From Becky --
I just read the post that Elise made yesterday and feel compelled to make a post of my own to share a couple of things.
First, I'd like to echo Elise's thanks to all of you who are reading this. Some of you leave us comments, some send emails, some send cards, some call, some hug us all at work or school or church or in the street. But all of you care enough to continue to walk this journey with us and the vast majority of you pray and you need to know that your prayers and love are carrying Greg and Elise - and all their families through this time. Although it's hard to open up to people during hard times, we learn more each day how important it is to do so. I so much appreciate Elise's (and Greg's) transparency during this time about what they're struggling with and feel like it's another way that God is using this situation - teaching us to be open and honest and not hide what we think might be considered "weakness". The older I get and the more life Smitty and I live, the more we realize that EVERYBODY has something going on that's hard or embarrassing in their lives. You only need to scratch the surface to find it! We'd encourage you all to be open and vulnerable and allow those around you to love you and give you a chance to love them back.
Today is Valentine's Day and everyone everywhere is saying "I love you" and buying cards and gifts that have those sentiments written on them. I just got done writing similar messages to my sweet husband and family members, but I'm reminded what God said about love in 1Corinthians 13:4-7 " Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
When Greg proposed to Elise, these words were part of the proposal. That was before his cardiac arrest in 2007 .... when life seemed "normal"... when they expected to have a newlywed path just like everyone else's - sweetened by the fact that they were going to be serving in ministry and that life would have real meaning for them because they would be serving God each day in their daily work. As they read this post, they might feel embarrassed that I'm saying this, but since I'm a "mom", I can get away with it :)
I need to tell you that the last part of verse 7 above "it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres", has been modelled in their relationship since the beginning and has now reached a point deeper than most of us can imagine. Their love, at the tender age of 24, is an inspiration and we are grateful to be witnesses to it. Although I'm tempted to pray that their lives might be a little more "normal", I guess I need to ask you to pray with me that the Lord would just continue to use them for His purposes and give them His protection, peace and gentle love along the way.
So... Happy Valentine's Day! I hope that we are all able to show love the way it is supposed to be shown and that the same kind of love returns to us-- not just today, but always.