all of the other wedding plans, the timing didn't seem wise to spend more money on jewelry.  When we returned to Chicago, the diamond was placed in the safe to be used another time.

Because of all of the focus on the upcoming wedding in July, Nick and I have decided to keep things simple for our birthdays.  Or so I thought...

This man with which the Lord has blessed me honors me so very well.  It is really so humbling.  He took me to dinner tonight for my birthday and told me he had a surprise.  He said that he was able to share our story several times in the last 24 hours and bless people with what God had done for us.  As we waited for our meal, he slid a box with familiar bronze wrapping paper over to me.  When I opened the box, I saw the most beautiful necklace!  He had worked with a jeweler at Jared's to custom design a pendant featuring my diamond.  (It is actually reminiscent of the first necklace he ever bought for me).  It is gorgeous and full of deep meaning and sentiment for us.  A perfect gift! 

He shared with me that our story had served to inspire everyone at the jeweler.  When he came into the store, people wanted to hear the details of what God has done and how Nick has worked to honor our miracle.  I absolutely love the heart of this man!  He takes such great joy in pointing towards the Lord and making sure to give Him glory when he can.  I can't believe how gracious the Lord has been to us!

The sweetest moment of the night came for me when it was time to blow out my birthday candle.  For the first time, since I don't know when, I didn't know how to wish.  For years, every time I had the opportunity to wish for something, my heart wished for this.  Even when it seemed impossible, my heart held onto hope and wished for the fulfillment of this dream.  My eyes filled with tears as I realized that I was right in the middle of seeing God fulfill my heart's desires.  "...A desire fulfilled is a tree of life".  I can definitely say that I am drinking deeply of that cup.  My soul is resonating, to its very core, with the truth that God does come through for us, in His time.  And, it's beyond what we can hope or imagine.

We share our story to share our hope.  We know that the Lord is good and He wants good things for us.  We have walked through times of longing, not knowing what God had in store.  So, as we stand on this mountain top, we want to drink it in.  This is definitely a year of blessing for us; a year of desires fulfilled.  I am so grateful to all of those who are walking with us on this journey.  We love you and can't wait to share more of God's goodness.

I can't wait to see what He has in store and the new dreams He will plant in our hearts.