Tonight, August 12, 2012, I’m writing a blog that I won’t post for a while because the news in it isn’t yet mine to share, but soon it will be. Earlier this afternoon I texted Jacob to make sure we are on ‘normal’ schedule this week in preparation for me going to be with the girls tomorrow as he heads for work. I didn’t hear back from him for a while, which is unusual, but when I did, his message back caused me to whoop out loud!
‘Yes normal schedule. Also, we took all the kids to dinner so we could let them know we are planning to get married soon.’
This casual approach to announcing epic news is so Jacob and it made me laugh! I knew marriage was a possibility. But the last time we spoke about it, Jacob indicated it was still a future concept as he and Cheryl tried to figure out the complexities of combining two families with a total of 6 kids and two households. But today’s sermon was on faith – on stepping out and following the Lord – on believing Him and walking forward even when you can’t always see where that next step leads. As I left church today I thought to myself, “Someone just needs to tell them to get married already!” And I guess someone did!
At this point little more is known than that it will be soon. But my heart rejoices! I’ve watched a deep friendship develop between Jacob and Cheryl. Cheryl loves the girls and they love her. She has been a shoulder for Jacob to cry on when grief was eating him alive. She has gotten in his face when he needed it and he has gotten in hers a time or two also. They enjoy each other and have fun together. They see much of life similarly and the places where they differ, well that will add spice to life. The biggest blessing for me is that Cheryl knew and loved Becky. Cheryl has been grieving her loss right along with the rest of us and there is no fear in her of Becky’s memory or of the ‘first love’ spot that she will always hold in Jacob’s heart. Cheryl has no need to fill the place that Becky filled, but rather to enter into a new relationship of love that will be a comfort and balm to both of them.
God is good and His gifts are awesome!
I remember so clearly the awareness that Steve and I had shortly after Becky died that in the long run losing Becky could mean letting Jacob and the girls go too. We wanted Jacob to marry again and we’ve been praying into that ever since the first days after her death. But we knew it would take a strong, mature woman to be able to embrace and welcome his first wife’s parents and family. We were willing to let him go for the sake of his happiness, but in Cheryl we have that strong, mature woman who can love us too.
Neither Jacob nor Cheryl could have foreseen the life paths that brought them to this place. The events that brought them to this day aren’t events that they chose. But as so often happens, out of the ashes of difficult and tragic life events God brings great blessings. For this I am thankful. For this I rejoice!
The mission and heart of Jesus as expressed in Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3