Friday, September 28, 2012

A Redeeming Love - The Final Chapter

The morning of Sunday, December 14th was like none other I have ever seen in San Francisco.  It was clear as a bell and about 70 degrees – unheard of for winter in the city! 
 
After I showered and got ready, Roger and I grabbed some breakfast.  I suggested we drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and go up to the National Recreation Area to enjoy the view of the city on such a spectacular day before heading to the airport in Sacramento where I’d be flying back to Seattle.  Roger agreed and we began to drive.  I wasn’t nervous anymore.  I knew that this wouldn’t be the weekend we’d get engaged, but I also felt confident that if ever he asked, I would say yes.  God had given me peace that for my life, two are better than one.
As we made our way up into the hills, I was surprised to see so few people out.  We drove up to a little spot where there was a park bench, a fence and one breath taking view.  We got out and quickly Roger hopped the fence and started walking out onto the hill.  We were speechless as we felt the warm air and looked at the crystal clear city skyline.  He reached into his pocked and pulled out two quarters.  “Here,” he said as he handed me a quarter.  “Make a wish.”  From the time our relationship began, we had always made wishes together – from the wishing well at Disneyland to stars in the sky – we were always making wishes!  I laughed because there was no way in the universe I would be able to throw my quarter into the bay, but I turned around, closed my eyes, made my wish and threw that quarter.  When I turned around, Roger was down on one knee.
With eloquent, thoughtful words, he asked me to marry him. 
Completely shocked and caught off guard I said, “I just wished for that!  I can’t believe you made my wish come true!”  “You’ve made all my wishes come true,” he said as he pulled out the ring.  My heart was racing and I just couldn’t believe this was happening.  Of course I said yes and happily slipped on my engagement ring.  We sat down and as we stared at the city, we talked, cried, cuddled and laughed.  It was simply a perfect moment in time.
 “Remember when we made wishes at Snow White’s Wishing Well at Disneyland 6 years ago?  You wished that one day you’d date Raeanne Jones.  I wished that one day we’d return to Disneyland with our children!  You wanted a date, I wanted to raise children together!” 
 It was tough to get on the plane that afternoon, but I knew I’d see him again in a few weeks for Christmas.  We made a pact that we would have fun planning the wedding and never wish a moment away.  I can honestly say that the wedding planning was so special and the wedding itself, almost 9 months later to the day, was truly my dream come true.
 We got married outside at Villa Montalvo, a beautiful villa in the hills moments away from where I grew up.  As I went to pick out the invitations with my mother, I remember the women helping us said, “Since you’re getting married outside, your invitation should read, ‘the pleasure of your company is requested.’  You only say, ‘request the honor of your presence..’ if it is in a church or a worship service.”  I was quick to say, “We’ll have ‘request the honor of your presence…’ in our invitation, because that day, it will be a worship service on holy ground.”  And it was. 
 Much to the shock of many, we got married on the 11th of September, 2004.  It was only 3 years after the 9-11 tragedy, but we decided that we’d redeem the day.  Our whole love story was about redemption, healing and making all things new, so it was very fitting.  I never thought that God would redeem all the pain and heartbreak in my life with the same man that caused it.  But isn’t that just like God?  He takes the impossible and makes it possible.
 
Three days before the wedding I went up into the mountains to “my rock” where I sat and prayed.
“Lord, it was about 2 ½ years ago that I sat on this rock crying and questioning.  I was hurt and broken.  I asked big questions and you were faithful to answer.  Thank you Lord for meeting me here that day.  You changed my life that day.  You began a healing process and transformation that led me to this place again to praise you.
God, in 3 days I will marry that man who broke my heart 2 ½ years ago.  Where there once was pain, now there is joy.  Where there were ashes, you’ve given beauty.  Where there was mourning, you’ve brought dancing.  You are the Redeemer!”

 And redeem He did!  The day was a beautiful, holy celebration.  My prayer for that day was that I would be totally present and live every moment.  God answered.  I remember every step I took, the look on his face, the words that were spoken, the music played – I recall all of it.  It was one of the best days of my life.
 And as for our love of wishes, well, there just happened to be a wrought iron wishing well on the property where we shared our first dance! 
 And our favors were tiny white boxes tied with pale pink silk ribbon.  Inside there were 4 brand new pennies with a little note that told of the wish that came true for me on December 14th, 2003 when Roger asked me to marry him.  The note ended with,
“Use these coins to make wishes of your own.  Wishes do come true!”
 And with that, I conclude this Summer Romance Series!  It’s been 8 wonderful, challenging, growing, loving, child birthing, fun filled years.  God continues to redeem us through our mistakes and failures while we continue to make wishes and watch God bless us time and again.
Back at Snow White's Wishing Well... with our daughters!  Just like I wished for!

10 comments:

  1. I've loved every minute of this. It's made all the more precious by the intimate hours we've spent together as couples. I know what my wish will be tonight: To get our families together again!

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  2. This was such a great series!! Thanks for sharing and all of the hard work that went into it!

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  3. So great to read your story and to hear of God's faithfulness. Thanks.

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  4. I love the message of redemption in your personal love story... just like God's redemption message in His love story with us. I had so much fun reading this "romance series", that I am contemplating writing my own! Thanks for inspiring me :) And, it is so funny, but from your story it seems that Christian and I got engaged in the exact place that you guys did! What an AMAZING spot! SF has always been a special place for us too. XOXO, Ashley

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  5. What a beautiful story of God's faithfulness and His absolute love for His children! Thank you for sharing this with us. I loved every word! Much love, Ashley

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  6. Oh Raeanne, you had me in tears and goose-bumps through this whole post! LOVE it! God has blessed you with an amazing man and a great family! I love your love story!

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