The moment we become a mother we begin envisioning the future quite differently with more intricate details and perhaps more colorful drama. How is it that even when we are still snapping Carters onesies together, we have images of our son running down the field in a high school football game or our daughter in a big white gown dancing with some faceless young man? In those late night feedings, we are wondering what they will look like, what their personalities and preferences will become, what our relationships will grow into and praying with every rock of the chair that they will love us then the way they seem to in that quiet moment of the night. A few weekends ago, I witnessed a favorite pair of parents relish in one of these dreams come true for their sweet daughter. What I saw will be my hope, my inspiration, my prayer for the years to come.
I saw the beauty which births from waiting. This bride is incredibly pretty by every definition but with ALL of her in God’s hands, He creates a beauty that transcends the physical. There is an essence of purity that sets this kind of beauty apart leaving all who notice, captivated and curious. I saw it during the ceremony, in every wonderful picture and in her playfulness on the dance floor with her family and her new husband. This young woman is comfortable in her own skin. I imagine for her it didn’t come easily or quickly. My guess is that it’s the harvest of her spending hours and hours in His Word, in His Presence and in pouring out her heart to Him. It comes by choosing again and again to be teachable and submissive and by honoring, respecting and listening to the authority of her parents and most importantly, her Savior. Her beauty comes from waiting on the God in whom she trusts wholeheartedly. Oh, to say that about Julia one day- that on the occasion of her wedding, that her first Love will still be her first Love and that because of her impassioned devotion to Him, the beauty she displays will be, forever, untainted by this world. What a gift it would be to see her delighting in being who her Father designed her to be and loving with abandon the family and husband God gave to her.
I saw love. The groom was whipped. Since I never arrive at a wedding in time to get the best seat, I usually study the groom during the bride’s processional. With a grin as wide as the sanctuary, he saw nothing else but his girl, his bride, his in-just-a-few-minutes wife. I also watched the brother, who knew, or maybe didn’t know, things were about to be very different. I saw him “keeping it together” as he watched his sister make that much anticipated walk. Other than the fun he had on stage with his family, from where I stood, he played a quiet supportive role for the rest of the evening. Their brother-sister history was unmistakable in every marvelous way.
I saw a lovely tapestry of answered prayers-- countless threads of petitions offered up to a personal God, and the result...... an awe-inspiring display of His creative fingers in the form of a family of four......and in a new one beginning. And so here, I believe, is the key. Prayers. Hours of them. Honest ones. Bold ones. Specific ones. Maybe even desperate ones. I was able to hear words spilling from the hearts of faithful parents overflowing with joy and gratefulness because they have found God steadfast and kind in caring for their children just as they asked Him to do. Their belief that He will never disappoint stands firm. I will pray and I will ask boldly that our tapestry will be as full and rich and vibrant as we commit to place “all kinds of prayers and requests” before the Father on behalf of Julia and Brighton. As they walk from our home to their new one, may we be able to celebrate and wrap them in that beautiful tapestry of countless threads of answered prayers. I will ask that our delight and thankfulness would follow them out the door instead of having to drag regrets and hurts behind them.
For His glory to be displayed as it was that evening a few weekends ago, the years this family has spent together have been genuine and prayerful. Affirmations of His mighty hand abounded in this joyful celebration of the marriage covenant. I was encouraged not to grow weary in well doing in this ever-changing adventure of raising children. I was able to see a simple concept I hear myself telling Julia and Brighton often-- God’s ways work. The family I watched isn't perfect, but, that magical night, the evidence of this family loving God deeply and trusting His righteous ways was like “the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day”. Because He shined, they shined.
I pray, Father, it may be so for my family as we live out the years You give to us.