I wrote this blog a year and a half ago on the occasion of our 35th wedding anniversary – a miracle! God is merciful! He makes beauty from ashes. The video story of my life is coming next week. Here’s more of the story.

Introducing Melinda: Blog #10

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Psalm 139:11-12 ESV).

To all the world it looked as though I had wrecked my life. It happened in 1977, the year I graduated from high school. I seared my conscience and deliberately sinned. By March I was a pregnant teenager. By May I had married my unsaved eighteen-year-old boyfriend and had lost my full-ride college scholarship, which had been endowed in the 1800s for single women of academic promise.

Praise God that there is absolutely no place where we are beyond his care. As bright as day, God saw it all, and he is sovereign. Because he thoroughly loves us, he orchestrates all things to work together for our good. Our actions. Our sins. Everything. He blesses us when we don’t deserve it. He makes beauty from the ashes of our lives.

That tiny preborn infant son—his beloved little self so precious to me that I stood against much opposition in order to preserve his life—was used by God to change me. My pregnancy made his father aware that he was, indeed, a sinner. Eight months after our marriage, my husband gave his life to Christ, and I recommitted myself to the forgiving Lord I had betrayed. Together, we were baptized in a horse trough on a cold January evening in 1978. Today we celebrate our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

How can it be?

My fall into sin was a necessary ingredient in my husband’s salvation and my own cognizance of my utter inability to live a godly life apart from Christ. God knew this. He allowed me to fall, giving me over to my self-idolatry. All along, he planned to use it for my good.

This year I am overwhelmed by his unmerited grace. He has a kind heart beyond imagining. He does not give us what we deserve (eternal punishment); he spares us and blesses us beyond measure through the redemption of his Son. He never abandons us, no matter what we do.

It’s hard for our puny human minds to comprehend how God can take even blatant sin (sex outside of marriage done purposefully after a thorough conscience searing) and work it together for our good (beloved family and long marriage used as a tool to drive us into God’s arms).

John Piper says, “God has no afterthoughts. Every plan is Plan A. If he reverses a trajectory, that was the plan.” While I am held entirely responsible for my sin, God’s plan for my life always included redeeming my willful transgressions. My son’s life, my repentance, and my husband’s path to salvation were ordained before the foundation of the world. Inconceivable!

Though the way I began was in sinfulness, the Lord has given me my heart’s desire in spite of myself. He has patiently shaped my character and has carried us through all the messiness of a young marriage begotten in such a fashion. The Lord continues to convict, empower, and change us. Why he would do this is beyond me!

Our firstborn is now grown to honorable manhood and is the father of our three oldest grandchildren. After dreaming of having six children, God has bestowed them upon us, and they have multiplied. All of them bless our lives every day—this is completely undeserved. It didn’t have to go this way; but it did, all because of the grace of a loving God. We have a merciful Savior.

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you” (Psalm 139:17-18 ESV).