Summer is ending. People are lamenting the end of warm weather and easy living. They don't want Autumn to arrive because it will usher in the inevitable return of winter. I've always loved the Fall, but this year, I beckon her. I call out for her brown leaves and crisp air. I welcome the end of summer and the start of Fall. I welcome the death of the life that greets us in green lawns, baby rabbits, and colorful flowers all summer long. Sometimes everything needs to die.
Anyways. Autumn. The end of summer. Bring it on. This summer has sucked for us. It's been awful. In June I thought we had been hurt more than we could ever have been hurt. I was wrong. August has brought a new pain. And so I don't care, good riddance summer, you've been a cruel bitch. And there is something I know, something I cling to. Jesus can make all things new. He is the source of new and everlasting life. He can clean and purify us. But, for the tulips to bloom in the spring they have to die in the Fall. For the trees to grow lush and green in April and May, they have give up their life in September and October. And right now, I could use a little death. There are parts of our life, Mark and I's, that need to die. We are in desperate need of renewal and redemption. And I know its right around the corner, I know it's coming soon, because it feels like I'm dying right now.
Isaiah 49:4-5 says, "Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in empty futility; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense is with my God. And now, says the Lord, Who formed me from the womb to be His servant..."
This past year, we have been laboring in vain. We have spent our strength for nothing. It's our own fault, we drifted. We stepped out of the Lord's protection. We are weary and heavy burdened. It seems as though Isaiah felt that way and yet the Lord called him to be servant, and not just any servant, God made him a light to the nations. Even though he had labored in vain.
We can still be a light.
But first redemption and renewal. The dying is painful, but the renewal is beautiful.
On Sunday the pastor talked about a polished arrow, an arrow made from God's words that was made to purify and refine. To cleanse and make bright. I'll stand in front of that arrow.
Our marriage is experiencing some trouble. The 3-fold cord is threatening to completely unravel. But I am standing on God's promises. Mark and I were ordained to be joined together. And no man or woman can tear us asunder. Jesus took the failing of the last few months with Him on the cross. I don't know why we desire to cling to them. But I'm done. I am tired. I am laying our marital troubles at the foot of the cross, I am crying out for us to be washed with the blood of Jesus. And I know the Lord has heard and is already answering my prayers. I've had a vision of a renewed marriage, better, and stronger than ever. God is planting trust and forgiveness in our hearts and they are taking root in our covenant marriage. He is taking our pain and He is making something beautiful. From the ashes of this long summer, we will rise strengthened. My Dear Mark, my sexy quokka, hope is not gone, we have not gone to far. The darkness has never been overcome by the light. We are meant for redemption, for purification.
John 10:27-28, "The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of my hand."
Mark, you are a blood boughten, child of the living God. You are anointed. I've witnessed this anointing, I've seen the Holy Spirit work through you and I've seen you be bold for the Lord. Do not forget that. You can not be snatched from His hand. You are precious to Him. You are His child. Rest in Him.
[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son [of His love,
In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins. -Colossians 1:13-14 The father has delivered and drawn us, Mark and Carla, to himself, out of the control of the darkness. We have been drawn out of darkness, we no longer need to wallow in it. The love we share is meant to be in the light.
4 But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
I know you know these things, my beloved husband, I know you have these words stored up in your heart. Let the Spirit dismantle your walls so that you can feel the grace, mercy, and forgiveness you need. It's yours for the taking. We can renew, redefine, redeem what has been lost. It is not too late, it is never too late. For you, Mark, I will walk through Hell. I will cling to Christ with one hand and to you with the other, and I will never, never let go.