By: Tim Sader
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
It felt like we failed big time when the bid on our house fell through only weeks before the wedding. This happening meant we still would be appart after getting married but we had to trust God would work it and He did. Instead of worrying over this we decided to just put the house hunt on hold until after the wedding so that we could enjoy all the festivities. The next two big events for us after the bridal shower were the batchlorrete weekend in downtown Charleston and the batchlor party in south Charlotte. On the weekend of Sammy’s batchlorrete trip I remember I was at Dunkin Donuts sitting in the van and it was raining outside. She wanted to make one last call to me before her bridal party took her phone from her. They left and checked in at a fancy hotel in Charleston where they went and got ready for a night out. In the hotel lobby on their way to the interactive murder mystery was a random guy in a banana suit, they knew it would be a crazy night. After the mystery they went out to a fancy restaurant for dinner and drinks then back to the hotel to play games and eat snacks. The next morning after getting ready they went to brunch and hung out for a while before heading back home. After 30 or more hours of radio silence it was so nice when we were able to communicate again. A few weeks later it was my turn to have some fun with the guys from my wedding crew. Robert my assitant drove me to the Tilted Kilt Irish pub in Charlotte where I met the guys for dinner and some drinks. The girls there wear skimpy kilts with long stockings and short white shirts but have a bit more class than similar themed restaurants. The first two guys showed up before my best man who had something up his sleeve. When he finally got there he texted one of them to come help him carry some stuff. He went and bought a blow-up doll in lingerie it was a crazy gag gift since I told them I didn’t want anything to do with stripers. It was a lot of fun hanging out with the guys and cracking jokes about my gift having an inflated personality. That night I also gave the guys their gift, a coin, one talent of pure silver for them to remember that occasion and a small token of my gratitude for their friendship. We thought about going out to do karaoke or something else but we just called it a night and stayed out of trouble.
Both Sammy and I had been through several difficult years dealing with loss and grieving loved ones we had been extremely close to. After her mom and my brother passed very few things helped us through the darkness except for the people in our lives who surrounded us with love. The people at our various wedding parties was a representation of the people who had been there with us through it all. They are not the only ones but most available for us to include, our sisters and brothers some from other mothers. These were with us through weeping and mourning so we wanted to include them in our celebrating, laughing and dancing. Like these friends the Lord has done great things for us so we should celebrate before Him without caring if it seems weird to others (2 Sm. 6:21). We should dance, sing and act a fool for the Lord. We celebrate His abundant goodness and joyfully sing because of His righteousness (Ps. 145:7). When we seek the Lord with our lives He will bring us to the banqueting table because of His love and it will be our banner (Sg. 2:4). Love between two people in our culture leads to marrage but before the wedding is often many parties for us to celebrate the joyful occasion. Because he loved and missed his son the father of the prodigal joyfully celebrated his return with a feast and giant party. What was dead suddenly was alive again, the lost was found so they had a celebration (Lk. 15:22-24). Sammy and I had some celebrations because we found eachother and we chose a great group that had been through the worst and best times with us.
Lord I ask that we would remember to look to you and seek you in times of mourning and weeping and in times of joy and dancing. We thank you God for love and how it offers a covering to us through your son who gave His life for us. Help us Lord to be a friend who will be there through lives ups and downs. I ask also that you would always surround us with people who will be there for us when life is hard so that together we can celebrate the victories. In Jesus name, Amen.
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