Monday, September 30, 2013

The Wedding...



Josh, Katie and Harper Cleveland- Sept. 28, 2013
Let me tell you about something joyous. Our youngest son got married on Saturday. He has been divorced for four years or so and is the father of an eight-year-old daughter. He has been healing and rebuilding his life for a while now. He’s done the work. He’s done the tough stuff. It has made him a man of strong character. And this weekend, he won the hand of his charming, beautiful bride, Katie.  I’m busting with pride over this kid (he’s 34, but I’m his mom, that makes him my ‘kid’). The wedding was simple, but elegant. The ceremony was supposed to be outdoors, but rain interfered so the wedding was moved to their home church. In less than 12-hours, some lovely folks pitched in and transformed the old building into a twinkle-lit magical spot. The bride was breath taking and the groom beaming. And the eight-year-old daughter? A vision of loveliness and smiles as she brought her daddy down the aisle.
Don’t tell me there isn’t a God. I’ve watched Him at His best as He restored, redeemed and blessed my son. His faithfulness to a hurting lamb brought me to my knees many times. As my son reached out and up, our God reached down and toward. His Presence was evident as Josh lamented, struggled to find the path, and finally found his smile again.  And when he least expected it, a Holy Hand opened a door and in walked Katie.
When Katie and Josh asked the Hubs to marry them there were so many unknowns. As cancer created havoc and dismay, there were times when I wasn’t sure if Gary would live long enough to attend much less perform the wedding ceremony. But on Saturday night as Josh and Harper walked down the aisle together, there sat the Hubs on a stool, forty pounds lighter than a year ago, weaker than he had been just days before, and voice raspy but determined.
Gary has always performed a great wedding ceremony. I always marveled how a man who disliked attending weddings could perform them so well. He always made them personal. He always invited God to attend and bless. He always made me proud that I was his chosen bride.
I’ve lost count how many couples the Hubs has counseled and married through the years. His loving manner and tender heart has nurtured so many. He had gotten choosier over the years when it came to accepting to perform a wedding. They take up so much time. He not only married them, but he always insisted on at least six pre-marital counseling sessions as well. He thought it remiss to just marry someone without Godly counsel. After all, if a couple came to preacher to do their wedding, God was part of the deal. Marriage is risky business. Without God, it’s just foolish.
Well, on Saturday Gary was at his best. He blessed Josh and Katie and presided over their vows and promises. I have no doubt that angels were present and that God stood between the couple placing their nervous and trembling hands in His own. This was Gary’s last wedding. He’s hanging up his ‘marrying suit’. But as they say, he saved the best till last.
Josh and Katie, may our Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace. May your life together be filled with joy and compassion. Be fearless. Fight fair. Love strong. Allow God to have his Way. And… come home often.
And Hubs, you done good. You done real good.

1 comment:

Terre Jackson said...

Thank you Debbie - so much - for writing this - you have a true gift - you have awesome children - and you have a wonderful husband - YOU are BLESSED.