Monday, June 02, 2008

The Wedding of Dreams

Heather and Andrew were married Saturday and Kathryn sat right in front for the best view. The wedding was one of the most beautiful we have ever seen. Heather's mom (Kathryn's Aunt Jacquelyn) arranged all the flowers, and I must say they were spectacular. The church was gorgeous. Paul Burton played various instruments as Whitney played the harp. The music reflected the tone of the day; relaxed and joyful. The reception to follow was also very elegant. Many of the family, friends, and bridesmaids, helped with the planning and food preparation. This was a family and community event with many hands to help. With the help of Jane, the wedding coordinator, it was sprinkled with southern charm. I wish we could do it all over again next weekend, but Jackie and John are happily exhausted and Heather and Andrew would probably not wish to return from their honeymoon to run through the whole thing again.

Kathryn had some difficulty with rib pain during the weekend, but it didn't stop her from enjoying herself. Qavah was healthier and had just enough energy to remain enthusiastic and cheerful. After the wedding I took them back to the hotel where Qavah slept for fifteen hours. Kathryn had her ribs re-wrapped, took a hot shower, pain medication, and fell asleep. When she would awaken we talked about the bridesmaids' luncheon and different aspects of the wedding ceremony which was rich in meaning. I was especially touched by the many people stating that they were praying we would be able to attend. All of their prayers were answered.

Last weekend reminded me again that we are not in control of our own lives. We are free to make decisions and we make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. I wanted to be married and said, "Yes," to Paul when I was only eighteen years old, but I didn't have any control over the new family I would enter into. They were God's design and His gift to me. Surrounded by them this past weekend, I appreciated them more than ever. While we may have had minor disagreements as we raised our families, and times of struggle, we have been given the gift of unity. We share the belief that God is Sovereign and we are all born with a purpose. We value each other. We come together with our sorrows and pray for each other one day a month. Then this past weekend we were able to celebrate together in the best possible way.

I have some pictures for you to ponder. But the story behind the pictures is greater than the pictures themselves. The evidence of God's goodness in all of our lives can not be captured in one frame. Here within this family is the story of overcoming, unity, blessings of every kind, and underneath it all are the "everlasting arms," holding us together everyday. The family is a precious training ground for forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love. This is the family I was given by marriage and to which Kathryn and Qavah were given by adoption. I thank God for the picture of His redeeming love that we have been adopted into a family who has received us with open arms. Enjoy the pictures, and be sure to check out Kathryn's website where you will find details about the bridesmaids' luncheon. The memories of this past weekend are tucked in our hearts. Thank you for praying.