How Does a Moment Last Forever?

4:37 PM

How does a moment last forever? How can a story never die? It is love we must hold on to. Never easy, but we try........

BACK! KEEP HIM BACK! I bellowed, scuttling towards the elevator as my wedding dress curled around my legs like six feet of seaweed. After catching a glimpse of my soon-to-be-groom's face poking out of a doorway, I was not going to let his "first look" be in some janky hotel hallway. 

"Nathan don't look!" I heard my bridesmaid's livid screams. 

Thus began one of the happiest days of my life. After sitting in a parked car at our photo shoot for half an hour, wondering if my groom had done a runner, I received a phone call from a flustered groomsman wondering where exactly they were supposed to go? 

Little did I know, the mishaps of the day had only just begun. But as I walked up the aisle to the strains of "How Does a Moment Last Forever," and saw Nathan's handsome face beaming at me, I knew I was making the best decision of my life. There stood my boy, in the flesh, the one I'd hoped and prayed for since I was 12 years old. As he spoke his vows, each one wrought with meaning, my heart overflowed as I felt the weight of those promises settle on our lives. I could never have guessed how soon we'd be called to live them out. 

 And then, just like that, we were married. Triumphantly we marched back down the aisle and our flower girl promptly passed out. 

Sometimes our happiness is captured. Somehow  a time and place stands still. Love lives on inside our hearts and always will. 

With all the chaos that ensued that day (the unfortunate wedding norm, I am told) it was still one of the most peaceful times I've ever known. From the start, very little went as planned. The entire set up was one slow-moving catastrophe. Our chair guy entirely forgot the wedding, three friends who were meant to help ended up hospitalized for different reasons, and the temperature spiked to a cool 110 degrees F.  Even so, I was "completely, incandescently  happy." I was marrying my best friend. Everything else was incidental. 

It's been a little over two months since that eventful day, but what a punishing two months they have been. In those moments of incredible joy at the altar, I couldn't have known I'd see defeat like this, or know such searing, tearing pain. As I stood opposite him, I could never have imagined I'd be putting my handsome groom on a plane in a mere two weeks. 

And then, we lost our baby. A whisper of a dream and it was gone. 

Soon after, I was denied my visa to the U.K. The separation from my husband had no end date. 

I found myself face down on the battle field of life wondering how on earth I got there. 

Maybe some moments weren't so perfect. Maybe some memories not so sweet. But we have to know some bad times or our lives are incomplete.

I truly believe the enemy of our souls despises marriage. The very first thing he did after destroying man's relationship with God was to destroy his relationship with his wife. "This woman you gave me...she gave me the fruit." (Genesis 3:12) And the earth has known mayhem ever since. Knowing this, in some ways, I am not surprised at the animosity he has shown our marriage by trying to undermine it in nearly every way possible.

And yet, there has been one strange thing that's marked this turbulent period of my life- an inordinate amount of peace. My world is literally crashing down around me, but for the most part, my soul feels very still. I feel God holding my hand and guiding me. The One who promised He'd never leave is still right here. I can feel His presence every single day. Without that, I'm not sure where I'd be. 

I've read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walking in the fiery furnace a thousand times. What always struck me was their extraordinary lack of panic. But as I stand in my own fiery turmoil,  I somehow understand. There are seasons of your life that may not be outwardly blessed, but are inwardly filled with an incomprehensible peace. My circumstances haven't changed one bit. I still have no visa, Nathan still lives an ocean and a continent away, and our miscarriage still happened. But I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, we are going to be okay. 

Then when the shadows overtake us, just when we think all hope is gone, we'll hear our song and know once more that love lives on. 

Perhaps you're there too. Your battlefield of defeat may look different than mine, but still it lies before you, barren and hopeless. It's hard not to ask God "why" in these times, though I don't think He minds us asking. But often the answer to that doesn't come, does it? We see death and sorrow and loss and pain and none of it makes sense. 

For some reason, when we decide to follow Jesus, we have the comforting idea that all our troubles are behind us. But when an addiction resurfaces, or the church turns on you, or you get taken out while doing exactly what God told you to, it's hard not to look up at God with confusion and hurt. 

When Jesus was about to leave earth, He started forewarning His disciples of perils to come; wars, death, torture, everything imaginable. He didn't mince His words. But He did promise two things, that He would send His Holy Spirit to live inside us as comforter and that all of this would come to an end. Troubles won't last forever. This life won't be pain free. But someday, when we get to be with the lover of our souls forever, all the sorrows we have known will be wiped away from us forever. If you're facing defeat right now, hold onto the fact that this is a season and that God has sent His comforter to live inside you, to give you the peace and strength you need to carry on. 

"In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world." ~John 16:33

How does a moment last forever? How does our happiness endure? Through the darkest of our troubles, love is beauty, love is pure. Love pays no mind to desolation. It flows like a river through the soul; protects, persists, and perseveres and makes us whole

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