On our first anniversary my husband came home with a new tattoo. It was the number 17 with our wedding bands and initials wrapped around it. It was placed over his heart.
That might have been a sign that he was here for good.
The number 17 is our “number”. Some people have songs, we have a number.
When we first started dating we acted like 17-year-old kids and joked about it all the time. It stuck and now everything is the number 17 for us.
Then real life hit us.
This weekend we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.
We celebrate two anniversary each year. Our wedding and our baptism together. Each one is just as special to us as the other.
We celebrate our wedding anniversary for obvious reasons but there is no delusion that it has been smooth sailing. If a marriage can go through something, we’ve been through it.
We’ve been thrown in the mud. Completely torn apart. Crushed under the rubble. Betrayed. Poor. Tired. Sad. Scared.
The devil has attacked us from all sides. He disguised himself in many shapes and forms and slithered around our house for years. He would stop at nothing and no one to try to hurt us.
He succeeded many times.
But those things are yesterday, not today.
He hurt us but he did not break us.
And that’s why we celebrate our baptism together.
It was our stand against the devil.
It was us reminding the devil who we belonged to.
It was us putting God first, always.
It was us rebuilding our marriage on the solid foundation that is our Savior.
If He is for us then who can stand against us.
In the last 7 years I have learned that God does make all things new. I learned that you have to forgive everything, not just the things you want to.
I found the strength to stand up for my family and protect us with everything that I have.
I realized that you don’t walk away from broken things, you stay and fix them.
Most of all I learned that God has to be the foundation of any relationship.
Out of the storm God gave us a new life together. And while we will never be perfect, I’d say we are pretty good. Our days are full of smiles. We go through each day reminding ourselves where we’ve been and how we got to the other side. We have forgiven each other and forgiven ourselves. Not a single moment of it would be possible without the Great Redeemer.
We are forgiven.
Our marriage is forgiven and renewed.
Our life is made whole again.
Nothing will ever stand against us or between us.
We have smiles. Laughter. Giggles. Hugs. Kisses. Bedtime Stories. Late night Snuggles.
We are 17 again.
All things are made new again by our Father.
If you’re standing looking at something that seems to have no repair, be still.
I know that God can do the impossible. I knew it the day that my husband and I threw our hands in the air and decided on a divorce.
God had different plans and He worked on our heart without us even realizing it.
We gave it to Him.
When you are standing in the moment of despair it seems impossible. It seems hopeless.
“God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. ” Ephesians 3:20
He can do ANYTHING.
Don’t lose your heart. Don’t give up hope. Pray. Talk to your Father. He is listening and gently working on your heart the way that He did on mine.
You can be 17 again.
Merciful Father some of us have a burden so heaven on our hearts we feel like we will be crushed beneath it. Please gently remove it from us and carry it for us. Take away the anxiety that we have from the unknown, it is sometimes too much for us to handle. We know that you work for the good in all of those who believe in You and we take rest in that. Please help us to keep our eyes focused on You and to plant our feet firmly on Your foundations. In Jesus name, amen.
My husbands 17 tattoo is a gentle reminder of where we started. The one on my left wrist, close to my wedding ring that reads “forgiven 17” is a gentle reminder of why we are here today.