Today is Jennifer and Sean’s wedding anniversary. Fifteen years ago today, Julia and I were finishing up a very big day and a big year. Lisa had just graduated from High School, Julia was preparing for Jennifer’s wedding. My job was to write the checks and not complain. I learned early in the year that weddings were about daughters and mothers. The father of the bride got to write the checks and walk the bride down the aisle. Oh yes, I also got to comment on what a good selection they had made on flowers, cake, dresses or anything else that they decided on but I had to write the check for. I learned that a budget for a wedding sometimes was just a suggestion that could be changed at the drop of a pin.
Seriously, Julia and Jennifer did a good job on sticking to a very Liberian ( in my opinion) budget. Julia is an excellent seamstress and she made Jennifer’s bridal gown. It was very beautiful and I am sure would have cost me much more if it had been purchased. But it still cost a pretty penny. Julia kept saying, “look at how much we are saving”. I wanted to say , “Look at how much we are spending.” But I didn’t, at least not out loud. The tine of preparation for the wedding was fun in some ways. But as the time came to “give Jennifer away”, I realized that I didn’t want to. You see, there was no man who was worthy of my daughter. At least that I what I thought. Sure, this guy named Sean Lyden seemed nice, but he couldn’t be as nice as he seemed. No, there had to be something wrong with him. But Jennifer seemed to really love him, and they did seem like a good couple. I went through the same thing later with Lisa, so I know that it wasn’t Sean, it was me. I just didn’t want to let go.
If you have ever seen the movie “Father of the Bride” you will know a little about what I was going through. Most people see that movie as a comedy. I saw it as a horror movie. Steve Martin represented most of my unspoken thoughts. I have watched that move probably five times, and I still don’t think it is that funny. I have too much empathy with the father. But that is where our Father differs with me. He doesn’t care about costs. He paid the ultimate price. He love’s us and is not afraid to let us choose our won path, because He trusts us. Eventually, this is where I wound up with Jennifer and Sean. I released them to their destiny and let them choose their own path. Why? It was because I loved Jennifer and I trusted her. She was right, and as the years have passed, I have come to love Sean as son that I never had. I see God’s hand in their marriage, through the ups and downs. I know his heart, and I trust him. He and Jennifer have given me two beautiful granddaughters. Their destiny is part of my legacy, and I want to help make sure they are able to fulfill all that God has for them too.
Fifteen years, that is quite an accomplishment in today’s world. I give them both credit for perseverance. I thank God for His grace in their lives and marriage, for without that none of us would have survived that long. I know that Julia is smiling down on them tonight. We both made mistakes along the way. As parents, the hardest thing to do sometimes is nothing. Prayer is usually the answer, not interference. So tonight Jennifer and Sean, I honor you. I honor you for your commitment to each other and to God. I hope that you will know and understand His goodness as much, if not more, than I do. I pray that He will continue to bless you both and that your next 15 years will be easier and even more fruitful than the last 15. Live life to the fullest. Don’t ever hold back because of fear. Press into Papa and know that He loves you. Julia and I love you both. May the Father’s blessings be released in your lives and the lives of your daughters.