Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Fear

Do you remember the clothing line that was hugely popular about 15 years ago? Everyone walked around with shirts that said "NO FEAR" in all different fonts and colors with graphics of scary looking faces next to the logos. It was a fad much like any other fad (pogs and slammers anyone?). Clearly no one wants to be considered a scaredy cat. But I must admit that I am!

If there is one thing I shouldn't be, it's fearful. God has led me and protected me through so many situations where I shouldn't have felt safe but somehow did. I wasn't afraid in Africa or in Asia or even as a cook in a strip club. Well, not after a couple of weeks anyway. But somehow when it comes to the day to day issues of life I find that I am a complete worry-wart. I worried myself ragged that perhaps I would never meet my handsome prince. Perhaps God would want me to stay single and I would be an old maid missionary. Then God blessed me with Steve and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Beyond my wildest dreams! Then I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find a job I loved that had good hours, and now I have a wonderful job that brings me great joy... most of the time. There is always something to fear. Recently I have had a couple of difficult patients and started worrying that I could make one mistake and end up losing my nursing license. Then there's children. Steve and I are constantly talking about and praying for the children we long to have. But what if we're like one of the other countless couples who for whatever reason can't seem to conceive? These are just some of the things over which I want to have control and don't. I think the times where it was easiest to have faith in God were the times when I knew without a doubt that my life and well-being was 100% in the hands of God. But isn't that ALWAYS true?

This week I've been thinking a lot about Isaiah 26:3. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You." No matter what the future holds, my God is in control. I absolutely believe that mentally, and I really want that truth to be planted deep in my soul.

"There is NO FEAR in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Lub

On February 14th this year a few of us were playing Valentine Scrabble. Steve and I had tweeked the original rules so that any love-related word yielded a 10-point bonus. Despite my best efforts, I was stuck. One of Steve's roommates came over, peeked at my letters, and quickly pointed out a couple letters that would work. No one gets too uptight when this happens because I am really not much of a Scrabble threat. I was uncertain about the word Sean pointed out but he seemed confident and he is intelligent, so I laid down the letters to form "Lub". Apparently the word he wanted me to spell was "Lube" but I didn't think of that. Steve looked at "Lub", gave me a funny look and said, "what's lub got to do with it"? They gave me the points and even the 10-point bonus and ever since that day Steve and I have called each other "My lub".

Second only to God's saving grace, Steve Cross is the greatest blessing I have ever received. He is the man I used to dream about when I would daydream through Cinderella and Snow White. Because of my "lion" personality, my parents used to wonder what kind of man would be able to handle me. Nobody knew precisely what kind of man I needed, but God did. Steve has a way of leading me that is so strong and so gentle. He is wise and loyal and exceedingly patient. At times when he could get really irritated he stays calm and just loves me. The love he offers is such a beautiful picture in the flesh of the way Christ loves me.

We met "randomly" on August 15th of last year while I was passing through Colorado Springs. I was driving from Texas to Montana to start a travel nurse contract and met up briefly with my friend Alecia. She invited me to a birthday party for one of her friends. When Steve walked into the room and we were introduced we liked each other immediately. I felt this very strong sense that there was something different and very special about this handsome man. Later that evening I told my best friend that I had just met the man of my dreams, but I wasn't sure I would ever see him again! But then I was invited over to his house to play cards, then out for lunch the next day, then on a Saturday breakfast that lasted all day long. All too quickly it was time for me to leave for Montana, but we both knew it wasn't the end.

September 6th, 2009 is our wedding day. We have had a blast planning the details of our wedding day, but even more fun preparing for our life together. We signed our first lease (I move in July 1st!), found some basic furniture, and got a joint checking/savings account and have started budgeting together. We are both passionate about marriage and family and love to dream about what God might have in store for us. If the Lord blesses us in this way, we positively cannot wait to be parents! What a true treasure to raise children with the man I adore. We don't know where God will lead us, but whether here or on the other side of the world we will be together. Marriage will be a challenge, we are sure, but we look forward to how God will draw us closer to Himself through it. And we pray that our marriage will be a blessing to others and that it will point people to Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago our friend Matthew took some engagement photos of us. Here are some of them!