This letter was written by Candace's future father-in-law to some of their friends. We were so blessed by it and when I read it aloud to Ford, I got all choked up after just the second sentence.
"God works in mysterious ways is the understatement of the year. I can't tell you the amount of time that I have spent praying and trying to prepare my children for what the world will throw at them. Whatever time I have spent, Regina has spent 10 times more. There are times when you get weary and stop. There are times when you wonder does it really matter. There have been times when I was so discouraged that I was ready to let the world dictate how life would turn out for our family.
God has encouraged us along the way with His miracles and blessings. Many times you look back on your day and you say, "Today I saw the hand of the Lord." I think God knows when we need to be encouraged. He knows when we need saving from ourselves with a shove in the right direction.
If you have been discouraged, or maybe you are at this moment, they you must read the rest of this email.
We have always raised our children wit the understanding that dating was not going to be a part of their social life. We wanted them to grow up with purity and innocence. Part of the plan was to not date or be alone with members of the opposite sex. We were trusting that when the time was right, God would provide a mate just as He provided a sacrifice for Abraham. I can't tell you the ridicule we received from other people over this..."
"If I have your attention then you must go to this website and read how our oldest son met the woman he will marry in November. (www.shadybrookacres.blogspot.com)
God has said, I will never leave you or forsake you." My faith has been strengthened, and I have renewed hope that Jesus is on the throne and I must keep moving toward eternity working for Him.
He sent this to Candace because it prompted a reply from one of his friends, who is a Baptist minister, and this friend addressed the reply to Candace also. Michael's parents are seeing this story bless many others. We all are praising God for the wonderful priviledge of encouraging God's people. Here is the letter from the friend.
"Philip, Regina, Michael and Candace,
I am speechless. (And Philip knows what a miracle that is!)
I can not begin to express the exhortation this story has provided me. I quickly read over the email last night and didn't go to the link because I was busy. Missy asked me if I had read it and how wonderful it was. I said yes, but thought, "It's just a wedding announcement." When I got up to have my quiet time, I felt impressed to see what I missed.
God used these two amazing young members of "The Family" to remind this old brother that He still is I AM. I live with the constant burden of seeing potential left unmet and often feel as if I'm running on borrowed fuel-weary encouraging others.
Michael and Candace, you have revived my heart! You both have been used by Him to shout "HE WILL BLESS IF WE WILL FOLLOW!"
I've noticed that Jeremiah 29:11 is overused lately. I see it as the theme for conferences from children to seniros. It's a great verse but I beleive God wants us to get to verses 12 & 13.
Jeremiah 29: 11-13
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to propser you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I pray blessings on your lives together in all your days and look forward to hearing what God has for you both in the coming years.
Thank you again for your encouragement!
When we do hard things and they end up blessing others, it makes it all worth it!