Tara and Garth
[one_fourth]Thanks to all the couples who sent us their amazing romantic proposal stories. Now it is time to vote for your favourite story. There are some fantastic prizes for the winners and we will also be randomly selecting a few voters for a special treat courtesy of www.saweddingvenues.com To vote leave your comment at the bottom of your favourite story ♥
Prizes Courtesy of ~
Tara & Garth[dropcap color=”rosy”]A[/dropcap]s the year draws to an end, I thought I would share the last two years of my life with you and the role that the awesome Father, our saviour and redeemer, has played within my life.
2011 was probably the most challenging year I have faced but with every door that was closed, a whole lot of prayer, a huge amount of faith and rest spent in the Lords presence, it became ever so clear once again that the Father’s heart is so amazingly good and that His heart is truly for His children. Let me share….
At the beginning of 2011, the first kitten which I have ever owned, our little Mischief passed away. He suffered severe kidney failure at less than a year old and the cause of this was never established although various tests were undertaken. It left a gaping hole in my heart for some time. I still miss him very much. For those of you who know me, you will know that losing an animal is equivalent to losing a family member. My “babies” are an integral part of my daily life. At that stage, I was yet to discover that I would also lose my first horse towards the end of the year. I will come to this.
In May 2011 my grandmother passed away. She was a woman of faith and she lived a full life. I know that she was at peace when she left us and I also know that our Lord prepared a banquet for her arrival where she is seated at His right hand. I never took my final opportunity to say goodbye to her and to tell her how much I loved her and respected her. Never waste time in telling the people you love how much they mean to you. Despite this, I know that she has forgiven me and I am at peace that she is resting in our Father’s arms. When a loved one passes, the hurt experienced by those of us who are left behind is sometimes overwhelming. My heart still aches for my mother who I know misses her so much. Mom, Gran is safe.
In September of 2011 the Iquad Stellenbosch office was closed and my assistant, good friend and “second mother” was retrenched. I bore the guilt of this for many months and constantly questioned whether I was responsible. Perhaps if the office had been more successful, the company would not have closed it. These were questions that I constantly mulled over in my mind and I felt a huge bitterness towards the company I was working for. I could not understand how a staff member who was truly valuable could be let go so easily. God had a plan here too.
During all of the above, my relationship was also falling apart. Although I was quite aware that things were not superb, I was blissfully unaware of the true implications. In my own strength, I had started planning a wedding and by this stage all the invitations had been delivered and the guest list was confirmed. Deposits were all paid and the only thing really left was for me to walk down the aisle. God spoke to me during the year and in my heart I knew that the timing was not right but disobedient as we are, I forged ahead. On the 22nd of October 2011, my world came crashing down when I discovered that my fiancé had been unfaithful for some time. The emptiness that this caused is far too difficult to explain. I was devastated. I felt that God had punished me for being disobedient. I was embarrassed, humiliated and my pride was scarred. I felt that I simply did not deserve it. On the 27th of October 2011, I was admitted to hospital following a nervous breakdown. This was the weakest and lowest point in my life. God says in His word that where you are weak, He is strong. He is faithful and His word speaks only truth. At that stage, I was simply so blind to everything that was happening around me. I was angry with God. I just never understood.
On the 10th of December 2011, I was left with no decision but to euthanize my first beloved horse, Monarch’s Mark. Following thermal imaging, physiotherapy, chiropractors’, x—rays, many sessions of magnetic blanket treatment, there was nothing that could be done to improve his situation. I had owned him for five years when he passed. Your first horse is probably similar to your first love. You never forget them and a part of them remains with you always. I still miss him and think of him almost every day. He has his own special place in my heart. I believe that in heaven there are fields of rolling green grass and I am sure an unlimited supply of carrots. I know he is looked after here.
So that brings me to this year…. With each of these things, God opened a new door and has slowly started to reveal His plan for my life. He has renewed and restored the areas of brokenness and unforgiveness in my heart. He has chipped away at the hurt and my pride. He has lasered my scars. In His gentle manner, he has washed me clean and softened my heart. For the first time in a long time, I know that He is in control. I am ready to face any struggle, any battle and any challenge that is brought across my path for it is through Him that I am strong. I am new. I am worthy. I am loved unconditionally. A new kitty has entered my life and towards the very end of 2011, a new very special horse blessed my life. We have formed a wonderful partnership and our bond grows stronger day by day. I couldn’t be more thankful for his presence in my life. I love you Pi.
I started my LLB at the beginning of this year and although I am still waiting on four results, I am almost sure that I have passed every exam I have written this year with distinction. The road is long yet but with God on my side who can be against me. In May 2012 I resigned to focus on my studies. This brought many more opportunities with it and I am now involved with a colleague (who also resigned from our previous company) in operating our own business. God has opened every door here and He has his stamp firmly on all that we do. The prospects are rolling in and we have exceeded our initial forecasts. I know that in glorifying God, more good things are to come. For when we surrender and He gives, He does so in abundance. This brings me to the last aspect of my life. My relationship. Following the mess that was left behind in 2011, Garth started his own journey with the Lord. He came to salvation and was baptised at the beginning of 2012. At first I was not convinced and questioned whether he was in fact pursuing God to appease me. God has chastised me in this area for having little faith. It has been amazing to watch Garth grow in the Lord and to see how the Lord has restored most areas of brokenness in his life too. We have cried many tears together and all through this God has been faithful to us both and to our bond between one another. He has shown us both areas in which we need to work. Although there are places in which we need to heal, there is such a blessing in obedience to God. I am very excited about the work that God has planned for us in the year to come and after. Garth and I recently got “re-engaged” and this time our wedding will most certainly be in His time. As a Daughter of the Almighty, I know that He will only give me the best. The truth is that last year, neither Garth nor I were best for one another. As Garth grows in becoming a Man of God and a son, he is best for me and I love him very much. With much prayer, we have arrived at a date for February of this year and God – in His role as provider – is definitely behind this one. I look forward to a blessed union and I know that our Father’s heart is truly for His daughters and sons. This gives me peace and I rest in the knowledge that all will run according to His plan.