St Andrews

By the River Clyde

“Take Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

Sunday marked our first chance to go to church in Glasgow area. Mike and I attended mass at St. Andrews Cathedral which overlooks the river. It’s a beautiful church that was recently renovated. The stained glass windows, and ornate decorations were gorgeous!

Mike and I were greeted in a friendly manner by the adorable, older woman at the front of the church. She welcomed us in and gave us a program so that we could follow along (they do not have missaletes).

What was most surprising was that after Mike and I were seated, and were finished praying before mass (Did I mention that I LOVE that my husband is always clinging to his rosary? Praying it ALL the time-Faith is SO attractive!) anyway…we were asked,  by another woman, if we would be willing to bring up the gifts during mass.

If you aren’t Catholic, the gifts are the bread and wine before they’ve been blessed. This was quite alarming to Mike and me as we don’t go to the church, and obviously, from our accents, are outsiders (not to mention our lack in style-ha!)

We both gladly accepted, and that left us wondering. Why did she choose us? It could have been for a number of reasons…in fact, it may have been very much a random-happening. However, I choose to believe that it was God giving us a little approving nudge.

I felt like a child at Christmas. I was so excited to carry up the bread, and so thrilled that we were asked to do so! What I love even more is doing these things with my husband. Being married to your best friend is the greatest feeling in the entire world!

Have you heard the scripture: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”? This phrase couldn’t be more true. But, I feel deeply that God also asks us to “meet him half-way.” For example, I prayed, my whole life really, for a man that would challenge me in my faith, not only challenge me, but hold me up to higher standards. To be dissatisfied having a wife that had anything less than an ever-changing, growing faith.

When Mike and I started dating, I had this quote hanging in my house, and I remember sitting on my couch just staring at my painting saying, “THANK YOU GOD!” God had provided me with not only the things I had prayed for…a man with a strong, unwavering faith, a devotion to family, and very Christian-values, but also provided me with the desires I hadn’t prayed for that were harbored in my heart. Being able to travel is the BIGGEST desire I kept “secret” from God.

The moral of the story is, we can’t run from God, and that isn’t a bad thing. God wants an intimate relationship with us. How beautiful is it that he wants to give us things we haven’t even vocalized but secretly harbor in our hearts?

God has also placed on my heart, that while he WILL provide these things for us, we have to believe in his perfect timing, and meet him halfway in the pursuit of our desires. I can’t sit on my couch all day and expect Mr. Right to come bounding through the door. I have to make myself available in the right venues. Church, Christian conferences, etc.

It would have been, temporarily, “easy” to have not waited for Mike. After all, he lived in the middle of the jungle when we re-connected! At the beginning of our relationship I remember being on my knees praying, and begging God to guard my heart. How could he have presented me with such a perfect man that lived in Liberia?

BUT, God told me to be patient…I was (this is debatable, you can ask Mike, sometimes it WAS frustrating) and then he would fulfill my desires. Well, a year later, I am here to attest to the fact that God is faithful in his ability to fulfill our desires, if we are obedient to his will.

It wasn’t easy, and while I was waiting, I did question God…A LOT! But at the end of the day, he reassured me, and told me that if I just waited a year, while Mike finished up his work in Liberia, we’d be blessed beyond what we could have imagined.

I think sometimes as Christians we see the people who are obtaining all these blessings from God, or  have seemingly perfect lives, but we don’t see the truth behind how they got there, it isn’t always pretty.

I spent an entire year, on my knees, praying to God that he knew what he was doing. I prayed that he would eliminate my human desire to rebuke his plans, and go the easy route (maybe dating someone in Des Moines rather than Africa? Hmm…). I spent lonely weekends, missing Mike, and I cried a lot! God isn’t a genie, I don’t think he just snaps his fingers and grants our wishes.

I think God challenges us, how bad do you want your prayer? How hard are you willing to work for it?  Or do we expect him to do all the work?

Trust me, I struggled A LOT within the year I was waiting for Mike. But, during this time God continued to reassure me that I was on the right path. That Mike absolutely was the man I was supposed to marry, and despite the fact that I questioned his plan A LOT, God was faithful in the end.

We are all human after all, God isn’t calling us to not question his plan, or to be unwavering at all times. I believe he challenges us to do the best we can, learn from our mistakes, and at the end of the day, believe in him as a father figure that loves us unconditionally, and only wants what’s best for us.

When it doubt, you can always turn to my Friday ritual, while Mike was gone. Grab a beer, a warm cozy bubble bath with aromatic candles, and your Bible! That’s right, I almost always had my “Beer, Bible, and Bubble Bath” on Fridays…it comes highly recommended.

When was a time that you felt God challenged you to “hold strong” onto the desires of your heart? Did God deliver in the way that you thought, or did he have much more in store for you?


Saint Andrews Cathedral

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