Immeasurably More

Almost 3 weeks ago, on November 16, 2008, I experienced the best day of my life, the most honest adrenaline rush of trust, having the most fun I ever have when I married the love of my life. It was more than I could have imagined, exploding with the magnitude of God's faithfulness, blessings, and amazing grace in our lives. When I stood at the altar I looked at Kevin and said, "I have never felt more right than I do in this moment right now." In that instant I knew I was beginning the role of a lifetime...a significant part of what I was created for in the first place. I loved being able to stand before so many people we love and who love us, celebrating an awesome gift from the amazing God we serve, and encouraging them with His crazy love. I had thought I would stand up there thinking it was going too fast and I didn't want it to be over, that this moment was everything I had lived for, but instead I had an indescribable peace and joy that it was only the beginning of a much greater divine adventure that God has brought Kevin and I together for. I knew in that instant that this would not be the last moment God allowed us to share our love before so many...but instead the first of many more moments to come in our ministry together. In the days of post-wedding shock and recovery, now looking to discover the intention God has for me in each day as a wife, I am learning the surrender of receiving the joy of the day I had prayed for for so many years, releasing the reality that it is over, and embracing the joy of knowing that most beautiful day was not the culmination of a great love story, but simply the introduction. I don't believe in "happily ever after," as I know there is pain, struggle, monotony, and exhaustion in life, in the midst of the joy, happiness, and excitement we are also able to experience throughout the journey. But I do believe in the beautiful, refining power of Jesus Christ as he moves us toward becoming an ever growing reflection of him. I do believe his mercies are new every morning and his redeeming love is powerful and poured out daily. My reward is not in this life, not in my marriage or in having the most kind, thoughtful, and amazing husband ever. Instead my reward is in loving and being loved by my Savior. Enjoying His gifts and offering the gifts I possess back as an expression of my unending gratitude and joy. My reward is in knowing that through all of what lies ahead, the normal days and crazy days, the questions and the clarity, the sorrow and the joy, the mistakes and the memories, my God will never leave me or forsake me. He is for me and not against me; he is more powerful than any emotion or reality I could ever experience. And He is my eternal love of a lifetime. So here is to my Creator, an out-loud thank you for being so ever-present and faithful, uniting me with the husband of my dreams, and blessing us with the most amazing day that made us one. "A cord of three strands is not easily broken...," so now we will walk daily to live in the strength God provides as we enjoy our new family as Mr. and Mrs. Russell. We will fervently seek to honor and serve Him as passionately and with as much 'crazy joy' as possible, all the days of our lives! "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

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