Hello friend, I am so happy you are here! I hope that something from this post speaks to your heart, and know that I have prayed for every single one of you that comes to read this blog, whether it is all three of you or three-hundred of you. This is just some of my ordinary life, laid out for you, please enjoy!
I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia to my mom who grew up in a Ukrainian Baptist family, of seven kids, a strong-willed mother, and Pastor as a father.
As some of you know, I am getting married this Saturday, and ever since I was a little girl I have dreamed of having my Russian family at my wedding. However, as I got older, the possibility of that actually happening got smaller and smaller. Until this March, when I got a call from my mom asking me when my wedding would be because my grandparents were planning to come to the States this summer. I couldn’t believe my ears. God had heard my tiny heart’s cry to have them at my wedding and here I am, five days away from my wedding and I get to have them by my side.
This blog post is actually about my mom’s dad, my dedushka. My grandfather has been a pastor for almost 40 years, has been married to my grandmother for 52 years and has been a Christian for 70 years. And throughout those years, he has become one of the wisest and greatest Christian men I have ever met.
As I have gotten to see my grandparents interact with us in the last week or two, I am reminded of fond memories spent with them in my childhood. But I’m also reminded of the fact that time changes things a lot, and as we get older the rose colored glasses we see life through, come off. My grandmother now has dementia and battles fears of my grandfather leaving her. Yet in all of my grandmother’s ravings and when she is beside herself, my grandfather sits down close to her ear, whispers truth to her, prays over her, and beautifully exemplifies the unconditional love Christ has for me.
And for a girl who is approaching marriage, I have to admit there are days where I have been like my grandmother. I have been fearful of the decision to have a long distance engagement and all that comes with that. I have been hard to love, although my fiance would likely not admit that to me. I know that I have not always made this transition easy.
However, I can only pray that 30 years from now, when I’m spouting off about something so unimportant in the timeline of life before God’s Kingdom, that Andrew lovingly gets down close to my ear, whispers truths to me, holds me tight, prays over me, and exemplifies Christ’s love to me when I need it most. I know this may seem a lot to ask of my soon-to-be-husband, but Andrew has already shown me that God has equipped him in these areas, because he has already done these things for me (on numerous occasions- I’m a hot mess y’all!)
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – Zephaniah 3:17
Will you read that again? Quietly to yourself. Let the Holy Spirit speak this over your heart. Your God is living with you. He has saved you. He delights in you. He will calm your fears. He loves you. He sings over you with joy. Whoa. Friend, this verse brings me nearly to tears everytime I read it, I just cannot believe this is my God!
So, as I watch my grandfather love his bride, I am reminded of not only what I have to look forward to, but also how Jesus already loves me. I am Christ’s bride, first. I am already perfect, blameless and pure to Jesus because of the cross. He has already said His vows to me, and He will always be faithful. He will not break His covenant with me. I will always be His.
Friend this is you, too. Jesus is faithful in all of your unfaithfulness. He has loved you to the point of death, even death on the cross. You are finally His. This moment is the purest it can be because Christ has made a covenant with you. Will you say your vows to Him? Will you allow Him to lead you in love and guide you in wisdom as you walk into a lifetime of community with your Groom? My friend, enjoy this moment. Breathe in the freedom that Christ gives you at the cross. You are forgiven. You are loved. You are His bride!
Jenn (@jenn.alexx) is an author + creative at thegracescripts.com. Jenn is passionate about women’s ministry. She attends Southeastern Seminary. She and her husband live in North Carolina.