Have you ever spent hours, energy, and tears on something and find the result to be so worth the effort? I know that doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it is so rewarding and such a blessing. This was the case for me in preparing for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration. I took on much of the long-distance planning for the party – which was in
Why the tears? A lot can happen in 50 years. There is much to celebrate, and many happy memories. But life happens along the way. There were several loved ones in those pictures that are no longer with us. My parents lost their first child, my oldest brother, to serious illness at the age of six, and my dad lost his much younger brother at a tragically young age. All my grandparents are also gone. Some neighbors, dear friends, children’s friends, and some members of the wedding party have passed away.
There are also tears of much joy in seeing how God has blessed my parents over the years, even in the midst of terrible pain. There is a bittersweet joy in seeing how the time has flown since my brother and I were the same age that my own kids are now. And to witness the joy they have still in each other and in the simple blessings of life is truly inspiring.
Their marriage had its difficult times, and through it they persevered. One of the songs I used in the slideshow is “Heroes” by Paul Overstreet. It talks about simply giving of yourself as a spouse and parent, and how that is heroic. The gift of their faithfulness to their family and to God is immeasurable.
Today I got an email from my mom, thanking me once again for the party and slideshow. In it she commented that “It's been 43 years today since Stevie died. Still does not seem like that long ago. I know he was watching all the kids and knowing how much fun they were having at the party.” She also mentioned that one of their good friends there in
Recently, in my Bible reading, the last portion of Psalm 33 really struck a chord with me. I see this simple dependency in my parents, and I hope to model this for my own family. I know that if we persevere in our dependence on Him throughout our lives, we will be glad for the outcome, just as I was for the time and energy invested in my tribute to my parents.
"Watch this: God's eye is on those who respect him,
the ones who are looking for his love.
He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times;
in lean times he keeps body and soul together.
We're depending on God;
he's everything we need.
What's more, our hearts brim with joy
since we've taken for our own his holy name.
Love us, God, with all you've got—
that's what we're depending on."
Psalm 33: 18-22 The Message
"Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You."
Psalm 33: 18-22 New American Standard
Lord, thank you for my parents. Thank you that they hope in you and depend on you, and that you have shown them your lovingkindness. Help me to do the same. Thank you that you promise that depending on you will make it all worth it, even through the times of famine; that you will give us deliverance, life, help, protection, lovingkindness, and joy.