This past week we celebrated 10 years of marriage.
A marriage that we embarked on, young, energetic, incredibly in love…and ready to change the world.
A marriage that we prayed over-that God would fulfill his promise in Psalm 67
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us…”
but we didn’t just want the blessing….we wanted the purpose of the blessing….
And the evening we went to celebrate that 10 year long marriage, God showed his blessing and he enabled us to see a tiny glimpse of Him using it to make His ways known on earth, in real people’s lives.
The day had filled Danny’s inbox with 120 sweet memories of our 120 months of marriage, and countless recountings of situations that God has provided in, shown His faithfulness in, and delivered us in, times of laughter and tears, accounts of being led and directed by the same Spirit that had brought us together to begin with.
The evening had brought a demand to be dressed up and ready to go by 6:30, childcare was lined up and reservations had been made.
When we arrive on site, a table had previously been spread with flowers and a poem. While I had been typing out all those memories and emailing Danny every half hour during the day, that husband of mine had also been reflecting over these past ten years….and had penned a poem.
Seasons of Joy and Seasons of Tears By Daniel Iverson IV
The days of gazing into your beautiful eyes
Have slowly turned into beautiful years
We have walked through the valleys and flown in the skies
In seasons of joy and seasons of tears
We discovered our children through passion and love
Their voices of magic still filling our ears
Their laughter and weeping remind our hearts of
These seasons of joy and these seasons of tears
For better or worse, in sickness and health
Through thunder and rainbows we’ve learned how to steer
In danger or safety, in wanting or wealth
These seasons of joy and these seasons of tears
The sunrise remembers the light of His grace
As we walk through the dark without any fear
His promise unites us, our hearts set ablaze
Through seasons of joy and seasons of tears.
In every encounter, my beautiful wife
My joy is unleashed, when your face appears
To have and to hold you beside me for life
In seasons of joy, and seasons of tears
For my Beautiful Bride Kimberly, on our 10th Anniversary – September 18th, 2014
And while we chatted, and talked about the past and looked ahead to the future, every time our waitress came by I couldn’t help but sense that she was carrying some sort of weight around with her. After our lovely dinner, and our sweet time together I planned to ask her if she had anything we could pray about for her.
But he beat me to it.
Once again, right there on the anniversary of the Spirit leading us together in marriage, the Spirit would impress upon our hearts and minds the same things….so that the Spirit could flow through us to make God known to someone who needed Him.
“Hey, Brianna, is there anything we could pray about for you?”,
my husband inquires as she fills glasses again.
“Yes, actually there is! But let me go take those people’s order and I’ll be right back. “
After several minutes she came back, and but she didn’t just mention a grandma with cancer, or a dad that needed a job, or a desire to be happy and blessed.
No, she pulled up a chair to our table and started sharing her burden…
“Ok, so I’m in the army. and when I was at my last station out in California, some sergeants and I decided to go swimming in this lake while we were on our day off. So one of the sergeant’s and I decided to go kinda far out to a set of rocks, and half way out he started dog paddling and looking worried. I asked him if he was OK and he said yes.
So we kept going.
We were closer to the rocks, but he still looked like he was really struggling. I asked him if he was OK and he said yes, so we kept going.
We finally made it to the rocks, and I climbed up and he was about to climb up to, when he went under. I started screaming for help, and tried to reach down for him, but the algae from the rocks made everything murky. I screamed and screamed for the rest of our friends and searched for him, but by the time they got over there, and we found him, he had been under water for 3-4 minutes. We tried to do CPR but he didn’t make it.
Tears were filling her eyes…
It’s killing me inside…he had a wife and three kids, and I constantly replay it in my mind and think what I could have done differently. I feel like I’m going to explode.
Then, as if that isn’t hard enough, one of the my other army friends committed suicide this past week.
I feel like I’m drowning in grief and guilt. I just don’t know how to cope with all this. I feel like I have to fake being happy, and just keep going, but I’m dying on the inside. The only reason I got this waitressing job was so that I don’t have to go home at night and think about it all.
So we sat there, on our anniversary date, and because God had been gracious to us and blessed us with ten years of fidelity and commitment and love through the storms, we were celebrating at the table of a waitress who desperately needed the face of God to shine in her life. He had indeed blessed us, so that His ways may be known on the earth, to Brianna.
We prayed with her there, thanking Jesus for his death that conquers all death. We prayed over her brokenheartedness and grief and guilt. And we thanked Him that He himself wept over death, and He himself knows all the pain and agony we face because he dealt with it on the cross. We prayed that because He rose again, Brianna’s heart would rise again as well.
By this time she was really crying.
When we ended she tells us
You have no idea how much I needed this…. I feel like I have no one to talk to about all this. I know I should go back to church and all, but ever since my mom and dad split up, and my dad was a bishop in the church, I just said, “forget that!” But all this that I”m going through has really shown me that I DO need God in my life.
And that disclosure led to a whole new conversation, about “church” not being a magic fix, but a hospital for broken people, and a place to meet Jesus in. And she wrote down our church’s name and meeting times, and I gave her my contact card, and assured her we would continue to pray for her.
And as we drove home, we once again stood in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness to answer our prayer that He would use our marriage to make God known….even to a waitress who desperately needed to know His presence.
The sweetest anniversary gift
with which too celebrate
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us
so that your ways might be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. “
“Your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
**If you want to see what Danny did for our engagement, click here.
If you want to see what he made for me for our five year anniversary, click here.