As I sit here and watch our wedding video again, I think of all the amazing things that have happened in the last several years and I am overwhelmed and, no shocker, tears have been running down my face. Our Almighty Heavenly Father is keeping His promises in ways, and to depths, not that long ago I would never dared dream.
It kind of looks like this when I meet someone new:
“So, Greg, how long have you and Lynn been married?”
“Well, this year, 2022, we will have been together 40 years. We’ve been married just over 6 months.”
Their eyes, bless their hearts, get wide as salad plates and you can almost see their minds trying to sort it out. In a way it’s kind of fun; but I don’t let them stew there very long because I always want to give God His Glory for our Journey.
I follow it up with, “We were married for 33 years, were legally separated for 6 until I got my act together, and thanks to God’s incredible Grace and Mercy, we just got married August, 28, 2021.”
During our first marriage we lived a lie of my creation. We lived in a state of sexual addiction and adultery. But that blog has been written and published and if you want that part of the story, you can find it on our website or at About Us: Greg and Lynn’s Restoration Story at Covenant Eyes.
Today, this blog is about Redemption.
In October, 2016 Lynn and I buried our first marriage. We were already legally separated but decided WE were worth fighting for and chose to start again and build a new marriage on a foundation of truth & honesty with God at the helm. We attended couples’ groups, shared our story together at marriage conferences in 2018 & 2019 and then, in June, 2019 God gave Lynn her calling and dream job to be the Lodge Grounds Supervisor at a resort on the Oregon coast. We packed up and moved to Lincoln City and Lynn is flourishing in her new position being, as her then boss called her, “The Queen of All Things Beautiful.”
Lynn and I continued on our path of Restoration. Devastating family things happened. Life happened. COVID happened. And Redemption happened. God was taking a marriage destroyed by betrayal, a heart shattered and crushed beyond repair, and was working His Redemption process, Redeeming the years with Lynn I had squandered. And in March, 2021, Lynn proposed to me. It was not something I could bring about. I had destroyed us the first time around and only God’s Redemptive work in our lives and our marriage could make this happen. It was Lynn’s decision to make, not mine. I was thrilled. I said, “Yes!”
We called our four kids and their spouses, “got their permission” and their August schedules and planned a small, family wedding for Lynn’s birthday on the 14th. As we were making plans and talking about it, Lynn said, “Wouldn’t it be a kick in Satan’s gut to get married on the 28th?” We chuckled but thought better of it.
One of our sons soon discovered he wouldn’t be able to come early enough for his wife to help us with decorations and planning if we did it on the 14th. The only other day he could make it was the 28th. Salishan Coastal Lodge’s wedding venue, “The Glen” was not booked for the 14th and then suddenly it was. But the 28th was available. God had other plans and the date changed.
The plans were made, the kids were all involved, a wedding dress ordered (I had no idea wedding dresses could come in the mail in an envelope!), a new suit, fittings, decorations and food! The details were falling into place. It was beyond wonderful!
I began to write my vows. I thought back almost 40 years to the first time I’d uttered vows. I, like most 20-somethings getting married, didn’t have a clue what those vows truly meant. The self-sacrifice they promise. The love, the TRUE love, they require. I remember being terrified.
As I sat there this time thinking about these things, a different “terror” washed over me. Lynn and I had been through hell and back, with God’s help, and this time, I knew EXACTLY what the vows I would declare meant. I was overcome by the immensity of those vows and my responsibility to honor them. What I would write and then declare, needed to mean something; needed to speak to whoever heard me declare them; needed to speak to me the rest of my life:
I, Greg, take you Lynn to be my wife, My Beloved & my Heart’s Desire.
I promise to honor and uphold you as the Daughter of the Almighty God.
I vow to love you selflessly and cherish you for the rest of my days.
God is my witness & my strength in these vows.
This is my promise to you.
Lynn appreciated them so much she adopted them as well. As I wrote them, thinking about our first 33 years, I especially wanted the selfless statement in them. If you watch the video, as we’re saying our vows, we begin to laugh. Even with Brad prompting me, I forgot the selflessly part! And Lynn whispered, “You forgot selflessly!” It was, for me, a great moment. Marrying the woman I love with all my heart, laughing with me and reminding me that I promised, promise, to love her selflessly.
My discovery day, the day my addiction was brought to light, was August 28, 2015. Six years later, to the day, almost to the hour, God Redeemed that day and created for us a new marriage. A new life. A new ministry. A new beginning. Jesus can, and does, heal the broken-hearted. We are living proof.
LYNN AND GREG – REDEEMED: AUGUST 28, 2021
Freedom is a gift from God. It is also His Promise; and He ALWAYS keeps His Promises.