About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager, and grace-needer. She's the best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and her new book, "A Confident Mom" is releasing Fall 2021. Renee is also the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host and executive...

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  1. Renee, thank you for sharing this! How beautiful! And for me really encouraging, it was like a direct word from God today. God bless you!

    • So grateful God timed it so that His words would be so personal for you, Anna. He continues to speak to my heart through that that day, and how we could have missed Him if they’d just given up and gone back down the mountain.

  2. Renee,
    I got goosebumps as I read the scripture about being rooted and established in love. There they stood beside the very old roots of a tree that’s stood through the ages – a reminder of a God, who is love, and who is there yesterday, today, and tomorrow into the future. Yes, a beautiful place to begin a life journey together. God sees the big picture so He never gets disappointed. I can’t see the big picture, so I have two choices: become disappointed and disillusioned, or trust that God knows what He’s doing. Praying that God would give me the ability to trust, no matter what the circumstances may say, that He is at work. Beautiful wedding and thank you for sharing this inspiring real life story. All the best to the new couple.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Those roots were sacred. Even before we heard the scripture, we were in awe of their majesty, there longevity and the statement they made without being able to speak. Stunning. And then to have God surprise us all with His words, on display the way He did. I don’t think Josh and Brandi had remembered until the scriptures were read out loud, because they had so much on their minds. It was like God was saying, “See. Im here. I’ve been here, waiting for you. What do you think about this place I created for your wedding?”

  3. Oh, my goodness!
    What a glorious beginning to a life of being “rooted and established in love.”
    Thanks be to God that He completely re-wrote this story for you before it even began. What could have been gloom and disappointment will go down in history as divine appointment.

  4. Thanks for sharing your son and new daughters special day! Oh how easy it is to get caught up in disappointment or being unsure when we have no control over how any given situation plays out, but what a true reminder that God is always with us, he sees and knows what is ahead and has his plan for us. I am waiting for word on where my Masters placement will be. I needed this reminder to completely trust God that wherever it will be, it is his will and I have been praying constantly about this placement and it does make me feel closer to God and I am seeing him more clearly. In fact I feel closer to Him than I have in a long while and it feels great!!

    • Praying for you as you wait Jas. That day taught me so much about trusting Him when what I see doesn’t look anything like what I hoped for, or wanted. And my you continue to feel closer to Him than ever before as you trust Him with the details for the days ahead.

  5. Renee,
    You so beautifully expressed this lovely God given moment, thank-you. During times like this, when things aren’t going as we might of hoped, to me signifies, that despite that, we must try to forge ahead, and make the best of it that we can. I try not to let disappointment rule over me, but instead appreciate what’s in the moment.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  6. What a beautiful devotion and so timely this morning. My heart is about to break with disappointment as a special friend will leave tomorrow. It started as a two week time off, but could be a permanent move.
    Thank you for sharing the thing I must remember, the powerful word “trust”.

    • Disappointment is real. And it’s also really hard, especially with a loss, a goodbye you don’t want to say. I find that it’s important to let myself grieve in times like those but then to take what I wanted and place it in God’s hands, asking Him to fill that hole of hurt with something new that couldn’t fit if I didn’t have the new space in my life that I never wanted. Im praying trust and peace, comfort and strength will come for you AND that God’s presence will surprise you in an unexpected way.

  7. Oh, this is beautiful. What a great picture of how when we keep walking, even through rain, and slog through mud, that there is something on the other side which will make us gasp with wonder at His goodness and His perfect plan. I am in a season such as this. I’m watching my twenty-year old son walk and stumble ahead, looking for light. It’s all I can do to not take his hand and lead him, but it’s just not possible anymore. Trusting that he is in fact being led while I walk behind him is the hardest thing in the world for me right now. Ephesians 3:20-21 was in my Jesus Calling devotional today and when I saw it in your piece, I burst into tears. ABUNDANTLY, EXCEEDINGLY more than we could ask or imagine. Yes, Lord, please, soon, amen.

    • Kerry,
      Im still catching my breath after seeing the “wonder of His goodness and His perfect plan” when I least expected it. Honestly, I thought we’d all be standing there sad and sopping wet. Praying for you as you let go and watch your son walk and sometimes stumble through this leg of his journey.

      There is a reason God brought you to this verse again. HE is able to do more than you can imagine. Im praying you’ll see that soon.

  8. Thank you for sharing! I’ve now got that scripture passage pulled up to pray over myself and my boyfriend as we begin a journey together, trusting God to lead the way. I know that just like with your son and his wife, the Lord is working behind the scenes, even in my impatience, to work everything together to be better than I can even imagine.

    I hope that we can all find ways to trust the Lord a little deeper in our individual situations.

  9. So beautiful! Trusting every detail to God even though the details are much different than what we imagined.

  10. Wow! There is beauty on so many levels in your post — thank you, Renee! I’m with the others on getting goosebumps seeing the photo of the marriage taking place next to ancient roots while reading God’s words about being rooted in His love. So incredible! Thank you for sharing the comfort that God already knew, already knows, all the disappointments we’ll face so we can confidently look for His solution instead of getting caught up in our-own-that-wasn’t.

  11. Oh, my! I had tears in my eyes reading that! How truly wonderful to know that God has every detail in mind when He walks through life with us!

  12. Oh, Renee, this just makes me want to weep for God’s lavish goodness — even when we don’t have eyes to see it. “God knew all along.” Amen and amen. May we carry that truth close to our hearts always, no matter what disappointments we face or unexpected turns life takes, God knew all along, and in His knowing we can trust Him to care for us. xx

    • Amen! Just remembering He knows… His knowing aligns my heart, settles my anxieties and loosens my grip. Oh Jesus, make it so every day. Remind us of this.

  13. What a sight to behold! Thank you for sharing your son’s and new daughter’s special union. God’s love and presence is manifested and captured in those photos.
    Thanks for this great reminder and very timely for my situation. I had a revelation on this scripture years ago that it’s only in trusting that we can experience what God has for us exceedingly and abundantly what we could ever ask or pray for. Xx

  14. What wonderfully refreshing story! Congrats to the couple may they always remember their special day the Lord gave them. It should remind all of us to trust the Lord regardless of our circumstances…wait on and trust in the Lord-His plans are far better than ours!

  15. Awe ♥ . How sweet is that? Thank you for sharing. So glad God didn’t leave them in their disappointment, but made their day even better than they knew to imagine.

  16. Renee,
    How beautifully written! Such a visual message from the Lord for your son and daughter-in-law to put down deep roots for their marriage.
    God is good ALL the time!
    Congratulations to the mother of the groom!!
    Joyce

  17. I needed this so much! After nearly 30 years I am struggling with the feeling God has forgotten me. Thank you for sharing

  18. I know this is what God wanted me to read tonight because it’s my first visit here. I randomly selected this article “by author” thinking, “I know Renee. I think I’ll read hers.” I was so surprised when I saw it was for today’s date!

    What a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness, even when things look bleak. I needed this. Thank you!

  19. So sweet! And so symbolic. Sometimes it is hard to see through the fog of life, but God brings clarity even then if we look for it.

  20. Beautiful. This touches my heart in so many ways. I am struggling with decisions I have made for my mother as her health fails and her mind becomes more clouded from dementia. With daughters finishing college and tuition rising, I guilty of grief over an inheritance that is not to be as the bills for my mother’s care drain her resources. That sounds terribly selfish, I know. But other health issues have made her miserable to begin with, and the dementia is making her journey even more difficult. I really have difficulty seeing any good in this at all. I am still looking for that clearing and that feeling of “yes, I am here” from God.

  21. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of hope. God IS able to do more than we can hope for or imagine! Blessings to you and praying for you today!

  22. Wow!
    My sister sent me this post because I was just crying to her about how hurt and disappointed I am about an incident that happened in my blended family. I feel so devastated, frustrated, and angry at best. I KNOW God is speaking to me through your post because I literally feel like I’m in a thick foggy place and unable to see clearly through all this disappointment. Your post gave me a renewed sense of hope, faith and LOVE and now I am once again hopeful and expectant for what God is getting ready to do in the hearts and lives of my family members.

    God Bless you for your obedience in what you share with His people.

  23. Needed to hear this. I’ve had a lot of disappointment and this really encouraged me. Made me sob. Such amazing words and imagery, you truly have a gift!

  24. Love this!!! Love you!!! Love Him!!! Love His faithfulness!!! Love the amazing memories He created and how He made the day special beyond measure! Love that God moved you to share and write! Thank you for saying YES! Miss you too!

  25. Brought tears to my eyes…what a wonderful and unique wedding only God can create…when I read the passage they have chosen “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love”…and looked at their picture with the ancient tree root at the back…I knew God was behind all of it. And I couldn’t stop my tears. This setting could have easily been missed. God truly works in marvelous and wonderful ways and He alone knows how to reveal His glory in everything.

  26. Renee,

    Such a beautiful word picture of being rooted in love & having roots around you. We forget that God knows all the plans ahead of time. He knows the future for all of us. I’ve had times when I questioned God & wondered why things were happening. In the end He was kind enough to show me His lavish plans. It is so easy to get disappointed when life doesn’t go as we planned. We must learn to trust that He knows best. We must remember that He is always with us no matter what. I’ve learned through trials to say I trust God & no one but God knows the outcome of situations.

    Blessings 🙂

  27. Oh Renee, this is breathtaking. The writing, the pictures, the artistic hand of God all over this. Thank you for sharing the sacred with us.

  28. It’s so rare to see two young people so willing to trust God with their marriage, much less their wedding day. Behind all the usual glitz and fancy surroundings of typical weddings we often lose sight of the true beauty of simple and honest love between two people. Josh and Brandi got a wedding of God’s dreams because they allowed Him to open up every possibility. They trusted Him with any potential disappointment. Josh gripped my heart as a young kid. So steady, so honest, so humble, and so loving to his friends and family. Way back when he was only in middle school, I remember thinking that Josh would someday be such a great man and husband because it was already so evident that he was quietly building a strong relationship with the Lord. My own faith has been so shaky over the years and God has used Josh to encourage me and redirect me at times. I’m not surprised at all that his focus that foggy day was rightfully placed in the Lord’s hands. Josh is not afraid of the adventure that the Lord wants to create for him and his bride. He knows that God will direct his steps to something more amazing than he could hope for himself. We should all be so fortunate and the beautiful part is that we can be. I needed that reminder that God is not holding back on what He wants for us so why am not trusting His dreams for our lives? I appreciated this post so much.

  29. He does make things beautiful in His time. I like the first picture, He did and does follow in a cloud or mist, maybe in a fog.

  30. What a beautiful perspective of Josh and Brandi’s wedding! When Brandi’s mom shared wedding pictures with me, I was breathless. God provided such a surreal experience that I never even considered how it felt to wait and wonder prior to His unfolding. Thank you for sharing – and reminding us of – God’s grand plans for His people.