What a surprise! It's amazing what God can do with party plans when He's the ultimate party planner.
Last year my hubby John's 50th Surprise Birthday Party turned out to be a beautiful gift from God for both of us to experience and enjoy. We were all blessed by His goodness and the great work of His hands. It was a big year for my hubby. In some ways, becoming 50 feels like you're starting the other half of your life. Not that I want to live to be 100!!! But you reflect on the past, your grown or still growing children and what does God have for you next. I knew I wanted to have a surprise party for my hubby and the goal was to make him feel special. It turned out to be a busy year which delayed my planning a bit. For that reason, I couldn't get the date I wanted to reserve the place for the party. So, I held it the day after his actual birthday and the day before our anniversary. Was I crazy?!?!?! But I had to trust God with the outcome. That's not easy for me, an administrator at heart, because of the amount of time I had to plan all of this without him knowing.
I invited so many people that I felt were close to John's heart that he had blessed with his friendship and blessed him in return. In the meantime, I prayed I wouldn't go beyond my budget and shock my poor hubby. I also felt led to hire a DJ which would make it more fun for him. In the end, it all worked out and I was under budget. Yay! I was so thankful and grateful it was all coming together. For that weekend I went with whatever the Lord put into place. Friday, we celebrated his actual birthday with our Marriage Group from church. On Saturday, we planned to have our "family birthday dinner"...wink, wink. Then on Sunday we were going away over night to celebrate our Anniversary. It was all a diversion of what was about to take place.
The big day came and right before the party I told him we had special plans. I had him blindfold himself so he wouldn't know where I was taking him. When we finally got to the place, I walked him in, and he removed the blindfold to be surprised by all the special guests that we're waiting for him. It was a great moment, because he was speechless, and my hubby is never at a loss for words. After we sang Happy Birthday, I had reserved some time for the people to come up and share what was on their hearts for John. It was a touching moment for him hearing what his friends and kids had to say. Then came my turn. The Lord had put something special on my heart to say which led me to tell a story that went like this...
As I was preparing for this special party for John, I was thinking about everything. Yesterday was his actual birthday and tomorrow being our Anniversary, led me to think about our wedding. When John and I we're dating, we were on the verge of breaking up until I found out I was pregnant. To my surprise John said let's get married how hard can it be, and I said yes, but there was something I asked of him. It was to promise me not to do this "one thing" that caused so much pain and he said ok. As we were preparing to get married, I had to move into his family's house due to some complications of where I was living. Two days before our wedding which was his birthday, he came home from work and it was late when I came down to see him. At that moment I realized he broke his promise and I didn't know what to do. I would have called the wedding off, but I felt obligated since his parents were paying for it and it would be disrespectful, so I went through with it. The day of our wedding was a painful experience for me. Everything about it was showing me what my life will be like with this man and it wasn't good. As I was thinking about all of this, the Lord showed me something. He spoke to my heart... "Even though there wasn't anything good about your wedding, there was one thing that stood the test of time which became what you both have now." That was puzzling to me, then I realized it was our wedding song Endless Love. As I listened to the words, I cried in realization of what the Lord had done. I asked my hubby to come up and had the DJ play our wedding song. What a touching moment it was as we danced to the song. My heart was filled with gratitude as if I had gotten a redo of my wedding and now it had a different meaning.
Our wedding day was never a good memory for me. Today, we celebrate 30 years of marrige! I would have never thought God would take that moment so long ago and give it a different meaning. I was super surprised! It's just a reflection of what God can do with a messy marriage. Whether you're at the beginning of your marriage or in the middle of a mess or at the peak celebrating what God has done, He's always creating, always working and the masterpiece of our lives is not done until we enter His presence. God has no limitations, no boundaries to what He can do with what He's wiling to give those who put their trust in Him. I have suffered immensely in my marriage, but what God gives in return does not measure to what I have endured...my cup overflows!!! Great is His faithfulness! Are you willing to trust Him with life's disappointments and see what He does in return?
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
[Psalm 126:3, 5-6 NIV]