What happened at Rory and Holly’s wedding, wasn’t what I had always imagined, at all……. And all of my unexpected “moments” began the evening of the rehearsal dinner.
We wish and dream so many things for our children, don’t we? And some of those wishes and dreams are just that, and we pray about them sometimes, but most often, they are just constant, daily desires. Some days, those hopes are just so much a part of our thoughts, that they never make it into an official “on-your-knees, hands folded” official prayer. But from the very start of the rehearsal, right to the very end of the evening on the day my son married his bride, God showed me over and over and over and over again – that he really DOES know the desires of our hearts. He loves when we get on our knees, fold our hands, and pray to Him. But being a Father Himself, He understands the deepest desires of our hearts as parents, because HE understands the very HEART of our DESIRES…… And as a Father, He LOVES to answer our “desires” even more…..
Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”
I had wanted to create an atmosphere at my home the evening of rehearsal dinner, where one big conversation could take place, instead of several smaller ones. And somehow, I managed to pull it off. “Tell us why you chose each of the friends in your wedding party,” was the topic of conversation, and when Rory said, “Well, I chose Ian as my best man, because he is my very best friend AND my brother,” I was more than pleased………… There are no words, because I know, he is really saying it like it is. I remembered having become a single mom while pregnant with Ian, and how happy I was to have two boys, and how much I had hoped that they would be best friends. So right there, it was as if God spoke to me and said, “There, daughter – Desire answered.”
And what mother doesn’t dream about her son’s wedding day? And about your daughter-in-law? I have watched Holly grow up. In fact, Rory and Ian and I prayed a long time for Holly to have the Gospel “sink into her heart” and I was there the day that she broke down in tears in the service, and came over afterwards, only to have her future husband lead her to Christ.
You see, MANY evenings I would lie in bed over the years, often praying, but more often just wondering, worrying, and hoping that my sons would have their spiritual eyes and ears opened, and understand more than “academically” what the Gospel meant. I wanted it to be personal, like it had become for me back in the later years of high school. I felt like I was living a lie, and I had no idea how to “get them there.” But once again, the Lord KNEW the desires of my heart, and through a series of undoubtedly, divine-appointed events, we wound up at a church surrounded by people who would become friends and mentors, willing to invest their time walking alongside and doing life with all of us. That church became our home for several years. And it was there that they were accurately pointed to the Cross and accepted that Christ died for their sins. It was there that their relationship with Him began, and the real life worth living began to unfold…..
As I stood in the front row of the church watching Holly come down the aisle, (worried beforehand about where I was supposed to look – to Holly walking, or to my son watching Holly walk), the Lord showed me once again that He had answered many more desires of my heart.
As I glanced to the back of the church watching Holly turn the corner to walk the aisle to her groom, I saw faces. I saw the faces of people who have loved my sons and invested their hearts into teaching them. I saw the faces of men who encouraged my sons through the high school years, lived out examples of how to be a husband and a father, LIVED forgiveness, showed their own brokenness and humility, mistakes, and consequences. I watched my son smile right from the center of his heart and soul watching the love of his life, his God-given partner in life, approach the altar where He stood – The very same place He rested in prayer these past years, telling the Lord about HIS desires, to find a wife who loves Jesus. And as He took her with him to face the pastor and read his vows, there at the center was the Cross – Just the Cross – and it was bigger to me that day than it had EVER looked on so many other days that I had sat over the years for Bible teachings. And as they washed each other’s feet, symbolizing their desire to serve each other, and together serve Christ, a young man played the guitar and sang a song. That young man was the very same person who met my sons at the door of church and invited them to their very first youth service. Six months later, he lead them BOTH to Christ, and baptized them in the Gulf of Mexico on a mission trip. That was in 2009.
Again I heard, “Daughter, you see? I know the desires of your heart.”
There stood my son, Gospel permeated into his heart and soul, receiving the bride he prayed for, the two of them and Christ, and all of the people they truly love, who truly love them…. Family and friends. And beside each of them, stood their closest friends, Ian, Alex, David, George, Michael, and Steven, Cecelia, Alexa, Kim, Emily, Courtney, and Nicole – Each of them intimately involved in their lives and in their walks with Christ.
Every single one of those people will remember to point Rory and Holly back to the Cross throughout their lives. And every one of them made it abundantly clear that day, in their prayers over Holly in the bride’s room, as we intimately hovered over her with our blessings, desires and prayers….. I heard each of those girls’ hearts that week several times…… And I KNOW, not only does the Lord know MY desires, He knows all of theirs as well.
Most importantly to me that week, however, was the sweetness of how He MADE SURE I saw very clearly, that He not only knows the desires of Rory and Holly’s hearts……… He knows the very heart of their desires.
Ephesians 3:20-21, says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The wedding WAS abundantly far more than I could have ever asked or thought of. But that’s my God. He’s just really good at doing things a bit “over the top and abundantly!”
Oh my Goodness, it was sooo much more than a wedding!