The afternoon sky became overcast and dark. Looming clouds gathered over the rumbling ocean, blocking the warmth of the southern sun which we had enjoyed all day. Wedding guests nervously chatted and prayed for clear skies, but the bride and groom remained calm and resolute – unconcerned about the troublesome weather forming around them. Becoming united in marriage was the only thing on their minds.
Living in Florida, loving nature and the outdoors, it was no surprise when this adventurous couple planned an outdoor wedding at a picturesque location dotted with 500 year-old oak trees. Calvin & Caroline probably never thought their special day would be compromised by rain, as the odds of this are quite rare in May. But this is exactly what happened – the skies opened up only a short time before the ceremony was about to begin. But with a little prayer (and luck) the rain stopped falling at the moment the bride walked down nature’s green, grassy aisle under a canopy of outstretched branches of towering, mossy oak trees. The only thing you could see on the faces of the bride and groom was pure JOY!
Perhaps this couple’s reality in life is part of the reason they have a maturity beyond their years. Caroline and her family, along with Calvin’s mom Rhonda (my sister in law) planned this beautiful May wedding while Calvin was selflessly serving our country on another tour in Afghanistan as part of the Army Special Forces. As I prayed for my nephew Calvin’s safety during the fall and winter months prior to the wedding, I kept wondering how his fiancé Caroline was doing. I am sure that the safe return of her beloved Cal was surely the only thing on her mind, not some tiny wedding details. Perhaps this is the reason these two special people showed little concern for a bit of rain on their wedding day. They know what is truly important in this life and they did a wonderful job reminding all of us, without using any words.
In today’s world, it is rare for young people to demonstrate crystal clear thinking and focus during the big moments in their lives. It takes maturity, prayer and wisdom to cultivate this type of peaceful mindset, especially when things don’t go as planned. I learned something quite valuable over the weekend at this lovely wedding which was joyfully attended by family and friends from all over the country. In their youthful wedding day bliss, this couple remained centered on what they could control, not on what they could not. And in the midst of a little spring rain – they reminded all of us what it means to love, live in the moment, turn away from senseless worry and give thanks to God for our many blessings! Congrats to the happy couple!
One of the best gifts of this wedding trip was being with Peter’s family. While my back needs some time to heal, these memories will last a lifetime! Thank you Rhonda & Steve for a blessed weekend! Below are a few fun, family photos from the weekend.