Monthly Archives: January 2013

Song of Redemption

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This past weekend Luke and I scoured through my boxes in my parents storage units trying to take inventory for when we soon move. We found a handful of my old journals, some of which I wrote when Luke and I first started dated. I nabbed them because I knew that they would help in sparking memories as I write out our story. Well, I spent the better part of my day today reading through these journals and I came across quite an incredible journal entry.

It’s not entirely unknown that in 2007 I walked away from the Lord. If you want to read a little about that, please go here. Well, the year before I wrote this. And this is well before I began hating the Lord or had any plans to give up the Christian faith. I had NO IDEA [nor any plans for] the things that I would choose and the things that would happen to me in the next year. Until today, I also had absolutely no recollection of writing this. But there it was, in my handwriting, plain as day.

“I wrote a thing the other day. Not a poem. Not a song. Just a thing. About You. About Your cross. About redemption.

Jesus is on that cross. Looking at me.

There are these moments. Moments when I think about the blood covering Jesus. Moments when I think about His resurrection. And it’s as if I was standing right there when He stepped out of the grave. And I’m standing there unrecognizable because I’m covered head to toe with mud and dirt. The mud and dirt of my sin.

And a smile bursts across His face. He grabs my hand and runs. We run as fast as possible until we end up back at the cross. The same cross He was murdered on days before.

He grabs a rag.
And starts drenching it with His blood.
He then begins scrubbing me.
He starts washing away all the mud. 
Every last clump of dirt.

And the thing is…while He is doing this,
He stops for a second and thinks to Himself,

“I know she’s going to mess up.
I know she’s going to lie.
I know she’s going to cheat.
I know she’s going to do drugs.
I know she’s going to have sex with people.
I know she’s going to drink herself to sleep.
I know she’s going to judge people.
I know she is going to be mean.
I know she’ll disobey.
I know she’ll run.
I know there will be times when she pretends to not even know me.”

He scrubs a little more.

Then He looks me in the eye, with tears falling from His own and He says,
“Child, don’t forget.
Don’t forget about what I did here.
Don’t forget about this blood.
Don’t forget that I did it for you.
Don’t forget how much I love you.
I know that you’re going to run.
I know that.
But I’ll wait.
I’ll wait for you to come back.
And this mud, this dirt.
It’s washed away forever because that’s just how much I love you.
My blood that poured out was for you.
It’s more powerful than your sin.
And you’re clean.
Don’t forget.
Don’t hide.
You’re clean.
You’re beautiful.
And you know what?
You were worth it.”

 

So, I read this today and proceeded to laugh and cry for an hour in complete disbelief. If it weren’t in my own handwriting, I’m not sure I would believe it. I’m not gonna go as far to say that I wrote prophetically in my journal that day. But holy crap. What an incredible way for God to pour truth and light into my life. Even knowing that it would have a deeper effect on me today, 7 years later, than it did then.

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Call Me On Your Way Back Home

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For the short introduction to this story, please go here.

I remember coming up the escalator with such a feeling of anxiety pushing me forward. We had been friends, why was I so nervous? I still remember exactly how I felt the first time I ever laid eyes on Luke two years before. I suppose it was mainly attraction. Yes, it was mainly attraction. But nothing ever happened. We only hung out outside of school two times. We never flirted. I had no reason whatsoever to believe that this meeting in the mall would lead to anything romantic. So, why were there butterflies in my stomach? The second I saw him, I wanted to kiss him. Those dark jeans with a black and grey striped shirt and a black hat. He only wears black. Like Johnny Cash. He smiled at me and I felt my stomach melt down to my feet. God, he was adorable. That’s one thing I always liked about Luke. He appears to be such a badass, but when he smiles I know there’s nothing to fear. Don’t get me wrong, Luke is a badass. But his gentleness is what always reigned in our relationship. That night, Luke accompanied me to several different restaurants and businesses so that I could put in applications. I drove Luke around Orlando in my little white truck. I wondered if he was impressed that I drove a truck. We smoked together. It was so strange that the entire time we were at school together we would both sneak out to the same spot to have a cigarette but we never did so together. Let’s be honest though, he visited this spot much more frequently than I. And we never knew why we would pass the other driving out to that spot. We certainly never spoke of it in front of any one else. So, it was still strange driving down I-4 with the windows down with Luke Jones while he smoked a Camel Light and I puffed on my Camel Menthol.

That night we ate dinner at Chic-fil-a and proceeded to meet up with our friend Aaron who had also gone to college with us. But then we went to Howl at the Moon, this schmoozy piano bar on International Drive. There we connected with my friend Katie, my best friend Heidi and her new boyfriend, Brad. How could we have known that Heidi and Brad, too, would marry and the four of us would become such great friends? I wanted so badly for Luke to think I was cool, so I became reserved. Looking back I realize how ridiculous that was considering he had already known me for me. Silly, spontaneous me. But even still, I acted reserved. Luke was acting differently. Was I making that up? No, he never would have placed his hand on the small of my back before. I don’t even think we ever hugged before. So yes, he was acting differently. My desire to keep myself demure was ruined shortly thereafter when Heidi and Katie asked me to “catch up” and proceeded to guide me in drinking a giant fishbowl drink by myself. Within ten minutes I was anything but reserved. I don’t remember a whole lot over the next few hours at the bar, other than the likely possibility that I did the Macarena on the stage by myself, but I do remember being in Aaron’s parking lot throwing up in the bushes. I yelled for them to go away and leave me because Luke kept trying to come over and comfort me or hold my hair or something. I know now how tremendous of an action that was for him considering he has the worst gag reflex known to man and if he even hears someone throwing up he’s likely to follow suit. Of course, I didn’t appreciate that then.

Once inside Aaron’s apartment, we all three crawled onto Aaron’s bed to watch Hot Fuzz. Luke was in the middle. We laughed, and joked, and reminisced. I even jokingly asked for a “hand check”. Months later, Luke informed me the irony in the timing of that request. The second that I requested a hand check just happened to be the second that Luke was reaching over to hold mine. I’m still not sure he believes that I didn’t know. A while after we finished the movie Aaron showed us the two full size couches in two separate rooms for Luke and I to crash on. But we didn’t use them. One of us laid on a full size couch while the other laid on the love seat beside it. We stayed up the entire night telling stories and playing thumb wars. Luke finally asked the question that I had been dreading. A few weeks before when Luke had called me to see if it were true that I was moving back home from Pensacola, we ended up staying on the phone for over four hours. It was during this conversation that I confessed I had walked away from my faith. I told Luke the truth, that I no longer loved God nor wanted anything to do with him. And that if Luke and I were going to spend any time together I would prefer that we not talk about it. I think that Luke waited the entire night to bring this up because he wanted to see how I acted and interacted with everyone else. Hearing my language and seeing me throwing up a night times worth of drinks probably showed an obvious difference in my spirit. Neither of us remember much about the conversation except that it didn’t seem to scare Luke off. We both dozed off for about an hour after the sun rose before we all woke up. Aaron left for work while Luke and I went to Cracker Barrel together. He bought my breakfast. Sausage and hash-brown casserole. After breakfast we sat in the parking lot for about an hour listening to music and talking some more. Luke reluctantly had to leave because his family was throwing his brother a birthday party. My drive home was completely normal and the same as any drive home from a fun night. I decided not to consider the possibility of a relationship with Luke because I doubted he wanted to be in a relationship with a woman who hated the God he loved and served. Plus, I was okay with us just being good friends because let’s face, Luke is fun to be around. But Luke’s drive back to St Augustine was the polar opposite of mine. As he listened to “Call Me On Your Way Back Home” by Ryan Adams, he couldn’t believe how badly he was finding himself missing me and was already thinking of excuses to call me again later that day.

Forever Young

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My sweet goodness, it has been too long since my last post. Where to begin? What, especially with my last post being such an important one for me to write – it’s kind of awful that I just left it there.

I can sit here and try to catch my readers up on all my doings during that time but that’s not what I really want to write about. What I really want to write about is this.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch this video before you continue reading. 🙂

How beautiful, right? Thank you to my brother Joshua and cousins JB and Kris for helping us film this and helping us light countless lanterns into the night. Thank you, boys!

We’re pregnant! It’s finally getting less hard to believe. We’re 13 weeks at this point which means we’ve had two ultrasounds and gotten to see our little one’s heart beat. We have another appointment with our midwife on Monday and I’m hoping we’ll get to hear the heartbeat this time. I can’t imagine how magical it is.

We feel so enormously blessed at how God allowed this baby to come into being. And we’re humbled daily knowing He’s fearfully and wonderfully knitting the bitty baby day by day, moment by moment. It’s so much fun being able to keep up with all the little development details. Like this week, our baby is developing vocal cords! It would be pretty cool if bitty baby was a singer. And I thought about that the other day. Yes, that would be cool. But ultimately, I don’t care! This child can grow up to be whatever he or she wants to be. A singer, a teacher, a police officer, an insurance adjuster, an actor, a postal service employee, a missionary. I don’t care. I don’t care if our kids don’t want to go to college. College isn’t for everyone.

It’s also been interesting praying for this baby since we’ve discovered him or her inside me. Obviously, we’re praying for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. But I mean beyond that. Praying for the life of this person. It’s hard. Praying that Luke and I live in such a way that bitty baby will grow to find faith in Christ a desirable and attainable thing. That we teach well and offer endless grace. I’m so scared that my mistakes are going to pave the wrong path for this person. That the mistakes of my family will be easily made by this person. I pray that the bonds of family sin such as addiction and abuse be broken and have no hold over our child. Praying for the choices that this child will make. That he or she will always seek wisdom from those who know the Lord and that when mistakes are made, I pray our little one won’t give into feelings of self-loathing. May Luke and I be solid examples of grace and second chance. I want this child to receive all our good traits and none of the bad. And I can’t wait to see which traits he or she will possess that Luke and I have no grasp of.

We’re so gracious for the love and support we’ve received from our family and friends. This is going to be an incredible journey!

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Thank you to our good friend Brittany Long Photography for the above photo’s. I edited them with her permission. 🙂

 

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cheers, ka