This past weekend, I attended my niece’s bridal shower, it was like no shower I have ever attended! It was complete with a “flower bar”, gorgeous decorations and delicious food. There was an unspoken element to the day that everyone was aware of. You see, my little five year old nephew is in his final days of his battle with brain cancer. His family has watched him take a turn and decline rapidly over the last two weeks. The Bride’s aunt has been at the center of caring for him, hardly leaving his side and now in the midst of it all, she was hosting this shower. I know her heart was that this would be a complete joy and celebration. She did not want this time to be shadowed by the obvious heart wrenching pain that was unfolding back at her house.
As I pondered the situation, I was stirred by the reality that of course this is a happy time, the start of a new family, there is excitement and anticipation, new love is a sweet and beautiful thing. In the same vein, isn’t life really a mixture of pain and smiles, joy and tears, defeat and victory? Is there a better preparation for marriage?
As I watch my sister-in-law cling to Jesus in this time, I am blessed. I am encouraged in my faith, walking along side her through the darkness and pain. God. Uses. Everything.
The message new brides need, is the hope that we have in the gospel. Our identity in Christ, His sovereign care over the good and bad times is the lifeline every new marriage needs.
I am reminded of my precious friend Nancie. I miss her dearly. All three of her children got married within the span of a year! Nancie would develop inoperable terminal brain cancer to be diagnosed the weekend before her last child’s wedding. It was a bittersweet time to say the least. She was able to attend all three weddings and meet her first grandchild before walking peacefully into Jesus’ arms on September 22, 2018. Before her diagnosis, she gave a blessing at her second child’s wedding reception. I want to close with her words, I hope they will bless you as much as they blessed me!
“I know that today you will receive many blessings and best wishes for all those wonderful things that we all want to experience like health and happiness and children. Things that we expect out of life that are wonderful. But my prayer for you is that God will shatter some of those good dreams so that he can give you the best dream of knowing him in a deep abiding, intimate way. So that you would know him the God that knows you, who made you and loves you. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you individually and together. So to this end also, we pray that our God would count you worthy of your calling and fulfill every desire for goodness and work of faith with power so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you and you in him according to the grace of the Lord Jesus.”
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