Thursday, December 27, 2007

10 Years Ago Today

Ten years ago, surrounded by friends and family, two voices said "I do." Ten years ago today, two hands reached out and clung to one another. Ten years ago today, two rings were exchanged as a symbol of love and devotion. Ten years ago today, two people from two very different walks of life joined together to begin a journey together.

Ten years ago today...
... I married my hero.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This Christmas, Choose Love

Love is a choice. Never before have those words meant more to me than they do this holiday season. Christmas is a natural time of year to reflect on love, joy, peace, hope, etc., but this year – as never before – I’ve been reflecting on the truth that love is really a choice.

Over 2000 years ago a love story was born through Mary and Joseph. Aside from what the Bible says about their engagement, we know nothing about the interaction between them. Given the time period, however, it’s safe to assume that their marriage was an arranged marriage. Arranged by their families, but ultimately arranged by God. Unknown to their fathers, who likely agreed upon the union, and unknown to Mary and Joseph themselves, God had a plan bigger than anyone could have dreamed. A plan that required two very special people who made the choice to love.

The minute their plan to marry was interrupted by an unexpected pregnancy, both Mary and Joseph faced a difficult decision. The choice to love in the face of overwhelming odds, impossible conditions and unheard of circumstances, or the choice to turn their backs on their commitment to each other and to God. Fortunately for the world, they chose love. Love for God. Love for the unimaginable miracle they were being called to be a part of. Love for a marriage commitment that would face challenges no one could possibly fathom. Love for a child that would draw them together in a way they could have never planned. They chose love, despite the hardship they knew they would face. The chose love, even when love was likely the furthest thing from their minds at the time.

As I reflect on this powerful love story, my thoughts drift to my own love journey. As the year draws to a close, my husband and I celebrate a milestone anniversary --- 10 years. 10 years of learning, through tears and laughter, that love truly is a choice. A daily choice. Right from the get-go our relationship was an intentional choice. Though we didn’t go through anything like what Mary and Joseph faced, we did endure challenges the minute we agreed to marry. And for the past 10 years we have had to choose love daily, even when it would have been easier to thrown in the towel.

This Christmas, as you reflect on God’s love choice for us in sending His Son to save us, I challenge you to spend some time thinking about the love choice God is calling you to make. It may be the love choice to follow Him to places that don’t make sense. It may be the love choice to love a spouse that has grown distant, or a child that has chosen to rebell. Or it may be the love choice to care for a stranger that desperately needs to see the love of God through you. What ever the challenge before you, this Christmas choose love, and watch what love can do. Choose love, because love chose you.