One day, far away, you gently won my heart.And one night, by candlelight, we made a vow to never part. And then it seemed just like a dream when wide eyed, side by side we faced the future holding hands.
Years fly, they hurry by, the simple times are gone.
Bills due, a kid or two, a week can feel eight days long!
By fading light, let’s kiss goodnight, and then we trace God’s daily grace.
Thankful we’re still holding hands. There’s a hope that won’t let go.
There’s a truth we know: God is holding us in His arms.
Thoughts stray far away to all that lies ahead in frail days when strength fades,
Will we still mean all that we said?
Our love’s secure, so rest assured, come what may ’til that day, we’ll walk forever holding hands… By God’s grace ’til that day we’ll walk forever holding hands.
This old song by Steve Green is such an appropriate picture of this past weekend in the life of our family. As we gave our daughter away, and at the same time gained a son, the happy smiles and joyful tears that filled the church took me back to my own wedding day almost 25 years ago. As my sweet daughter held the hand of the man of her dreams, and looked smilingly into his beaming face, I was reminded of the day that I stood before my groom with the same happiness, peace and joy of future days together.
The words of my Daddy and my sweet husband rang in my head, through exhaustion and emotions, and the moment was almost surreal. I sat on the second row with my precious son holding my hand, steadying me with his sweet, gentle spirit and smile, and realized this was the hour we had all waited for. Planned for. Worked for. Paid for. 🙂 Amanda and Erik stood before us all with the happiest faces I’ve seen on a bride and groom since my own wedding day! Their love for each other and for the God they serve truly radiated the entire room. It was worth it all. It truly was.
As I thought of friends and family all sitting around us, many of whom traveled lots of miles to celebrate this special occasion in our lives, my heart was overwhelmed. Jesus was so clearly attending this wedding, just as He had done at the wedding in Cana several thousand years ago. Through the songs, through the words and reflective thoughts, through the faces of the wedding party, in the gentle touches, and in the warmth of the room, GOD WAS WITH US.
As Erik took Amanda’s hands in his own and held tightly to them throughout the entire ceremony, I whispered a prayer of thanks to God for the wonderful young man he had brought into our daughter’s life. I really believe he will care for her and love her until death parts them. I also celebrate the man I married years ago. He has remained so faithful and loving through all our ups and downs. He has been by my side, while at the same time in front, leading our family into righteousness and holiness before the Lord. He has been holding my hands through rough and stormy days. Through hard ministry times. Through scary family situations. As I watched him struggle with his own emotions at giving away his first born, I felt so very blessed. What a wonderful man he is, and I’m so thankful we are still holding hands.
My dad shared this precious poem with the young bride and groom on Saturday afternoon, and it sums up my feelings of these wedding days and memories:
A good marriage is a lifetime of hands.
It’s a shaking hand sliding a shiny gold band onto the finger of another shaking hand …
It’s hands touching in sudden tenderness, or swinging together down a crowded street, or fingers interlocking in the darkness of a theater.
It’s expressive hands: the playful pat. The beckoning waves. The “help me please” gesture…
It’s two ecstatic hands being grasped by tiny brand new hands…
It’s hurrying hands setting dinner for hungry hands…
It’s a proud hand introducing an embarrassed hand…
It’s healthy hands holding sick hands.
It’s hands joining in prayer.
And finally, it’s a shaking hand sliding a dull gold band off the finger of a very still hand.
God, bless Amanda and Erik. Give them wonderful years together serving and loving You.
Thank You for my own marriage and Your grace through all the years.