your people

She looked breathtaking in her wedding dress. And when her nine bridesmaids danced through the bedroom door to get a first glimpse, many of their eyes filled with tears. They were so happy for her and overcome with joy to see their dear friend in the gown that she would soon be married in.

Hosting the whole wedding party for the three previous days was exhilarating. What I anticipated to be an exhausting week turned out to be life-giving and energizing.

Two years before, the weekend I met Collin’s future bride for the first time, he motioned to Jennifer and said to me while she was out of earshot, “What do you think of this, Mom?” I immediately replied, “Collin, we love who you love, that’s how it works.”

And that’s how my son and his wife live their lives, being inclusive and letting others in. They are so good to their people – thoughtful, considerate…truly seeing them and supporting them and at the same time looking for opportunities to bring others into their circle.

Who are “your people?” Can they count on you and can you count on them? Do they love who you love, and you love who they love? Are they willing to let others in and would they cry tears of gladness and celebrate you in happy moments?

I learned so much from Collin’s groomsmen and Jenn’s bridesmaids while they were guests in our home.  I witnessed what is possible even in the lives of very young adults: that friendships surrounding and sharing a common faith can have a depth and maturity that most outside of the faith wouldn’t or couldn’t understand.  Love and loyalty and affection and acceptance that goes beyond even the days of life lived on this earth.  Those traits will be forever in the hearts of these friends who will share eternity together.

When Jenn’s bridesmaids, in that moment following, circled around her and spontaneously started praying, her mom and I were also moved to tears. It was an amazing scene to witness.  Devoted, faithful young ladies who wanted to call on the God of the universe on behalf of Jennifer and Collin, to get His blessing on their special day and on all their wedded days to come.

Not the rain or the cold later that day, or anything at all for that matter, could dampen the jubilation that was felt in the Riviera Ballroom as they said their vows to become husband and wife.  God was all around us and His presence could not be denied. I will never, ever forget that day, not just because it was the first wedding of one of my children, but because it was truly spectacular and glorious from start to finish.

I cried more tears throughout, some because this son was not “ours” anymore, but mostly because of the pure elation I was experiencing and the gratitude I felt and feel for my God, for my husband and sons and daughter, for my oldest son’s now fiancée and for our new daughter – Collin’s wife and her family, and for each and every one of the cherished friends and family members that traveled near and far to celebrate with us.

It didn’t take long from the time Collin first introduced me to Jenn, to fall in love with her myself – not because Collin loved her, and not because God planned their marriage since the beginning of time – but because I got to know her and see her, the loving, caring, understanding, thoughtful, unique, passionate, fun, beautiful soul she is.

I’m sooo very thankful that she’s one of my people.

Philippians – 2 : 3 & 4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

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