Today is the first wedding anniversary for my son and his beautiful wife. The memories of that special day come flooding back. It was wonderful in every way. The weather. The ceremony. The joy.
My son chose to marry the perfect woman for him. The truth is God arranged it all. God brought them together. He had their paths cross. The timing was ideal for them to fall in love. I know this because I had been praying for it for years.
I'm not sure when I first started praying for my son's future wife. It was so many years ago. Maybe when he was 5 years old. Maybe 8 years old. Maybe even as an infant resting in my arms. I have been praying for her for so long I don't know when I started. Back then it wasn't that often. But as the years went on, I began to pray more for her. And certainly when he was in college, I prayed for her quite frequently. I prayed that God would guide her and protect her. That He would give her the life experiences and prepare her heart for the time they would meet. So much of life is about timing. I prayed that God's providence would happen and at the perfect time when they were ready, He would arrange their life circumstances to find each other. I prayed her to be a woman who would strengthen my son's faith. To be a partner with him.
I have been part of a women's Bible study group for years. We always ask for prayer requests at the end of each meeting. One woman would always remind us to pray for our children and the children of others in our group. We prayed specific prayers - that they would do well on their exams, that they would find a job, that they would recover from a broken heart,... And we prayed for their futures. Not only was I praying for my future daughter-in-law; there were others praying for her too.
They actually lived in the same apartment complex my son's senior year of college just around the corner from each other. But they didn't meet there. My daughter-in-law took a picture at the apartment complex pool and who was sitting across the pool but my son and his friend! The timing for them to meet wasn't right though.
They actually met about a year later online and talked awhile before going out on a date. My son wrote on their wedding site; My pick up line to her on the dating app was "I'm pretty upset that we will have to tell our future kids that we met on Tinder" and she claims it was a bad pick up line but look where we are now... I smile. All in God's timing.
As I got to know her I began to think she is "the one." I witnessed how my son loved her.
She is very close to her family - her parents, her siblings, her aunts and uncles and grandparents. I saw how important her family was to her. I was so grateful that she comes from that kind of background. Normal. How hard would it be to marry into a dysfunctional family? And this one was a good family. A family with love for each other. I saw she had the foundation of witnessing her parents' and grandparents' strong marriages. She had experienced being loved and being able to give that love.
I know she will one day be a good mother. She used to be a nanny while working in college and now is a neonatal intensive care nurse at the children's hospital.
I saw she was a woman of faith. She would walk along my son and encourage him in his spiritual journey.
When my son proposed to her I couldn't have been happier.
I wanted to let her know how much I loved her and accepted her as part of our family. When you marry, you marry the family too. I wanted her to know that their union was an answer to my years of praying. That she is now part of us - completely loved. That she belongs. That I will always be on her side. Their side. The side that encourages them to work through the hard times that will come. The side that celebrates their joy. The side that remembers the sacred covenant of marriage they took.
She had mentioned awhile before that she had liked the Bible I had bought my son. I went to the Christian bookstore. I had an idea what I was looking for and searched the many aisles. Tucked at the end of an aisle, at the top, closest to the checkout, I found it. The Bible with every feature I wanted. It was a Christian Standard Bible, a study Bible, with indexing and a genuine leather cover. It had maps and Christ's words in red. A very expensive Bible. It was just beautiful. The woman at check-out said it was the only Bible they had like that in the store. This one is special. The chain was closing all their brick and mortar stores and they were having a 50% off Bible sale. Only one left and on sale. I smiled. It was a God thing. It was meant to be her Bible.
I took the Bible home. I oohed and aaahed over it. I thought about what I wanted to tell her and I wrote her a note inside. I gave it to her a couple weeks before they married. I wanted her to know she was welcome in our lives. She always would be.
And on October 12, 2019 my son stood with the love of his life under an arbor in front of their minister and made a sacred covenant before us and before God that he would love, honor, and cherish her for the rest of his life until death does them part. And my heart swelled. Thank you Lord. You hear our prayers and You answer them.