30. Subtle Reminders

 “God’s promises are like stars;
 the darker the night
 the brighter they shine.”
— David Nicholas

 

On the morning of Lisa’s wedding, I woke up under another dark cloud of depression. This one wasn’t as dismal as some I had experienced, but it was there nonetheless, and I knew that I would have to work my way through it … quickly.

I thanked God for helping me manage the previous few days. The pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia had been manageable. And I blessed my beautiful daughter for taking in hand nearly all of the wedding arrangements. It was going to be a memorable occasion, and I didn’t want to do or say anything that might put a damper on it. “You know how difficult it is for me to pull out of this, Father,” I prayed. “Please don’t let me rain on Tim and Lisa’s special day.”

Lisa’s maid of honor and bridesmaids had traveled long distances to be with her. Lisa was already at the beauty salon preparing to meet her groom. So I went into her bedroom to make sure the girls felt welcome in our home. My behavior was hospitable, but I knew that my body language betrayed how I was truly feeling.

I hurried back into the solitude of my bedroom. I will be okay … I will be okay.

The wedding was scheduled for mid-afternoon in the church where Tim’s dad had been a pastor for many years, and two receptions would follow. The first would be for everyone who attended the wedding – about 400 in all! My mother, God bless her, had spent months baking and freezing an amazing variety of cookies to share with all the guests immediately following the ceremony.

Then a dream would come true for Lisa, something she had hoped for since childhood. She would have a catered reception for family and close friends at The Grand Tradition, an old fashioned manor house built especially for weddings and similar celebrations, and owned by very dear friends. Our large, extended family had shared several Thanksgiving meals over the years in the ballroom, and that’s where Lisa had always wanted to celebrate her covenant marriage.

I went through the motions. Took a shower … got dressed … looked in the mirror at my less than joyful reflection. Omg, it was going to be a bad hair day and I had zero patience for styling it….

Crista can help.

I presented my plight to Lisa’s attendants, and Crista stepped forward to assist me. Within a very short time, she had French braided my hair, tucking here and there to accomplish a lovely arrangement. My spirits lifted a little.

It was nearing time to leave for the photo session before the wedding. I had forgotten that Ashley and Alyssa, Lisa’s two youngest cousins, were to ride with me to the Grand Tradition. So when they both arrived, looking so adorable, I tried harder to pretend that I was okay.

I found that conversation with a three-year-old and a four-year-old was just what I needed to elevate my mood…. It was going to be a special day, an uplifting day, and I would be okay.

And then there I was, standing beside my lovely Lisa on the grand staircase, overlooking a dazzling scene of decorated tables and tiny, white lights, with Christmas trees skirting the dance floor … and the most amazing wedding cake. Lisa’s “second mom” had baked the cake layers at her home in Phoenix and transported them to California. Then she had decorated it with white frosting and fresh, burgundy roses. It was a masterpiece!

I heard comments following the wedding that the affair was the most inspiring celebration of marriage that many had ever witnessed. For me, the highlight was when Chuck was asked the question, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” And he answered (to my surprise), “With pride, her mother and I do.”

And then there was the best gift of all – Jonathan, my prodigal son, sang the most amazing, Christ-centered song, a special blessing for every person who was aware of the road he had traveled and his return to our Lord.

Everything went just as Lisa, and all of those who assisted her, had planned it. The Holy Spirit strengthened me throughout, and I was able to smile and genuinely honor our guests.

When it was all over, I had no regrets. I really was okay. And as Chuck and I lay in bed reflecting, we heard upon the roof the pitter-patter of a light rain.

Just one more confirmation that God is always in control.

 

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly
abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us,
to Him be glory.”

(Ephesians 3:20-21)

 

A RUST REMOVER …

Set aside time to get away by yourself and simply praise your Creator. Because He deserves all the credit as the One in charge.