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Perfect Imperfection

Tonight we put up our Christmas tree, the first Ravella/Gilbert tree. Actually we have two trees. One is artificial. It is perfect. It has p...

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I (Ginger)was driving down the street to our new home in San Antonio the other day and it occurred to me that I was feeling something I had not felt for a long time happiness. Not that there have not been sweet simple moments of happiness over the last year and a half. But not this kind. The deep, permeating, all-encompassing warmth of total happiness. I welcomed the foreign feeling with gratitude. I drove the tree-lined street to our new home and thanked the Lord for His generous provision. There are no promises of happiness in this life. I think when your life becomes so stripped away of all joy like it does when devastation enters in, you realize that sadness now lives where happiness once did. I see it on people's faces now so much more easily after having seen my own sad face in the mirror after losing Troy. It's like the light in your heart dims so much that it doesn't reach all the way to your eyes anymore. I look at pictures taken of me (and even a few of the kids too) where we just have the saddest eyes. We smiled in the photos but those smiles never made it to our eyes. The old saying that the eyes are a window to the soul never rang more true than when I would look at my own reflection. Now I wonder what do my eyes say?

So much has happened in the last month. I have been inspired to write so many blog entries lately but just haven't had the time to pull them out of my head and onto paper. I still want to write about my trip to the Holy Land and my last weeks in Phoenix packing up Troy's things. Later I suppose. As I type right now I am riding in the car hoping to finish before we arrive back home. I know the Lord will give me recall on the ones He wants me to finish. He has so faithfully stood by my side through the darkest hours, through the waiting, and now through the joy of wholeness. Though my sad eyes did not always reflect it, I know He was no nearer or farther to me during each of those phases. He never left me though I often didn't sense His presence. He never stopped working His divine plan out though I felt like I was wandering directionless. God is so steady. He isn't fickle. He doesn't tire. He isn't an unconditional lover of my soul. He had my future right there next to me and just said, "Wait, my child, until I unveil it for you."

As I recognized I was finally through and through happy again on that pretty drive the other day, I knew the veil was starting to lift. I will not lie and say it is an easy thing to choose to trust when you are waiting on the plans He has for us to unfold. At times it is literally the hardest thing you will ever do - to NOT DO. I am a doer and everyone that knows me knows I am. A frustrating thing happened to me when I couldn't "do" anything to change my situation. But a freeing thing also happened. It became all about what the Lord could do. Jim and I have discussed this topic at length. There was nothing he could do to heal Andrea. There was nothing I could do to make life good for me and for my children after Troy died. So we just surrendered our desires to the Lord and begged Him for provision through the pain and for the living hope of a full life again someday that only comes from Him. He has restored my life.

It wasn't overnight. It was bit by bit. In my days before having 5 children I used to quilt. I remember piecing those small fabric squares together for days and days on end, never believing it would actually look like something in the end. And then one day I would run that last seam, flip it over and it was a little piece of art. That's what I feel like, a piece of patchwork that the Lord put together. Fragments of my old beautiful traditional life with Troy, pieces of my broken loneliness and now bits of my new-found sunshine with Jim all woven together by the Master Weaver. Far prettier and much more amazing than anything I could have ever tried to create on my own.

Jim and I joined our lives in holy matrimony last Monday, May 5th, 2008 in Phoenix before a very small group of family and friends the day before I left Arizona for good. It was time for everyone to view the masterpiece God had been working on. Our children needed to see it. Our family and friends needed to see it. But most of all we were ready to see it. Ready to live it. Live the next chapter. And now we begin our lives at the end of that tree-lined street. We will still celebrate on July 5th just like we planned. I figure Jim is wonderful enough to keep track of two wedding anniversaries. :) Between his family and mine, we have all had lots of reasons to be sad. Those continue to make us into who Christ wants us to be. But now we have lots of reasons to be happy. Jim will post a blog later titled "Normal". It's the prologue to "Happy". Maybe later this weekend (when he is not on a ladder with a hammer in one hand and a picture in another) he will have time.

Here are a few pictures a friend took at the wedding.

Our cake the hotel gave us

Our good friend, Lin, walked Ginger down the aisle
The beautiful Arizona sky reminds
us that God is watching over us


  1. Beautiful!!! I am sorry we didn't know about the wedding. Since we can't make the trip to Texas in July, we would have loved to come. Congratulations and God Bless!!

  2. Congratulations to you both!!! The pictures are just beautiful to capture the masterpiece God is at work on in the two of you. I couldn't be happier for you both and hope to see you soon!!!