After our wedding adventure on Friday and Saturday, we had the absolute honor and privilege to attend another wedding on Sunday.
Do you see this beautiful bride laughing? Her face represents pure joy!We went to college with "B", and then we were in her church community for a number of years. We were never totally in the same community as we had young kids, but throughout our college years and after, Zach and I have always admired her for her beauty, integrity, and kindness. I honestly didn't think anyone was worthy to marry her. I was never a close friend of hers, but I always felt that she (as all women do) deserved the best of the best.
While we went about our daily lives, another family in our congregation was suffering. I won't tell the whole truth here, because it is a painful and messy story, and it's not mine to tell. A wonderful man and his three kids lost their wife/mom. First to a hard life reality, and then she tragically passed away. Knowing that "R" and his kids were suffering broke my heart. Zach and I got to know "R" better and watched in awe as he pieced his life back together and praised God for his provisions. He is a good father, and lovingly parented his children through this hard time.
One day Zach and I saw "R" biking, and he stopped to say hi to us. We chatted and went our separate ways. With Zach (and God, I guess) as my witness, I looked back towards "R" and said "Oh my gosh. He should marry "B". He and "B" would be really perfect together!" ... and that was before they had officially met. OH YES, I should start my own matchmaking show!!!
See, the thing is, "B" is so wise, and strong, and is totally the type of person who could gracefully and joyfully marry a man who had been through incredible tragedy, AND become the stepmom to three hurting kids. I don't know many other people who could do that, but "B" is a really special person. And I know so many of you, my dear readers, do not believe in God or think religion is weird... but this story would bring you to the brink of believing, because I've never seen a person so perfectly designed to partner with another person, all after one of the most horrific events I've ever heard of. Looking back, this was so perfectly designed that it makes me freak out a little. It's borderline crazy! In an awesome way.
So, we got to witness these two incredible people get married. And it was, hands down, the most incredible service I've ever been a part of. There were 500 people there. And people clapped and cheered throughout the whole thing. And the newlyweds danced out of the church! And we all clapped to the rhythm! I will never, ever forget this service, and how it represented so much hope for so many.
Also, and not to scare my non-religious friends away (but I do ask that you respect this couple's/family's faith and how it got them through, truly, one of the worst things I've ever witnessed), but I really need to share this song. This is what "R's" three kids sang during the service. His son played the guitar, and his daughter sang (sounding EXACTLY like Sara Groves), and his other son sang along with the chorus. It was all I could do to hold in the sobs, especially knowing what the precious kids had gone through in their young lives. Somehow I hope this story encourages you today, the way it encouraged me.