Wisdom Builds Faith While Expressing Love
A couple of weeks after we were engaged to be married Wyndham moved to North Carolina to serve in the campus ministry while I finished my last quarter of college classes. (I would do an internship in North Carolina.) We were both crazy busy during the five months of our engagement. He was in a new place starting a campus ministry, and I was taking a ridiculous number of hours to finish school, leading a Bible talk or two, and planning a wedding.
Long distance calls were expensive back then, thus restrictive (given Wyndham’s salary of seven thousand dollars a year, and my salary of nothing)! We seldom were able to talk, but wrote letters constantly during our five-month engagement. I wrote every day. Wyndham wrote some days–until my mentor, Ann Lucas, advised me to stop writing for a few days so he would understand what those letters meant. She was wise. 😊 He started writing every day.
Those letters meant so much to me that I still have them in a box in our basement. Years ago, (perhaps it was our 25th anniversary), we read some of the letters together. They were filled with faith in what God would do and awe at what he was doing. The tone of the letters was so faith-filled—nothing would be impossible for God. The fields were ripe for harvest. The students, the professors, the teens, the adults…we were watching God move in people’s lives as they became Christians. I heard about them in his letters. I felt his excitement, and I caught his vision. His attitude of faith in the letters could best be expressed by Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:20-21.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
These letters also told me how much I was loved. I’d read those parts again and again. Wyndham’s wisdom had (and has) the unique ability to build faith while expressing love. Wisdom does that—builds faith and expresses love. It’s not a technique or writing style, but an overflow of faith and love from the heart.
God’s letters to me, in his Word, do this above any other letters. They leave me with faith and leave me feeling loved. This past week one of my assignments (I’m working on my master’s degree in spiritual formation) included writing a letter to myself from God during the current season of my life. This was an emotionally moving exercise for me. My fingers typed faster than I can ever remember, and the whole time I was crying. Ugly crying. Weeping. I felt God expressing his love for me (and for Wyndham) and reassuring me that he loves us, hears all our prayers, and is quite aware of our situation. In this letter, he was telling me he “had this,” and I could trust him. Here are a few excerpts.
My dear daughter,
As you enjoy another sunrise today and experience my reminders and kisses to you through your favorite autumn flowers, the crispness of the air, the wildlife that you enjoy, and the love you feel and experience in your heart…remember this is what I want for you. Trust me.
If only you could see as I do, you would understand that I would do nothing, ever, to hurt you. You know how deeply you feel about your children and grandchildren. Well, the love I feel for you is infinitely more. Trust that. You will see one day. I will hold you in my arms, and as my Spirit lives in you now, I want you to feel hugged from the inside out. Trust me.
I hate that you are hurting and that your husband is suffering, but trust me. I feel this with you. I am suffering with you. This is temporary and one day it will be a speck so small you will say…oh…now I get it. I will never leave you alone. I will be with you and him, and your family every step of the way. I have this…
And, that husband of yours. He is one of my dearest sons. Don’t ever think I don’t have him on and in my heart every day. Know beyond the shadow of a doubt I love you both. I can’t wait to be together one day. Meanwhile, represent me well; don’t ever quit giving. I’m going to lead you to many people who need help finding me. I will help you use the gifts I have given you. We are a team. You are my friend. Don’t ever forget that, daughter.
I haven’t forgotten your devotion to me. Never forget mine to you. Please take time to be still and let this sink in. And always trust me. I’ve got this.
Always and forever yours,
As I reminisced over God’s faithfulness to me and his words to me in the Scriptures (not just my imaginary letter), my faith was built. Wisdom builds faith while expressing love.
Jeanie, Thanks for sharing both the past and the present. I think I’m going to try your exercise myself, we all need to gain the perspective you shared. How God views our life and loves us. You both are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Your brother and friend, Mark
Thanks, Mark. I highly recommend it. It touched a deep place in my soul for sure. Love you and Beth so very much. Jeanie
I love this Jeanie. It reminded me of the Shack. So precious and tender…thank you for sharing❤️
Wow, that’s quite a compliment. Thank you, Lori. We love you and John so very much. Thanks for always encouraging.
Wow, Jeanie….thanks SO MUCH!!! You truly have a gift of expressing your innermost thoughts mixed in with God’s faithful words of wisdom expressed in love! I really appreciate the deep way that you express God’s love for us and the need for us to remain faithful to him no matter what life’s circumstances we’re facing at the moment. Your blogs remind me of I Thessalonians 2:8 “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Thank you so much for such kind and encouraging words. Love you very much.
Jeanie- I love your posts so much. The one today had me “ugly crying” also. Knowing a tiny bit of what you both are going thru humbles me and inspires me even more as I read your words. On days where I feel “stuck” I go back thru your words-I keep all of your articles. I am in a challenging stage of life myself and your words help ground me in Gods love and his perfect plan. You are showing us how to suffer and trust God no matter what. I am forever grateful for you both. Love you so much Leigh
Leigh Kinnard firstname.lastname@example.org
Leigh, your kind and encouraging words bring tears to my eyes. Thank you so much. We love, appreciate, and respect you and Steve so much. Love you.
Jeanne I too have a box of first love letters from my dearest husband Dan Stokes. As we age …and our marriage grows in years and closeness I too am thankful for God’s endless love and joy.
So grateful for my Wednesday Morning Cup with you! Please know you and your family are in my prayers. Many many 🙏🏻!
Thank you so much, Judy.
There are times when you find yourself speechless, when you are in awe or amazed. This is one of those times. My heart was filled with so much joy it truly touched my spirit to read this. So beautifully amazing. There isn’t a time when I think of the Boston church, when I am reminded about how blessed I am to have been under such wonderful spiritual leadership. Thank you Wyndham and Jeanie as you still inspire and impact lives spiritually across the miles. God Bless you.
Gwen, we miss you here. You are such a giver and encourager. Thank you so much for your kind words. Love, Jeanie
Thank you for sharing this, Jeanie. What a wonderful exercise. Keeping you and your family in our prayers.
Thank you so much, Mary. So appreciate the prayers. Sending our love.
Jeanie I am so moved by your letter, my friend. It is brimming with faith that flows into my heart. All of us that know and love you and Wyndham have struggled with accepting this situation. To hear the Spirit inspire you with these sweet, intimate and loving words is convixting and inspiring. You are my hero.
Kitty Chiles Jubilee Orchards, LLC 12008 Miccosukee Road Tallahassee, Fl. 32309 (850) 251-2263 email@example.com
On Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 6:34 AM My Morning Cup – Refilled… wrote:
> jeanieshaw posted: “Wisdom Builds Faith While Expressing Love A couple of > weeks after we were engaged to be married, Wyndham moved to North Carolina > to serve in the campus ministry while I finished my last quarter of college > classes. (I still would need to do an internship i” >
Love you so much, Kitty. Your encouragement is so refreshing and welcomed. You and Bud are also heroes to us.
Wow, just wow! 😮
I wept through it too…and smiled. We had/have good fathers. You and your family always enrich me. I love you. c
Oh my goodness Jeanie! How powerful, wise and inspiring and what a great thing to do. Wise professors you have. Thank you for sharing as we keep on praying, looking upward, and waiting for that amazing day when we are all called home. Love you!
Thank you, Debbie. We love you and Jim.