Monday, May 5, 2014

Everything Changes When People Meet Jesus

I saw a blog posted on Facebook that caught my attention. The title is My Wife Has Tattoos: Marriage, New Birth, and the Gospel (seriously read this post before continuing reading here). As I read this profoundly beautiful testimony and love story, I couldn't stop the tears that were streaming down my cheeks.
Today is the day of my wedding. And I am not marrying the girl of my dreams.
If you would have told me when I was a teenager that my wife would have seven tattoos, a history in drugs, alcohol, and attending heavy metal concerts, I would have laughed at you, given you one of my courtship books, and told you to take a hike. My plans were much different, much more nuanced with careful planning, much more clean-cut, and much more, well, about me.
You see, it wasn’t my dream to marry a girl that was complicated. I never dreamed that I would sit on a couch with my future wife in pre-marital counseling listening to her cry and tell stories of drunken nights, listing the drugs she used, confessing mistakes made in past relationships.
This isn’t my dream – it’s better.
I see myself in Spencer's wife, Taylor. I see my story of darkness to light, rescue and redemption. I don't have any tattoos and never experienced with drugs, but my past is one of drinking, partying, and promiscuity.

Spencer talks about how he never thought he'd marry a "complicated" girl and I realized that is how I feel about myself. I am complicated. I have a "tainted" past, I've had an abortion, and a baby out of wedlock, and a grief over the loss of her that I will carry with me forever. For the past few years, I have struggled so much with my past mistakes and choices. I know that I am washed white as snow by the precious blood of Christ, however I have felt so undeserving of finding a godly man to marry. I have wondered how anybody would want someone so, well, complicated. I have wondered if a man will be able to see me the way I know Jesus does. I have beat myself up, thinking that I will never find a godly man to marry because why would someone choose me when he could have an uncomplicated girl with a spotless past? I have dealt with feelings of condemnation, guilt, and sadness over the choices that I wish could be undone. I have wished countless times that I could go back and do things over, knowing all I know now without the scars, sadness, and regretful memories.

I have confided in friends and family the feelings, thoughts, and struggles I have dealt with in regards to this and they are all encouraging and kind, yet so often it feels like what they say just leaves me feeling more alone because they haven't walked the road I have. Reading Spencer's perspective has given me hope. Hope that guys like this do exist. The God of the Universe is perfectly capable of crafting a man for me, to compliment me in my complicated mess. My identity is not in who I once was, but who I am now in Christ, and I know that my future husband will see me this way. I pray that my future love story will be a reflection of the Gospel and the restoring, redeeming work Jesus does in hearts and lives. As Spencer says, "everything changes when people meet Jesus."
But everything changes when people meet Jesus. Jesus takes people like rebellious teenage partiers, and goody-two-shoe homeschoolers and puts them together in marriage to put something on display much bigger than their own hand-crafted, perfectly planned love-story. Right in the middle of the mess of life, Taylor met Jesus, and he planted his flag in her life, and she believed in him and he transformed her. The Taylor who spent her life living from one pleasure to the next died, and a new person was born. A new person with new desires, and a new heart that longed to please God, serve people, and treasured Jesus Christ above all other pleasure. And this is how I see Taylor. She is completely new, completely transformed, and completely clean. This is not because she became a part of a helpful program, or because she really “pulled herself together.” It’s because God, in his incredible, infinite kindness, took Taylor’s dark, crimson life, and made her as white as snow. He took all of her sins on placed them on his Son, and then gave her Jesus’ righteousness to wear like a perfect white wedding dress.
I have no idea the man that God is preparing for me to marry (if He even has marriage in my future at all). But what I do know is that I want to love him like Jesus has loved me... no matter what his past is like, whether it be "tainted" or "spotless." Because in God's eyes, we are all the same, we are all sinners who need the saving grace and mercy of Christ. I pray that I will love my husband well, when we meet and even now, before we meet. I pray God prepares me to be a godly wife. As my favorite Scripture says, "to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." I see how much I have been forgiven of by the Lord and how much I will be forgiven by my future husband, so I know that I have the ability to love much.

For anyone who struggles with their past, wondering if they've ruined God's plans for their lives and all chances of finding a godly man/woman to marry, please read this post and realize that it is not about getting what we deserve. I realize now that what I deserve is death. But, Christ in His infinite love and mercy has made me white as snow and clothed me in His righteousness. He can do the same for you. I pray that you (and I) will see ourselves the way Christ sees us and not continue to beat ourselves up over things we cannot change now.

I saw a picture of Taylor on her and Spencer's wedding day in a lovely white wedding dress and it brought me to tears as I thought of how Jesus washes us white as snow. The white is not simply covering up the crimson stains, but is white because of being made pure in Christ!



  1. Mary Jo WilliamsMay 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Thank you so much for the post. Your testimony is touching lives.


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