Jeannie…and a Glorious Adventure in the Gospel
This week Jeannie and I celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. Notice that I didn’t say, “would have celebrated.” So let me explain. While it would be easy to only lament Jeannie’s graduation to Glory exactly one month ago, that would be sorrowing “as others who have no hope.” Instead, I am reminded that in a remarkable and totally authentic fashion, Jeannie and I are now together more intimately than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, I terribly miss my sweet Jeannie. I’m still shocked when those emotional tsunamis begin rumbling deep within only to violently crash moments later on the shores of my heart.
It was God’s grace that first brought Jeannie and me together in 1965, and then to the marriage altar a short nine months later on August 20, 1966. Those who know us well know that Jeannie and I have lived and loved passionately. Our love for one another was only exceeded by our love for the Lord. Together, as far as we were concerned, the past forty-nine years have been one glorious adventure in the Gospel!
Like everyone else, our life together has not been without its pressures, calamitous events, illnesses and upheavals. But God has given us grace upon grace. No issue has ever seemed utterly devastating…not even that moment four weeks ago when Christ gathered Jeannie into His arms and took her home. You see, in His faithfulness, Christ provides us grace to live, grace to die, grace to let go, and now…the grace to go on.
Jeannie is in Heaven…in Christ. And I am on earth…in Christ. So in a very real and totally biblical fashion, Jeannie and I are still together in Him. Like so often throughout the previous forty-nine years, Jeannie is at home and I’m headed there!
It may be difficult for you to grasp, but I am still learning new things about Jeannie and loving her even more. No, I haven’t erected an altar to Jeannie in my heart. I certainly would not want to love or esteem her more than the Lord who makes all things possible. It is simply that by loving Jesus more, I have come to love, appreciate and cherish Jeannie more as well. (That same formula, by the way, worked for almost forty-nine years on earth…and it will work for you in your marriage!)
I simply cannot comprehend the vastness of God’s grace in allowing me, through Jeannie’s passing, to love both Jesus and Jeannie even more! I agree with Tozer who stated, “I will never get on my knees and say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ to that which I can figure out.” All I know is that, on this special day, I am thrilled at the privilege of being so intimately acquainted with Jeannie. She magnified Christ on earth…she now magnifies Christ in Heaven…and she continues to magnify Him from her cherished place in my heart.
I know that Heaven brings with it a different and glorious view of both time and marriage. But for what its worth, and just because this earth-bound mortal desperately needs to say it…
Happy Anniversary, Shug!
I love you!