Letter to a Disappointed Bride

Dear Disappointed Bride,

I know you wanted the sun to shine on your special day. Every bride does. We equate sunshine with joy and happiness. We feel like God is smiling down on us when the sun shines.

Of course you prayed for sun.

But instead you got rain. Or snow. (Or a tornado. Or two, like one recent Wyoming spring bride. Her pictures were epic, btw.)

So you had to go with Plan B. If you even had a Plan B.

I understand.

Friday was our eldest daughter’s wedding day. It started out sunny and bright, but by mid-afternoon the rain had arrived, uninvited. During a brief respite, we optimistically seated our guests for the outdoor ceremony, hoping to sneak it in before the next storm front rolled through.

The clouds darkened. Lightening threatened. We prayed.

And the heavens opened.

Literally.

We baptized our guests that evening. They fled for refuge into the barn where the reception–and now the ceremony–was to be held. (Some of them are even still speaking to us.)

Hello, Plan B.

Perhaps, like me, you sometimes find yourself secretly envious of those other “lucky” brides, whose plans to get hitched went off without a hitch. You might wonder why God didn’t answer your prayers in the same way. And maybe deep down you feel that He wasn’t blessing your union quite as much as He blessed theirs.

I’ve got some good news for you.

The superstitious believe that rain on a wedding day brings good luck. Some cultures view rain as a sign of fertility and cleansing. The Bible also has much to say about rain. I found this on a website explaining the symbolic meaning of biblical words:*

Rain:  Something refreshing, delightful.”

I know it didn’t feel delightful at the time. But biblically, rain, not sun, is the imagery most often used to indicate God’s blessing, favor and presence.

So let these truths from His Word disperse any clouds of disappointment still lingering after your storm…

1)  You were blessed.

I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:26, NIV)

2)  God was smiling on you.

When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain. (Proverbs 16:16, NLT)

3)  He was there, right in your midst.

So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. (Hosea 6:3, NAS)

And one final thought…

4)  Our Plan B is always God’s Plan A.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)

He planned that our daughter’s wedding ceremony would be held in a barn.

He planned that His Son would be born in a stable.

His plans are always best.

Beloved bride, you will encounter storms and disappointments in your married life as well. Your wedding day was good practice in how to handle them with faith and grace. You’re off to a great start.

I hope this helps you feel better about that darn weather.

I know it helped me.

Love,

A Mother-of-the-Bride

P.S. It rained on my wedding day, too.

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(Here is our elegant Emily posing for a bridal portrait in the barn. The light streaming in from the window above was like a spotlight on them during the ceremony. And the glory of the Lord shone all around.)

*www.biblestudy.org

**Huge thank you to Liz Osban Photography for this photo and for so masterfully capturing the warmth and beauty of their special day.

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Only Child

It’s been a good week to be Rachel.

With her older and younger sisters both happily away at camp, a rare, perhaps unprecedented thing occurred:

The “Middle” Child became the “Only” Child.

She’s had our exclusive attention.  Been treated to lunch, coffee and shopping.  Watched whatever she’s wanted on TV.  Hasn’t had to share.  Not one little bit.

It all ends tomorrow.  (Sorry, Rach.)

But she’s certainly enjoyed it while it’s lasted.

As a mom of three daughters, I try hard not to play favorites.  I love them all equally.  I love them each uniquely.

But I do not love them perfectly.  Despite my best intentions, there are those inevitable times when someone feels slighted or neglected.  Even the highest human love has its limitations.

Not so with God and His children.  For He is the Perfect Father.

His love is Unfailing.  His time is Unlimited.  His attention is Undivided.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love.”
(St. Augustine) 

Since He’s infinite and omnipresent, He can pull this off.  All of the time.

He is GOD.

As His children, we have been given privileged, unrivaled access to His presence.

Yes, we are members of a wide and wonderful family.  We are brothers and sisters who need each other and (try to) love each other.  (Well, most of the time.)

But we also crave and need focused, one-on-one time with our Father.  Isn’t it reassuring to know that He is able and willing to relate to each of us individually?

It’s almost as if we were His only child.  Every single day.  We are never overlooked or forgotten.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. (Ephesians 5:1, NIV)
 

We are all extremely dear to Him.

The word ‘dear’ in the Greek is agapetos. Agapetos means beloved, esteemed, worthy of love—God’s favorite.” (Jill Savage)
 

God never plays favorites.

Because we are EACH His favorite.

It’s always a good week to be us!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1a, NIV)
 
I love my girls!  And my little guy too.

I love each of my girls! And my little guy too.

 

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When God Smiles

Have you ever had one of those days where it feels like God is smiling down on you?  I had one today!

He coaxed me out of bed early this morning to share the sunrise with Him, as He brushed a white snow canvas with shades of orange and pink.

I felt the warmth of His smile as the sunshine returned after a late spring snowstorm,  and could just imagine Him chuckling at the pine trees so weighted down with snow they looked more at home on the front of a Christmas card than on a calendar flipped to the month of May.

And I thought I even heard Him laugh out loud when I reached the bottom of (the hill we call) our driveway and triggered a sudden avalanche down my windshield from the foot of snow on the roof of our van.

It’s good to feel His smile.

I came across this very cool verse as I was reading through the book of Proverbs last month:  “When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain.” (Proverbs 16:15)  (Or, in our case, a spring snow.)  Let the words soak into your heart like the melting snow refreshes and revives the dry plains.

To be in Christ means that The King’s favor is upon you.  It means that when He looks at you, He smiles.

Jesus once stood in a crowded Jewish synagogue and announced that “…the time of the Lord’s favor has come…”  (Isaiah 61:2 and Luke 4:19).  This was a game changer.  No longer was God’s favor tied to man’s strict observance of the Law.  It was now a gift realized through one’s vital union with the Messiah.

But old habits die hard.  So Paul challenges our natural human bent toward performance in the book of Galatians:  “You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.” (Galatians 4:10)  Or by…?  Fill in the blank.  What ways are you still trying to earn God’s favor?

Whatever it is, IT is no longer necessary.  Jesus’ perfection earned our admission into the throne room of the King.  We don’t come fearfully, as Esther did when she risked her life daring to approach the king unsummoned.  We enter by His own personal invitation, and can be confident that when our eyes meet His, we will find them wrinkled in a warm and welcoming smile.

If you belong to Christ, every day is a day you can know God is smiling down on you.  For the time of the Lord’s favor has come.  You can’t earn it.  Just believe it.  And feel the warmth radiating from His beaming face.

When God looks at you, He smiles.

“May His face smile with favor upon (you!)” (Psalm 67:1b)

(All Scripture references are from The New Living Translation of the Bible.)

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