On a stunning late June afternoon, our daughter Courtney became a wife.
Spoiler alert: It was the most amazing day sandwiched between two equally wondrous days of celebration.
Our family won’t easily forget the joy of witnessing love by raising glasses, cheering, dancing and feasting as our family enlarged for the better.
However, the months leading up to the big event were filled with countless sleepless nights.
Not because of attempting to lasso a budget although the rope often felt out of reach.
No matter how I tried, I could not envision what or how this day of days would look or feel.
Since I couldn’t visualize those 6 hours, I threw myself into list making during my waking hours and sadly my sleeping hours also kept a tally.
My sleep was compromised simply because my mind was restless for a glimpse of the future.
One night in late January, sleep seemed pointless due to my overactive brain, I left my pillow behind and entered the darkest gap between night and morning and tucked myself under the dining room table before my journal.
I wrote in bold letters:
ALL THE THINGS THAT CONCERN ME
I wrote it all down.
There was nothing too insignificant or monumental that wasn’t scribbled on two pages.
I laid every care, fear and worry upon the lines of that open book, like a prayer or a hyperventilating plea sent in the direction of heaven.
Then I went to sleep.
I would like to report to never having another night of tossing and turning.
I did but the space between waking and falling back into dreamland was narrower.
For the majority of my life, I have trusted God.
Trust has been reflexive like a doctor’s hammer tap below one’s knee but often a whispered hope.
This summer was one in a collection of remembering the God I trust.
Sometimes my trust in God has put the emphasis on my actions instead of tilting the weight off my shoulders and witnessing the character of the God, who can be trusted.
When I was young, my mother taught me to thread her needle.
After I mastered this skill, she showed me how to tie a knot on thread draped through the needle’s eye.
I remember watching her fingers, thumb and thread and it seemed the most mysterious display, especially when my clumsy hands tried to duplicate the feat.
Two thread lengths tethered only by the eye of a needle, each side placed between my thumb and second finger, as they slid back and forth until a knot formed.
At first it seemed improbable, impossible.
A folded piece of fiber remained uncontrolled.
But after practice and failed attempts, knot making became automatic.
I wouldn’t give a single thought when presented with a needle and thread today.
But if I dare to pause long enough to observe the reflexive movements of my hand, I still marvel when a knot appears due to the gentle gliding of two parts of one hand.
I believe in the God who knows how to thread the pieces of my life through their appointed spaces.
I believe in the God who expertly knots every dangling fear, insecurity and worry.
I shudder by how easily I grow accustomed to his handiwork, some seen and often more shielded from my view, all accomplished by the rubbing of his fingers to and fro over my life.
During the final moments leading to the wedding, I was given time to spend with Courtney in the balcony area of the venue. I looked at her and decades of prayers flooded my soul and were placed alongside my love for her. We spoke, we laughed and desperately tried not to ruin our make-up. It felt like an eternity had passed once I walked down the stairs to see the procession lined up, excitedly chatting as they waited for me. I took my place next to my tall son in the front of the line. I was certain the sacred space with Courtney had put our schedule in jeopardy but I lifted my eyes to the wall clock and it was exactly 4pm.
When does a wedding start on time?
I am not writing to share how God crossed out or put a check mark beside every one of my journal full of concerns, yet He did.
I am writing to admit none of my sleepless nights accomplished anything but darker under eye circles.
I am writing this because although it sounds cliché, God is never late or too early.
In fact, His timing is impeccable.
I am writing this not because God gave us the most brilliantly happy day, yet He did.
I am writing this because He pulled out all the stops for a brilliantly happy day in the midst of a multitude of sad days past, present and undoubtedly in the future.
He gave us merriment hemmed in beside the hard places which have taken up residency in our lives and seem to have no intention of hanging a vacancy sign.
I want to whisper and shout about my days to God, knowing no utterance is too trivial for His hearing.
I want to be an open book.
As I surrender my lists to Him as an act of trust, the privilege is mine to see the God who can be trusted to gently slide His hands across each strand of my life and affix it to Himself.
It seem improbable, impossible.
In His mercy and kindness, He ties knots of faithfulness all over the threads of my life.
Each one is a full stop in the story of me, allowing me to pause, stare back in wonder of the God who can be trusted.