I know that it has been a while since I have been on here to continue what I learned while visiting family and friends in Florida, but with mid-terms and everything going on it has been difficult. Now that Spring Break is here, and the tests are done with for now, I am finally able to move forward. I hope you are still interested in learning the lessons I was taught by God.
If you will remember, or perhaps this is the first post you are reading; I went to Florida in February to be a groomsman in my friend’s wedding. While there I had the pleasure of visiting with family and friends. On my way back to New Orleans I did some reflecting on my trip, and began to see the lessons that God was teaching me while there. The first lesson He showed me, was the fact that Port St. Lucie, FL is no longer “home”, but being in the center of God’s will is where I find myself to be at home. For now, being in the center of God’s will, means living in New Orleans, so that is where my home is. This lesson however, in my opinion is probably the most important one.
I just finished watching the Fox television show, Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey. It was an old episode(by old I mean a couple of weeks), so I was watching it on the internet. This episode was shot in a Cuban restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. The story was heart breaking to me, to say the least. This couple that was in love, and had a deep passion for one another decided to open a restaurant together. The problem was that all of the stress, and drama that comes with owning a restaurant has done more than hurt the business, but caused a separation in their marriage. I can’t help but feel like this is too familiar of a case when it comes to marriages in the United States. It pained me to see the hate these two learned to have towards each other, and how a once, “model” couple can come to such a place.
I am not saying that my marriage is bad, or on the rocks. In fact, since we moved to New Orleans, it has been better than it ever has in the past. My wife and I had our first baby in high school, and she was pregnant only three months after we started dating. For the nine months that she was pregnant in high school, we were not on the best of terms relationship wise. We actually spent the summer broken up, much like the people in this show, hating each other, but having to deal with one another in our lives. After getting back together, the next five years wer rocky to say the least. Sure, we had our good times, but without God in our lives it just wasn’t right. After all, we were living together and acting as a married couple while not being married. Between our two daughters there was some tragedy (which is another blog in itself), but finally we got married, and found God all at around the same time. I had been a Christian, but walked away, and she believed all of the same things, but never experienced a relationship with Christ. After moving here though, our marriage just kept getting better. I think it has something to do with the whole, being in God’s will thing.
Watching the show this morning made me think back to some of the things that we as a couple have gone through. The words these two people used, and the way they communicated to each other reminded me a lot about how we used to act towards one another. So many years later, I get emotional thinking back to the way I treated her; the words I used while screaming at her. Thank God that by His grace and mercy we no longer treat each other like that, and realize the value in what we have together, not just here on earth, but in the eyes of God. The reason I went so much into the past, was to give you an idea of what our lives were like. Maybe you have children and can imagine what it would be like going through that with someone you barely know. Or maybe you too have gone through a similar situation. The fact of the matter is, that we never really got a chance to “date” and get to know one another. We spend about 7 years of our lives never really being alone together. I love my kids, but sometimes I just want to be alone with my wife. We never went on a honeymoon, and the first 3 anniversaries were spent out to dinner, with one or both of our girls.
Something happened that week in Florida though. My mother was gracious enough to watch the girls while we did all of the wonderful things included in weddings. Being part of the wedding party required me to be away for most of the time, but my wife and I were able to be together at the rehearsal and dinner. After talking with her on the ride home from Florida, I realized that what happened in my life, happened in hers at the exact moment. During the rehearsal, the pastor went briefly through his “spiel” and said something that apparently both my wife and I needed to hear. Everything that he said sounded a lot like the grown ups on the Charlie Brown cartoons, except one phrase; “Let no man separate, what God has joined together.” When he said that, it was as if God himself said it from the clouds. That was it, that was what I needed to hear. My heart fell to my feet, and my eyes filled with water. My steady breathing pattern was interrupted by a few quick breaths and then one deep one to regain my composure. After all, I don’t cry at weddings.
The next night at the reception, my wife and I danced all night. We laughed, and joked; we walked arm and arm and couldn’t be separated. After all, “Let no man separate, what God has joined together.” That weekend my wife and I fell in love with each other all over again.
At the end of the show, it never realy said, but when they looked a few weeks down the road to give a brief update on what was going on in the restaurant. It seemed that the restaurant that broke apart their marriage, was the same one that seemed to be bringing it together. If this happens in a world that doesn’t love God, why doesn’t it happen a little more often in the Church?