Mike loves this picture. I have it on my desk and the more I look at it, the more I love it too. This was taken in 1997, Amy was 20 yrs. old and I was almost 43. But I felt 19. You see, in 1995 I started over. I had spent the previous 23 years married to a man who was consumed with self-centeredness and greed. I raised 4 children and was committed "till death do us part". The Lord in His mercy and grace released me from the "before God and these witnesses", "til death do us part" commitment because I believe I was dying. Emotionally I had shut down years before, and at the time I was begining to shut down physically. I believe I was to "get myself and my children out of this situation". I left very quickly with my two youngest children. I still weep inside at the thought of my two oldest, Amy and Aaron, standing beside the driveway thinking I would be back. They were 18 and 16 years old at the time and needed to make their own choice. Amy joined me a year later and Aaron finished high school, put himself through college and has soared on his own.
Mike loves this picture because this is how I looked when he first saw me. He'd been through his own grief and loss several years before this and was ready to start over himself. He saw me and prayed for me for over a year before he spoke to me. I heard him speak in Bible Study several times before I ever saw his face (he sat in the back, I sat in the front) and when he spoke, he spoke the Truth about The Word and it resonated in my spirit. I felt like we were the only two people in the world who understood. We started talking and found out we were soulmates, spiritmates. Before long I had lovesickness - I couldn't eat or sleep and lost 8 lbs. in 10 days. I tripped over things and ran into sign posts and all kinds of crazy things. Instead of going to a Single Adult Retreat on Labor Day Weekend in 1997 we canceled our reservations and got married. It made some of the family mad (my side) (they were just afraid for me) and the kids were confused and going through all the emotions, thoughts and feelings that go along with divorce, remarriage and making it on your own, feeling abandoned, etc. But we've made it, we have, they have, the family has.
So, now, I love this picture too. Not because of who I was, but because of who I am. And because it's a picture of my precious daughter who left her entire childhood and all things familiar to be near me and start all over too. It's a reminder of all the healing and restoration that has taken place in all of our lives the past 12 years. It's a forgeting what lies behind pressing on to what lies ahead picture. It's a reminder of the grace and mercy of the Lord. He never changes. He is new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!!