Monday, January 18, 2010

Glory unfurling

One of the mysteries of my life is my friendship with Stephen Carradini. I met him within fifteen minutes of his arrival on campus at OU his freshman year, and he stuck to me like Velcro. Nearly every experience I had in college he repeated in one way or another. Despite our myriad differences in background, opinions and relationships, God has ordained that the major strokes of our lives run in parallel, with Stephen just far enough behind to watch and learn from my successes and failures.

As Stephen himself commented to me recently, he lives my life.

I have rarely seen such a simple, perfect picture of the sovereignty of God. In the three and a half years since we met, God has consistently put me in positions that I found frustrating, painful and inexplicable—until months later, when Stephen invariably found himself in the same straits, and I could lend an ear and sometimes a hand. I rest on God's sovereignty because Scripture declares it, but I find it easier to believe because I have seen it.

Jaimie recently spent some time reviewing old journals and observing how God has answered prayers she offered up half a decade ago. Though we are not to live in the past, we are to remember it and savor God's works. When the present grows dark, God's past faithfulness comforts us. He has saved us and cared for us before, even when we could not see.

The months since our wedding have been a time of upheaval, struggle, fear and pain as Jaimie battles depression. She's winning, by the grace of God. And joy has filled our lives. We love being married. Day by day we see God's goodness more plainly. Whether it is in a quiet evening spent reading together, the wondrous dance of married love, or the hours we have spent crying and praying together, we remember that the Holy Spirit is working for our good. We hold to that truth with all our strength; sometimes we have nothing else.

Day by painful day, I see Christ's image growing in Jaimie. I see her slowly freed and gradually perfected. I see her face unveiled and the glory of our Savior unfurled by the breeze of the Spirit in her heart. Suffering is producing joy inexpressible as He forges us into complete dependence.


  1. Regarding Stephen living your life--has he ever run into a tree because he was distracted by a pretty girl? :) Just teasing, of course. Seriously, though, it is amazing to see how God uses the rough times that we go through to make us able to help others who go through similar things later! That has definitely been something I've seen in my life, too, and something that has been a huge blessing to me. Some things haven't made any sense while I was going through them. They were hard and frustrating and painful. Later, though, when I was able to say to someone else, "I've been through this, and this is how God helped me get through," I was amazed to look back and think, "So *that's* why that happened to me..." That probably wasn't the only reason, but it certainly at least gave me one reason! :)

  2. Amber—I'll have to ask him, I don't know about the tree. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me, but typically it's been grand, sweeping sorts of things rather than minutiae. And mostly it's been the hard things in parallel (though that branch was admittedly rather firm).


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