Our God is a God of newness…Alleluia! God is and always has been a forward-moving force and we, God’s people, Christ’s followers, the Spirit’s church, are necessarily interested in what is being made new. We have our eyes and hearts open to God’s working-out of novelty. This is true in our church, and this is true in our lives.
Personally, God has moved in my life in ways that truly astounded me, making all things new for me in ways that I did not even know I wanted. The Lord saw my loneliness (I would not have called it that, of course. I would have called it independence) and made something new and perfect out of an old friendship. Just what I needed and yet was completely blindsided – delightfully blindsided. My impulse was to lock down, to shut-out, to forge on the path of my own choosing and triumphantly “go it alone.” But it was the 2019 Advent season and I was daily reading about God’s way of making things new. I opened my heart and followed the Spirit’s leading off my path and onto the path of newness that God was paving for me. It was a path of love, interdependence, purpose, family…marriage. We were privately engaged in June.
Between us we have five children between the ages of 21 and 11. One of those lucky souls is a boy. We would wonder about what kind of a house it would take to accommodate our brood and imagined that there was likely no such structure…that a future together was far-off and would require funds we didn’t have to build a home of very custom needs. But God’s newness was much closer than we knew! In our very neighborhood was the perfect home – one well within our reach if we sold or rented the homes we already owned, so we took a chance, made an offer and fully expected it not to work out. But God’s newness is relentless. A closing date was set and approaching quickly. All five children were thrilled beyond belief and putting their stakes in bedrooms.
The time had come, sooner than we expected, to seal the deal. But we had imagined a church ceremony at the chapel in Seaside, FL (where we were engaged) and it is COVID time. So, I made a call to a friend here in Oklahoma City who is a Justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court and we were privately married on November 10, 2020 so that we could move into the home that God’s newness provided us on November 13, 2020. The Seaside ceremony is set for March 16, 2021.
I have decided to keep the name I was born with until my dying day but that does not make me any less Jason’s wife. Together we are a family of seven: Jason, Laurel, Arden, Brink, Farrah, Emma, and Elle. We are a new thing! Alleluia and thanks be to the One who makes all things new! – Reverend Laurel