Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Love Covenant and Hope

There are gifts and then there are GIFTS.  I felt so blessed this Christmas by family and mostly because I was able to see the faces of my little ones glow with the anticipation of Christmas morning.  The excitement of knowing that there are special surprises just for them is a precious thing to watch as it dances in the light of innocent little eyes.  There is a sweetness when their tiny feet are hit with a burst of joyful jumping and their lips with squealing.

This fall my heart had it’s own Christmas of sorts.  Two surprise gifts of love whose depth of meaning and kindness still leave me astounded.  And they were both given on October 8th.  Yes, Makiah’s heaven day.  Each year that passes it seems the Lord unwraps more layers of meaning to her life and death. This year there were two very special weddings on her heaven day.  My cousin and his precious wife who are beginning their sweet love story as they dive into their early twenties and a dear staff member who has been a widower for several years and his new love both tied the knot that day.  

Last summer at our family reunion… yes, we meet in Alabama. No, we don’t wear matching t-shirts- no offense if you do!  And yes, we actually love our extended family get togethers!… my sweet cousin pulled Cameron and I aside to tell us what was on his heart for his wedding day.  I will never forget this six foot five young man with tears in his eyes as he asked if they could do something special to remember Makiah at their wedding. We insisted that it really was not necessary, and he needed to focus on beginning his happily ever after although we were touched to the core.  But the words he said next had never crossed my mind before.  He said as he was praying about it, he felt impressed by the depth of meaning that marriage has in the bible.  Scripture says that marriage is a picture of God’s love for his bride, his people, the church.  And on October 8th six years ago, Makiah had met her groom in person.  There wasn’t a dry eye among us as he shared, and we hugged.  It has taken me some time to dip my toes into the depth of the picture of love that God was painting.

Here is a picture of part of the wedding program from my cousin and his beautiful bride’s special day…

A Close Up

The other wedding was close to our home.  In fact Cameron officiated for our dear friend whom our children affectionately call “Papa Jim.”   He has served as a pastor for many years before retiring and working as volunteer staff at our church.  His feet never faltered on their faith journey as he walked through the painful loss of his first wife to cancer.   And God in his goodness has brought him new love and a promise of new beginnings.  A redemption of sorts that speaks hope to all of us.  If you had been there that day, you would have walked to the back of the church and into the fellowship hall for the reception.  Your eyes would have lighted on a table where instead of gifts for the happy couple, there was a basket to collect donations towards building a well in Makiah’s memory through the well project.  This couple was merging two households and so graciously decided to  start their marriage with a gift of eternal value- bringing clean water and the good news of the gospel to a people desperately in need.  And in memory of our sweet daughter.   When the final count was in, the gifts were enough to build an entire well!!

Thank you doesn’t even come close to expressing how deeply we were touched by both of these couples.  On a day that often makes me swallow hard, my God sent a message of the depth of his love covenant with us and his promise to redeem the hard things and bring about good even from tragedy.  If you don’t know a God like this, ask him today to make himself real to you.  You will not be disappointed.  

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