Every couple begins marriage with hearts full of dreams and hopes for the future. Some of these fall by the wayside as time moves forward and reality sets in. Others evolve and become products of compromise. And then there are those dreams and hopes that just stay tucked away through thick and thin. Through rain or shine. Through sickness and health. England was that way for me.
I had first traveled to England in college when I went backpacking with my 3 sisters just before Christmas. It was a whirlwind trip to London, Venice, Rome, Milan, Paris, Oxford and back to London. But something about England settled deep within my heart and for years I longed to return. After marrying I had tried in vain on countless occasions to direct us there in our vacation planning. But alas, it never happened. After 5 years, one daughter and another on the way, I laid my dream to rest and moved forward.
Life took on a whole new level of busyness as we began preparing our family for the BIG transition to Kenya and all that getting there would and does entail. I didn’t really have time anymore for idyl day dreaming. Besides, my priorities had shifted to issues beyond my own comfort and happiness and trips to dream destinations just didn’t make it on the table anymore.
But as I was pulling out our suitcases for the trip to Kenya my sweet husband came in the room and said, “Sooo, would you like to know what your anniversary present is now or on the trip? Because I’m going to give it to you there.” I thought for a moment and replied, “Now, I think. That way I can properly prepare.” He said, “Good, because as you know, this trip falls just before our 7th anniversary and I’ve arranged with the airline for us to have a 2-day “layover” in London on our flight home.” I turned around speechless. “Happy anniversary, Love,” he said giving me a huge smiley hug. This time everything had all come together and we were finally going to England!!
As I wrapped my mind around this in the days that followed I remembered the verse, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you”*. I couldn’t help but make the connection that I had surrendered this dream of England years before to the Lord and asked Him to replace it with His dreams for my life. He did just that and I have been on an amazing path of serving Him and others ever since. Yet, He knew my heart and even in the midst of going to Kenya to seek His kingdom He still gave me a little piece of my (United) Kingdom.
So, we touched down in London the day before our anniversary and spent a lovely 2 days touring the city before continuing home to the States.
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