"We were created to give our awesome God glory, and to many He gives the gift of marriage. I have known it and have no doubt that He created me to serve Him by submitting to, helping and honoring a Godly man as we seek to worship Jesus together. Someday I am sure I will again be part of a marriage that will glorify God in awesome ways, with His power working in and through both of us, a process He will lead in His timing." Embracing the New Journal Entry (6/10/16)
That timing has been realized, the question has been asked, and the date has been set. However, this update has been the most difficult for me to write as I fail to find the overwhelming excitement that most brides struggle to contain, something which has led to some extensive analysis since receiving my beautiful engagement ring on Labor Day. I've repeatedly questioned my motives and readiness and searched for fears that could be holding me back, and I can now tell you with absolute confidence that I am ready and so looking forward to marrying Tom Dodd. I am also absolutely confident that I need to be completely honest with you and tell you that this is the hardest season I have faced in my life, which probably sounds ridiculous to you considering John's illness and death. (It was a shock to me as well.) But yes, getting ready to give up everything, including my incredible supportive community, move to a different (and hotter) state to start over with all new friends and family, become a stepmom to teenage boys who have had a negative stepmom experience already, help my boys transition away from everything they've known their whole lives while trying to be sensitive to their grief over John... are all quite daunting tasks, not to mention the everyday challenges of work, scouts, school, and single parent disciplining while also working with Tom to find a house and figure out how to blend our families as we're driving back and forth an hour and a half just to see each other. Honestly, I don't know that I have time for overflowing excitement. ;) I'm grateful for this time of harvest, but I am also reminded so clearly that harvest time involves a lot of work!
There's more, though. I've been divorced, and I've been widowed. I've experienced the result of two selfish, sinful people becoming one flesh and have known the conflict, frustration, heartbreak, hard work and sacrifice that accompany marriage. However, God is good, and because of that, I have also known the joy, unity, partnership and purpose of a marriage where both husband and wife are seeking to honor God. Though my past experiences were not always easy, they have led me to a place of reflective anticipation rather than naïve enthusiasm. Incredibly, Tom has experienced all of this as well. Indeed, God has a perfect plan, makes beauty from our ashes and redeems our mistakes...and He teaches us A LOT in the process!
With that being said, Tom and I can't wait until December 16th, when we will once again begin to enjoy (and sometimes endure) the gift of marriage. I can't begin to thank all of you enough for your support. Truly, the number of people who have invested in our family over the past several years is an overwhelming gift. I would love to invite you all to the wedding where we will celebrate God's blessings and grace, but I have no doubt I will miss names on our guest list (and honestly don't have a lot of physical addresses). If you would like to be sure to receive an invitation to the wedding and help me out a lot, please email me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org. (The wedding will be in Brevard, NC.)
Also, we would love for you to join us as we celebrate our engagement (and Tom's birthday) at Brevard Community Church on September 30th with a cookout at noon. We'll provide hamburgers and hotdogs, chips and drinks. Please email me if you're planning to come (for a food count). If you would like to bring a dessert or a side, that would be great, but not necessary, and if you can't come right at noon but would like to stop by, please do. We'll be hanging around for a few hours at least. Grab some food, meet Tom and visit a while. This will be a great chance to visit before we move in December.
Love to you all!
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 3:5-1