Looking Back, the View after 15 Years.

I spent yesterday at a pow wow with my family.  If you’ve never attended a pow wow, you should take the opportunity to do so sometime.  It’s an interesting event to view. 

My husband and I met somewhere around 20 years ago in the pow wow world.  I was 16 and he was 15 when we fell head over heals deeply in love.  Or so I thought.  Who knows the heart of a teenager.  They are crazy.  But I do know that it is to this world of pow wows and friends that I owe my opportunity to meet the man who was to become my husband.  Okay, honestly it was to the great and awesome God who orchestrated the whole thing.  It amazes me that while I did not yet know Him, He was situating me for a future life so full of His blessings that I would be unable to deny Him, not that I want to.

I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with my husband.  I remember exactly where we were and the circumstances surrounding it.  We were, surprise surprise, at a pow wow in Oklahoma.  It was a dance that years later we would attend together as a freshly engaged couple.  I remember that moment, sitting on that picnic table when I realized that I was in love with this kid. 

We were such kids.  Of course we wouldn’t have believed that if you had told us that.  We knew so much.  We knew what we were going to be doing for the rest of our lives.  We couldn’t imagine a life where one didn’t pow wow 6+ times a year.  We loved our week long trips to Oklahoma, or our long weekend trips to Oklahoma.  We even spent our honeymoon at a pow wow.  Okay, not a pow wow, THE POW WOW.  The biggest and best pow wow in this area, the National Pow Wow.  This dance is held only once every 3 years.  It is this same dance that we attended yesterday, 15 years and 6 kids after our honeymoon.

God is so awesome.  I got to see a few old friends who I don’t see much any more.  I got to share something I used to love with my kids.  I got to enjoy the music and dancing I often times miss.

Despite the fun I had, I got a much bigger message.  About 8 years ago, my husband and I walked away from this life.  The reasons are complicated.  We didn’t know at the time how complete our removal from this world was going to be.  Where we once imagined ourselves raising our kids, we suddenly were no longer.  I don’t think either of us intended to remove ourselves so fully from this lifestyle.  But it was several years before we returned with our kids to visit a life that had become so deeply ingrained in us.

Now, looking back, I can totally see God’s hand and wisdom.  We cannot believe some of the things that we thought were so important.  We see danger and harm in things we once felt were so benign, even helpful.  Now we see the bigger picture with our children and understand that the things that are such vital values and beliefs to us would be practically impossible for us to teach well in this environment.  Not that others cannot.  I know many good people in the pow wow circuit who love their children and teach them well.  I am not criticizing them.  However, I know that my husband and I would not have been able to do so. 

God led us, without our knowledge or understanding, to walk away from that which would have been detrimental to our marriage and our children and led us toward a life far more fulfilling than we could ever have imagined. 

I still miss my old life sometimes.  I miss the fellowship, the late nights, the music, the dancing, the flashy clothes.  We now feel more able than before to take our children out to experience this occasionally without getting pulled into all that goes with it.

But yesterday I was given a gift.  God gave me the opportunity to fall more in love with Him, seeing much of what He has done without my understanding.  God also gave me the opportunity to fall more in love with my husband, the man God gave me to share this life with. 

I can truly say, as I watched my husband of 15 years dance around the arena carrying our 6th child in his arms, that I love him more now than I did during that National Pow Wow 1996, just days after marrying the man of my dreams.

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