64. The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

29 years ago today, I married my best friend.

10 years ago today, I tried to leave my husband an anniversary gift.  He did not accept it and left a note that he had contacted a lawyer and filed for divorce.

In between those dates, we had two wonderful children who have grown to be fine adults.  I experienced deep love and harmonious companionship.  We became adults together.  Because of that marriage, I got to live in Europe.  Because of that marriage, I got my first job in a library.

In recent years on this day, I’ve thought about all I have to be thankful for about that marriage.  There was very much indeed.

Today?  I’m ready to move on, to celebrate the new beginnings that a wedding day represents.

And I want to celebrate the many things I have to be thankful for about the divorce.

If that friend no longer wants to be a friend to me, if he no longer wants to walk through life with me and no longer wants to have anything to do with God — I’m actually thankful that I get to choose a different path.  (I tried so very hard to stay on the original path, but that was taken out of my hands.  In the end, it’s something to be thankful for.)

And the biggest thing I have to be thankful for?  God has been faithful.  I have learned new depths of the deep, deep love of Jesus.

So — I am going to celebrate the anniversary of my first wedding day by going over the hymns we had the congregation sing.  We had lots of music at our wedding.  Now, what I remember most are the hymns we chose.  In many, many ways, singing those hymns declared my intention for my life course as a young adult.  Now I declare them again as my life intentions.

First, Be Thou My Vision:

Be Thou My Vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art–

Thou my best thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.


Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.


Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,

Thou mine inheritance, now and always;

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,

High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.


High King of heaven, my victory won,

May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.




And whatever befall, God has been faithful.

And His love is amazing.  Next, O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus:

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus,

Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!

Rolling as a mighty ocean

In its fullness over me,

Underneath me, all around me,

Is the current of Thy love;

Leading onward, leading homeward

To my glorious rest above.


O the deep, deep love of Jesus,

Spread His praise from shore to shore!

How He loveth, ever loveth,

Changeth never, nevermore;

How He watches o’er His loved ones,

Died to call them all His own;

How for them He intercedeth,

Watcheth o’er them from the throne.


O the deep, deep love of Jesus,

Love of every love the best;

‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing,

‘Tis a haven sweet of rest,

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,

‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me;

And it lifts me up to glory,

For it lifts me up to Thee.


There’s a tension in thinking about my marriage.  When I think about how good some times were, I get sad that they didn’t last.  When I try to get rid of the sadness by thinking about how horribly it ended, I get angry for how I was treated.

What can I count on in the present?  God’s love.

When I sang this third hymn, Take My Life and Let It Be, I meant every word.  I still do:

Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;

Take my moments and my days —

Let them flow in ceaseless praise,

Let them flow in ceaseless praise.


Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love;

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee,

Swift and beautiful for Thee.


Take my voice and let me sing

Always, only, for my King;

Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee,

Filled with messages from Thee.


Take my silver and my gold —

Not a mite would I withhold;

Take my intellect and use

Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose,

Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose.


Take my will and make it Thine —

It shall be no longer mine;

Take my heart — it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne,

It shall be Thy royal throne.


Take my love — my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store;

Take myself — and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee,

Ever, only, all for Thee.


On my wedding day, I offered my heart both to my husband and to God.  Can I really complain that God took me up on that offer?

He is faithful.  He will continue to walk with me.

O, the deep, deep love of Jesus.


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