Sunday, January 23, 2011

I do.

December 17, 2005. It was a day that I will remember forever.

It was the day that I got all dressed up, invited all my family and friends, and married my beautiful bride.

I'll never forget the way Meredith looked. She took my breath away as she walked down the aisle on her dad's arm with the most beautiful dress I had ever seen. In that moment, nothing else mattered but me and her. It was like a dream.

The pastor proceeded with the wedding vows and Meredith and I took that moment to announce to each other, those in attendance, and to the entire world that we would love unconditionally, honor the name Ramsey, cherish each other's hearts, and protect at all costs. We finished our vows with the words, "I do."

While that moment in my life was a pivotal, life changing moment for me, and while I did utter the words, "I do" to my beautiful bride on December 17, it wasn't until months later that I truly said "I do" to Meredith.

Flash forward to July, we had been married for five months, and barely had two dimes to rub together. We were scarcely making ends meet, our car was in need of repair, and we were hit hard with the reality of student loans. On top of it all, we had just found out we were expecting. We sat in that bathroom, both dumbfounded at the reality of marriage and the actuality of life. We could have let this time and this moment of crisis break us.

I took Meredith's trembling hands in my own, wiped the tears from her eyes, and reminded her of the goodness God had been in our life. I reminded her of His sovereignty in bringing us together, and I reminded her of His great love for us. I told her we would make it through this, just like we would make it through every trial in our future. I told her that I meant what I said on that alter that day, and no matter how hard things got, we were in this together.

It was at this very moment that I said "I do" to Meredith. Anyone can promise to uphold their vows, anyone can guarantee a lifetime of love and devotion, and anyone can simply say "I do" but it is in the moment of crisis, that you really get to uphold those infamous words. It was in THIS moment of OUR crisis that I got to uphold those words.

In my life today, I find myself amidst a similar situation. Today, I find myself within a crisis with the church. When I was 14 years old, I told Jesus "I do" as I surrendered my life and my occupation to full-time ministry and service to Him. I promised to spend the rest of my life reaching others for Christ and changing the lives of young people. I vowed to devote myself to occupational ministry.

But just now, as I am amidst this crisis, am I able to practice my "I do."

It seems sometimes as if the world will stop at nothing to watch this vow crumble. Satan in working his hardest to keep my family from doing what God had called us to do. And sometimes the weight of it all feels more than I can even bear.

People constantly ask me, "Why stay in it? Haven't you been hurt enough?" And I am so glad that I can tell them that He is still God, He is still on His throne, and through every trial, I have a reason to praise. Even through the desert, even through the darkness, and even through the trial - God is my victory and to Him I will always say, "I do."

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