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Faith-Family-Football: The Magic of Weddings

December 13, 2011

Last weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the wedding of a former student who over time became just like one of my own children.  My son, Sawyer, was also in the wedding, and it was one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies I have ever attended. 

Looking back, I don’t think that I have ever attended a wedding in December, and perhaps that is why the atmosphere seemed so divinely magical.  The church’s sanctuary was draped in greenery and lights in anticipation of upcoming Christmas day, and the reminder of our Savior’s birth. 

My job that day was to be a reader.  The verses chosen for me were from Genesis chapter 2 where God makes Adam a helper and the two are deemed one flesh.  More on that later . . .

As the evening progressed, I realized just how incredibly blessed I was and how honored I was to have a special part in the day.  My realization came because I fielded numerous questions of how in the world did a former science teacher become so beloved to be listed as honorary mother in the wedding bulletin. 

The simple answer is . . . God.  God’s definition of family is so much more broad than our limited scope.  The evolution from teacher to mother was simple.  Our families became friends, and then following one of the darkest moments in my life, Josh emerged as beacon of God’s light shining through to us.  This incredible young man made a pledge to my children to be their big brother following the death of our son and later the death of another “adopted” big brother/youth pastor.  That commitment is one that he and now his bride, Nicole, have honored over the last 3 1/2 years.  They have been faithfully involved in our children’s lives, and we couldn’t be more blessed.

Throughout the wedding day, every time we turned around there was some small detail that reminded us of how loving and caring Josh and Nicole both are. If ever there was a match made in heaven, these two are the embodiment.  Their love for others was exuding in every detail from a hot cocoa “bar” replete with peppermint straws and TONS of marshmallows for the kids to flowers on the altar in memory of lost loved ones (including Reed).

The ceremony was beautiful, the reception classy and elegant – yet down-to-earth so that you could feel at home, and the dance was catered to young and old alike.   As I danced with my honorary son on the night of his wedding, I was overcome with joy with a little hint of sadness because I knew this was the closest I would ever come to Reed having a wedding.  And yet, in my heart I knew that Reed would have fully embraced this union seeing that it was so divinely blessed. 

Even though so much attention is put on the wedding itself these days, there was never a doubt that these two are committed to God’s concept of forever.  Their goal was a lifelong marriage covenant sealed by God and blessed by their friends and families.  This is the type of fairy-tale commitment to vows that makes even the hardest heart believe in true love. 

Going back to that Bible verse.  Josh and Nicole simply e-mailed me the verses, and I began to practice them.  From the first moment they arrived in my inbox, I cried.  Nicole and Josh had no idea (until they read this blog) what is engraved on the inside of my ring.  So even though our family was put together by God’s knowledge of a need that we all had, I have to image that he KNEW what verses would be chosen and what it would mean to me.  Amazingly, the inside of my ring is engraved with two little words: ONE FLESH.

The greatest Love story ever told begins its commemoration in just a few short days.  And God’s love for two little families in southwestern Minnesota was reinforced, upheld, and sanctified with just two little words.  Isn’t God amazing!

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