Monday, May 4, 2009
'Til Death Do Us Part
I am foolish for weddings. Nothing is as beautiful as two people pledging love and fidelity for as long they live. It becomes even more special when one of those two people is one's own child. Such was the case this past Saturday, May 2nd., when my son, John, married the girl of his dreams, Amanda. I thought my heart would burst from the sheer joy of the occasion.
John is my oldest child and my only son. The day he was born was one of the happiest days of my life. The first time I looked into his tiny face and felt the softness of his newborn cheek, I was smitten. I remember thinking I would move Heaven and earth to give him life's best--I would give my life to protect him. From birth he held my heart in his hands.
I had wanted a child for a long while and had almost given up hope of having one. So, when I discovered I was having a child, I wanted a name that would reflect my gratitude to God for the blessing He was giving me. I never really thought about a girl's name--I was so certain it would be a boy. I chose the name John because of its meaning, "gracious gift of God". That is what John has been to me, a gift of God that has been a blessing to me all of his life.
Now, by no means, do I mean to imply that John is perfect (even though he was born 7-7-77). He was all boy and had his share of scrapes and mishaps. But he also had moments of wisdom beyond his years, the ability to laugh in the face of adversity, and faith to go forward in life--even when faced with heartbreaking disappointment. From childhood his faith in God has been the bedrock of life and it remains strong in his heart today.
Amanda brought real love and joy to John's life. From the moment I met her, I loved her. She has such a warm personality and a heart as big as the world itself. She is kind and generous. When planning the wedding, she was careful to include all of us and made us feel very much a part of the ceremony. I would frequently catch her looking at John with so much love in her expression that it would make me want to cry. I truly love my new daughter-in-law. She is a real joy.
So, when John and Amanda said their vows, I was proud of them both. I was proud to have the gift of my son and proud to have his new wife become a part of my family. As with any mother I suppose, many memories of my son flashed across my mind as I listened to the deep voice say his marriage vows. A recent phone message from John came to my mind: "Mom, this is John. I just wanted to say Happy Easter. I love you and I appreciate you.". Loving words that I will never forget.
" 'Til death do us part". Familiar words to all who have ever attended a wedding ceremony. Words that carry hope, trust, and faith. Words that look forward to the future and a lifetime of happiness shared. Words that declare a love that will never die.
When John was a little boy, I read a book that emphasized the need for mothers to pray for the future mate of their child. I began praying for the girl John would marry. I made a list of qualities that I would like to see in the young lady of his choice. I am happy to say that Amanda has every quality I had on the list--and then some. I am convinced that God is faithful regarding the prayers we pray for our children. I am convinced that His Divine plan is performed even as we pray. How good of God to care for our children in ways that we never could. Both of my children were dedicated to God when they were only weeks old. I placed them in His care, knowing that life for them would not always be easy, but also knowing that He would watch over them when I could not be with them. There are times when it has been difficult to leave them in God's hands and let Him work His plan in their lives. I have learned, though, that when concerns are left in the hand of God, it works out far better than when we try to solve them ourselves.
I am at peace with John and Amanda. I know they will face hardship, difficulty, and just the day to day problems of life itself. But I am confident that the love they share will keep them strong and will stand the test of time. I know they will survive, with God as their guide, to be the enduring love of each other's lives. I pray they will truly love each other " 'Til death do us part".