Shane and I are celebrating 9 years of marriage today, June 3.  I first met Shane when I was in the 10th grade, when our family went to a fr...

Take me to the King!

Shane and I are celebrating 9 years of marriage today, June 3.  I first met Shane when I was in the 10th grade, when our family went to a friend's hunting lease in Georgia.  As soon as I met him, I was smitten.  There is just something about a man in camo!  When we were leaving, I told my Dad then that I was going to marry that Shane Riley boy!  Of course, Dad said no because Shane was 8 years older than me.  Lucky for me, there is 8 years between  Mom and Dad so he really couldn't say too much! 

Every time our family vehicles needed any type of repairs, I would quickly volunteer to take them to Corner Tire Store!  I may or may not have thrown a few nails and screws in the driveway too!  Just kidding. 

Shane finally came to his senses after I graduated high school (which I guess being 8 years older than me is a good thing because otherwise that would be gross and illegal)!  He asked me out on a date and the rest is history. 

I would like to sit here and type that the past 9 years have been full of marital bliss. That it has been the perfect life.  That it has been everything we dreamed it would be, but the truth is that it has been 9 years of extreme heartache.  

Going into our marriage we felt prepared for the trials any marriage may face.  However, receiving a terminal diagnosis on your daughter, is not something any parent can be prepared for.  We were not prepared for the diagnosis Madison received and the short life that she was expected to live, but because of our shared faith in Jesus Christ, we knew where to place our heartache. 

When we got married, our dreams were worldly dreams.  Our dreams were what everyone else dreams: a house full of kids; an SUV filled with car seats and toys; a hectic schedule; weekends full of birthday parties and ball games; etc.  Our dreams have now changed into Heavenly dreams.  Longing to be with our Savior in Heaven, where this void that we now have, and always will, every waking hour, will be no more.  No more tears, no more pain. 

A lot of people don't understand it, and some may think that we are not dealing with our grief, but we are both more than ready to go to Heaven.  I am ready for the faith that I have to become my sight.  We hold on to the promises God has made to believers and know that God is stronger than our fears and stronger than death.  Because of these promises, Shane and I are able to get up everyday, with a smile on our face, because we can confidently say that the grave is not the end.  These wounds that we have so deep in our hearts will not defeat us.

One of my favorite singers, Amy Gann Henderson, (everyone is referred to by their Facebook name) sang this song at church a few Sundays ago.  The truth of these words have been heavy on my heart.  

Truth is I'm weak
No strength to fight
No tears to cry
Even if I tried
But still my soul
Refuses to die
One touch will change my life
Take me to the King
I don't have much to bring
My heart's torn in pieces
It's my offering
Lay me at the throne
Leave me there alone
To gaze upon Your glory
And sing to You this song
Please take me to the King
The glory's not for us
It's all for You

~Take me to the King

I LOVE these lyrics!  This is exactly how we feel. TAKE ME TO THE KING!  Yes, I am ready to go to Heaven; I am ready to go because that is where Jesus is, and having Madison and Dad there....well, that is just an added bonus! 

Even though these 9 years have consisted of broken dreams and more heartache than we ever thought possible, we refuse to say that we have suffered great loss.  Yes, Madison is no longer here with us but she is not lost by any means.  We know exactly where she is and we know that she is alive and well.

We trusted, and continue to trust, in God's perfect plan and not our own.  We believe that God is stronger than our brokenness.  I praise Jesus for this journey that He is continuing to lead us through, and know that His dreams for us are much greater than we could ever have for ourselves.

Just take me to the King.

"But our citizenship is in Heaven."
~Philippians 3:20

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;  there shall be no more death nor sorrow nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
~Revelation 21:4

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind...for by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."
~ Romans 12:2-3

June 3, 2006
Oh Happy Day!