“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3) “You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11)
I have some big news to share, but before I do, please know that God cares about those who mourn and He offers them beauty for ashes if they will receive it. This is not a process of transforming ashes slowly over time into something beautiful. This is an exchange. One moment you have ashes… the next moment you have beauty. One moment you are mourning… the next moment you have great joy and are dancing (with cappuccino). One moment you have great heaviness… the next moment you are in exuberant praise. This is precisely what has happened to me.
I will accept the fact that you might not be there yet, but remember, no one felt the loss more deeply than I, or needed the healing more earnestly than I or sought it more fervently than I and God granted that to me. But He went further…
“And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go… And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife;” (Genesis 24:58, 67)
I told you that on February 17th, God visited me and healed me of my pain and divinely circumvented my grieving process. The Word He spoke to me that set me free had to do with the great love He has for me. Two days later, I was looking into a ministry to support on Facebook and noticed a picture of a woman I did not know, who had that ministry down as a friend so I emailed her asking how familiar she was with them.
She responded within hours with kind words and then reminded me that Jesus loved me! When I read those words after being so in tune with that message, I knew in my spirit she had a revelation of His love that went well beyond the normal head knowledge most of us have. So the email dialog began as I asked her to share more about that.
As it turned out, I was right. God had given her a vision concerning that truth and met her in a powerful way many years ago. I wanted to know more so we messaged back and forth the rest of the day until finally a phone call was more in order. God began showing me things concerning her (Judy) which I shared and they bore witness with her. Our calls lasted for hours and it seemed that God was up to something in connecting with us, but she lived in Mississippi and I in Florida. We remedied that.
She came to visit five days after our first email contact. Eight hours later we were engaged! By the weekend I had a ring for her finger so she could return to Mississippi a marked woman! I drove her back and then continued on to Dallas on Monday for a conference and the Ziglar Success 2.0 event. When I returned to Mississippi Thursday, March 4th we drove to Alabama to get our marriage license and were married by a dear friend in Huntsville, AL (the unofficial honeymoon capital of North Alabama) on Friday, March 5th on a rooftop just two weeks after our first email exchange.
Needless to say, this news was a surprise to some of our friends, but most were excited for us right away! We married by revelation not by mere information. Judy, who had been single for the last ten years, had been asking the Lord to divinely arrange her marriage much like he had done for Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24. Her prayer was simply that when she met the man she was to marry, they would both know right away. We did!
Getting married by revelation takes faith and I think it’s a wonderful way to begin a life of faith together. However, we also have a deep love for each other. For me, if I were a rocky mountain full of cracks from the strain of weather and earth movements, the love Judy has for me has filled every crack, every crevice and every uneven place. I am unbelievably happy and I cannot contain my great joy.
I can’t tell you how exhilarating it is to be healed and then to have the Lord place in my life a woman of like faith, like heart and like mind who loves me deeply as I love her. It is a beautiful thing. I hope that you can rejoice with me in God’s miraculous provision of a wife for me. The new day has definitely broken and it is very sunny!
I rejoice with you the transformation from ashes to joy both of you have had!