There are some things in life we just have on the calendar for a long time–big, life changing kinds of events that we look forward to, or count down to, or set the rest of our days by for a while. Tonight, as we helped prepare for a milestone day in our friends’ lives, I just couldn’t help but think how dear a thing it is to surround–and be surrounded, when life’s biggest moments come our way.
Big moments like weddings and babies take a lot of preparation and love from a whole community. It’s possible to have a wedding or a baby without pouring your heart and soul into it, but how much more wonderful when we can really devote time and energy, love and intention to these incredible events? Looking around tonight as friends, parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family committed their time and hearts to a young, Godly, and joy-filled couple on the night before their wedding day, it was hard not to bubble over with joy myself. So many people had gathered, representing all of the love and depth of relationship that these two have built over their short lifetimes. The delight was palpable as friends exchanged hugs and conversation, and as the bride and groom expressed their gratitude and love for their closest community–and for each other.
On nights like this, or on days when I have the privilege of being a doula at yet another beautiful birth, I’m so blessed by the chance to celebrate–in complete fullness, the joy of the moment for others. And it feels like I can finally pay forward all of the times that someone has celebrated wholeheartedly with me. I am certain that this is what the love of Christ and the necessity of community is all about. When we take the time to really step back and look at the beauty in our lives, it’s hard to ignore God’s presence, His gift of relationship to us through others, His desire to delight us in the little things and the very biggest ones. It’s no wonder we set our calendars by the big moments sometimes. They’re the absolute culmination of so many days…of paths walked, of journeys weathered, of love poured out and energy spent. And they set us on a course to the next thing, and the next–all stepping stones for us in this life, allowing us the opportunity to glorify our Creator, to share the marrow of life with others, and to experience the fullness of grace and joy in the monumental. What a gift we have in relationship and friendship with the people we love!
I am so humbled by the community that we’ve been blessed with here, after moving away from “home” in Chicago over a decade ago and setting up camp in this pretty little place. Without family nearby for a long time, God somehow created for us a new foundation that has evolved into the most marvelous non-nuclear family we could ask for. This amazing couple we’re celebrating all weekend is a piece of that–a part of our second family. And the dynamic and depth of friendship and support we have come to know and love so dearly is a very bright spot in our world. Looking to tomorrow for these friends, and then the next few weeks as our own countdown continues, the richness of life is just so palpable and apparent in this timing. I’m so grateful for these perfectly ordained moments in each of our lives, and for the chance to celebrate them together.
delighting in what’s ahead,