A new post by my friend, Jeni Bullis. Sheesh, this woman challenges me to be a better person every single day. It is really almost annoying me how awesome she is. HA! LOVE YOU JENI!
It was a beautiful spring day and I was headed home after a long day. I had just been visiting a little with my friend Dan and I was going back over the conversation in my head (a practice I still do incessantly with every conversation). In the blink of an eye, the Lord spoke to me.
It wasn’t a voice. It wasn’t a feeling. It wasn’t a bible verse. It was just an instant knowledge. “You will marry him” was deposited in my heart like a coin dropped into a piggy bank. THUNK! The impact was immediate and I had to pull the car over to avoid an accident. The tears and emotion gushed and I hyperventilated questions, prayers and disbelief. After a few minutes I was left sitting in my car with this strange foreign knowledge with me as if I had picked up a hitch hiker. I pulled myself together and began driving again thinking “This is absurd”. I decided I would not talk to anyone about this except one person so that I would have someone to witness what I had just experienced. When I told my roommate what happened, the look in her eyes reflected my own feelings… “oh Jeni. That is so far out there. You are going to be crushed”. You see Dan was not only in a different league, but in an entirely different sport!! I felt weird and fearful, yet I couldn’t stuff down the feelings of hope. After all, I’d seen the Lord do some amazing and miraculous things in my life up till then! But this…this just seemed too big.
This story is not about the process which the Lord brought His word to fruition; that will have to wait for another post, but the rest of the story. See, the Lord DID speak to me on that day! Dan and I were married 6 months later. I remember really not being that interested in the actual wedding itself, I was just laser focused on marrying Dan and beginning our life together. From the moment our pastor said “I now pronounce you husband and wife” I became a different woman.
To say that I felt unworthy of Dan’s love doesn’t really capture it. My worth has never played a role. I was soberly aware of the incredible blessing and gift that it was. In my view, Dan could have had his pick of any woman. He is brilliant, extremely talented, sweet, loyal, hardworking, handsome, faithful, godly. The fact that he chose me began an amazing real life object lesson for me of the Lord’s love for his bride.
Dan has loved me deeply and consistently in such a way that I’m constantly praising the Lord for even inventing love. The kind of love that breaths life and energy into a soul. He sees me.
A few years into our marriage I noticed that Dan rarely complimented my clothes, or hair, or really anything regarding my appearance. At first I chalked it up to guy behavior and the other wives seemed to echo this. I shared with him about this and in his sweet demeanor he would apologize and say he’d work on getting better. As time went on and he really never improved, I began to get a bit irritated about it. And then it hit me. You see Dan has always been extremely affectionate with me. He offers love and affection freely and usually holds my hand or has his arm around me, just any way of having what he calls “contact”. One day after the boys were born he came home and I was an absolute mess. No shower, still in sweats, exhausted, messy house and he walked in and approached me for a hug without hesitation and I realized in that minute that HE DOESN’T NOTICE! The reason he didn’t compliment me very often was to him, whether I was in panty hose and heals or sweats and a t-shirt he saw ME. He loves ME. Of course I desire to be lovely for him, but just knowing that the person I am and the character I display is what draws him has brought to my life freedom and peace to focus on the Lord, and walk in this life excepting that my best is enough.
The Lord loves each of us thoroughly. He sees the heart, when all we can see is the external person.
This weekend we are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. I know in most marriages there’s ups and downs. Well, for me, there’s only been ups. Even during our sharpest disagreements, I love being in the same room as him. I love looking in his kind blue eyes. I love the sound of his voice or the touch of his hand. I feel most at peace and myself when he’s with me. And I still miss him and count the minutes till he comes home when he’s at work. He is my best friend and most trusted advisor. His love and devotion to me has made me strong and has reminded me over and over of how much the Lord loves me.
Happy Anniversary, honey. I cherish you. Thank you for choosing me, and bringing color to my world!