I gave my first born daughter away this past week. So many plans had to be made over the last six months since her engagement, that I really didn’t give much thought to tears on that special day. I had arranged for “designated criers” since I knew that my auto immune disorder would flare completely if I did give way to tears. My best friend even gave me a special Mother of The Bride handkerchief in case I needed it. She also never left my side, I am certain to not only be a help, but to watch over me the way only best friends know how to.
But I found myself in a different “mood” that day. While the day before the wedding, I had allowed an unreasonable fear to grip me for several moments, having confessed that to God and begged for His peace, I found myself almost basking in it the day of the wedding. I felt that peace that passes all understanding that Scripture speaks of, promises to those who cast all their cares on Him. I felt sheltered under an amazing set of Eagle’s Wings.
The plan was for me to whisk all the girls away to the church so Dad could shelter his girl for the last few moments before he would walk her down the aisle. It seemed like a good plan. Dad was surely going to shed some tears, but he never loses control. And he would do whatever it took to protect her and make her feel safe and ready to walk down the aisle to her prince. But plans have a way of changing, and sometimes all that takes is a look.
The look my girl gave me right before I went to leave with her entourage. It was that look that says I know why you must go, but I wish you could stay. I had no choice but to stay at that point. This grown-up princess of a girl needed her mother. So, in a room filled with hairspray and beauty, I stayed to help my girl get ready, not in style, but in spirit, for her walk down the aisle. And I am ever so glad I did.
The tears would not stop flowing. They weren’t tears of fear or sadness or regret, she assured me. They were the tears of change. She made the comment that it might help if Dad and I were crying just a little. We giggled at that, since we had all prepared for the inevitable downpour. But then she asked us to pray, Mom and Dad and their girl who had been a threesome until the babies started coming.
I started to pray and had no words at first, but then out of that spirit of peace The Lord had gifted me with, came assurances of where we were, how we had come to this place, and what lay beyond for this child who had meant everything to me for a moment in time. I had no tears because I didn’t need them. From the moment they had taken a one pound fourteen ounce screaming, fighting, baby girl out of my womb, The Lord, her Lord, had proven to me time and again that she was HIS, that He had her best interest at heart, and that His plans would be fulfilled in her.
I had been trained at the alter of denial of all that a mother holds dear, the welfare of her child. I had begged to have a child like Hannah of The Word, and had promised that I would commit it to Him as she had. He had held me to that, and in this moment, I was so thankful. For I was not letting her go…anywhere. As she walked down that aisle and moved into another’s home, she was still right where she had always been, in the arms of Her God, under His Eagle’s Wings where she had always been safe and secure.
So, I had no need of tears, and my body was thankful for that. I still had much to do that day with the guests we had invited to share this celebration of love that she had been given. I had no fear, no tears, and no regrets as The Lord ministered to us in only the way He can.
This photo brought to mind a moment in time when Jay asked me to be his wife. As soon as we got home, he lifted a six year old Kayla up on his knee, and through tears even then, out of love for her that was already welling up in his heart, he asked her if she would give him permission to marry her mother. She did not hesitate when she asked “Can I call you Dad?”
As I look at the two of them in this picture, I am filled with love, and peace, and gratefulness for a God who began to teach me early on in her life, that he had good things planned for this special one. Heading down the aisle towards her future, I knew that she had been prepared for such a time as this. Knowing that her prince has the same love for her Savior as she does, I am filled with hope for the future, and prepared that there may be a few more tears, but at the right time, and for the right reasons.