Can I just be real with you for a second?
I feel like if I don’t get it out on the page, the praise is going to come bursting out from every pore! Every time God moves, I’m amazed. And not like a little bit. Like I want to run up a mountain and scream it out from the mountain tops
“YOU GUYS! GOD IS AMAZING! YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HE DID!!!”
Then I tell myself “Of course He is working this out, Jac! He is a Good Father who is sovereign and tells us to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross (Psalm 55:22).
But why is it that so often I am that child that feels the need to twist and turn and spin and do holy back flips? Deep down I’m really worried about earning it….Despite truth.
Because the Word says:
- God loves me….like a WHOLE LOT (Ephesians 3:18-19)
- HE wants to give good gifts (John 16:26-27)
- HE redeems all things (Psalm 103:4)
- HE works everything out for my good (Romans 8:28)
- HE knows my needs before I even ask (Matthew 6:8)
- and HE provides for Every. Single. One (Philippians 4:19)
Promises that are given to us NOT because of our stellar performance, but because He chose us and He is a good father.
Oh and just in case we weren’t clear on the whole qualifying spiritual resume thing– Check this out:
“If we are faithless, He is faithful.” (2 Timothy 2:13)
……I’m sorry; can we let that sink in real deep for moment?
Two weeks ago I got engaged! I still am in awe of the way God worked that whole husband thing together and one day I’ll have to tell you about it …for now let’s just say I am living proof that the Lord brings Beauty from Ashes. But today, I feel compelled to write about something that may seem little…but man oh man…. I’m floored at how God is in the business of “all the time” and not just “when things get hairy.” See, I think sometimes we only include God in the 9th hour. We wait until catastrophe hits and then we say “God, have mercy!” and the truth is, while God is all about miracles. He is also in the small stuff. And that’s what I want to write to you about today.
So here I am, ready for the next step after he puts a ring on it, and everyone is asking me “When’s the date?” “Let’s go look at dresses” “Do you have a budget?” “ What are your colors?” “Do you have a theme?” <– Apparently you must have a “theme” for weddings – I got asked this more than once. ….
Overwhelmed has been the accurate word to describe me lately. That and discouraged, as I began the soul sucking process of searching for a place that didn’t add thousands of dollars the minute they heard the word “wedding”
So I pulled on my boxing gloves and tried to fight it….
The dress doesn’t matter. And neither does the venue or the menu or the flowers, or the gold package vs. the emerald one that comes with the photo booth….
None of this matters….afterall, the first time I planned a spectacular wedding…the marriage not so much….
And I say to my man, “Let’s not do a wedding. Let’s just go down to the courthouse. ”
And this guy, this true gift from God, looks at me, and he says, “If that will make you happy, I’ll do that in a second. But can I offer something? I want your memory of a wedding to be with me.”
And my heart melts. Because I want that. I want to say “I do” in front of my friends and family. Whatever dress I’m wearing or venue I’m standing at.
So off we go again, but I can’t seem to dig myself out of this pit that is the wedding industry.
And here’s where it gets good. My beautiful God swoops in and proves He cares not just about the Big stuff, but about EVERY. SINGLE. NEED.
Last week, we were playing that game of Google roulette to find a venue when suddenly, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me,
“You haven’t asked me.”
I was so convicted. I had been praising God about my engagement, but I left God at the proposal site and forged ahead.
Anybody else struggle with this? That philosophy “God I got it from here.” ???
Sometimes I want to smack myself over the head. NO JAC-you do not have it from here, in fact you can’t even tie your shoelaces without the Holy Spirit!
-Thank you God, that you have so much grace for your daughter.
Ok, back to the story, So my fiancé and I bowed our heads and started praying, asking the Lord to show us what He had for us in this wedding. During our prayer, the Lord dropped “Mt. Baldy” into my spirit.
Now let me tell you, I’ve been to Mt. Baldy one time in my whole life. I couldn’t even tell you if it was east or west of LA, or directions on how to get there. But I mention it to my guy.
“What about Mt. Baldy?”
He was still so discouraged that he actually doesn’t say anything at first. Yea…that was a weird thought…I thought to myself
About an hour later, that urging popped up again.
Me: “What do you think about Mt. Baldy?”
Him: “That’s a cool idea! Let’s try that.”
All of a sudden he’s steering the search toward Mt. Baldy, and I’m stunned.
Me: “Babe, the Holy Spirit gave me that.”
He smiled and squeezed my hand and up pops this cute little church that looked like it might fit our needs.
Him: “I’ll call tomorrow.”
The next day I get a text from my fiancé with a link to a place called: “Sweet Pea Ranch” (PS-not the church we had found) and the words “I love it, can you call?” beneath.
As soon as I clicked on the link, my heart leapt and then sank in a matter of seconds. It was PERFECT. So much so, it looked like my imagination had become reality. Then again, there was absolutely NO WAY we could afford this place.
Pause. Can I also just say that I had been googling “rustic romantic, back yard, barn weddings” and not once had I seen this magical place come up?
“It’s perfect.” I texted back, “But I’m scared to call because I’m sure this is out of our budget.”
“Jac, this is our place. The Holy Spirit gave you Mt. Baldy, Mt Baldy led us here. It’s our spot.”
“Honey, I love the faith you got going here, but I think you are out of touch with the wedding industry.” …Is what I wanted to say. Instead I called and left a message.
I have to admit; when the woman called me back I was still too chicken to ask for the price. Even after she emailed the proposal packet I let my guy open it.
This is so silly! I thought. I have my heart set on this place, and I don’t want God to look bad to my fiancé if I heard Him wrong….
… Am I the only one who has these thoughts? ….
Can I tell you….My man opened that document, and his grin told me everything I needed to know.
“Jac, everything but the photographer is included, and it is exactly what we can afford.”
Me: “Wait, What?”
Him: “I told you, God gave us this place.”
I blinked again.
Me: “Wait, What ?”
He read off a few more of the details, of which I wasn’t really listening. Instead I was just praising God in my heart.
He cares about every single thing. Every tiny need. Every one of our hearts desires. I mean to tell you, even the fact that I wanted a vintage couch in a mountain/forest setting for pictures which is there PS– HE PROVIDES!!! This wedding was just one more way of Him showing me in a personal way what a loving Father and faithful God He is.
Flash forward, I have to tell you, upon visiting the place I kept squealing in delight. It was better than the pictures! And Tess, the woman who runs the venue, is the most wonderful woman with a heart for couples! I instantly bonded with her, as she showed me the ceremony space and told me how she prays for all her couples to “beat the odds as they say their vows.” Tears slipped down my cheeks. Even this woman who is going to journey with us in the wedding planning and day is blessing me?!
As we secured our date, she smiled and warned me not to cry before she told this story (she can already see I’m an emotional hot mess)
“You know, this date was actually booked. They had paid the deposit and had been planning the wedding. But the bride called me last week and said family circumstances had come up and she felt like she needed to go else where for the wedding. She asked about the deposit, and I just knew the Lord was going to provide, so I gave it back to her. This week- you guys show up.”
I can’t say that I’m keeping my promise of the whole “don’t cry thing”. God is perfect. I don’t know why I’m shocked. In fact, I don’t know why after every Miracle…and I mean Miracle that God has done for me in my life, that I’m not always expecting this. I’m relieved that Joyce Meyer says, “We should always be in Awe because God is so amazing!”
Yesterday, as we walked back to the car, a date set for our wedding, the perfect venue for us, I looked around at the mountains. And my heart burst as I was reminded of that scripture, “Even if they are silent, the rocks would cry out!” (Luke 19:40)
So I joined the mountains and lifted my hands up to the God of ALL, the big, the small, and all the details in between. The God who turned water to wine at a wedding and raised Lazarus from the dead!
I dare you to invite Him into your All.
I’ve included Sweet Pea Ranch’s website for the brides reading this right now looking for a way off the wedding planning roller coaster. Ask for Tess.