I’ve never been the mother of the groom before and I’ve never attempted to do a rehearsal dinner at all, much less a dinner at a “destination wedding”. I cooked in an unfamiliar kitchen at a church building during pajama day at the large preschool housed in that building. Mermaids, super-heroes and puppy dogs were in and out of the kitchen all day. The staff members at the Hilldale church in Clarksville, TN were all very hospitable and kind. Still though, there are a few things about destination weddings , for which I had failed to prepare. I learned some lessons:
- You can make a lot of lists and think you have everything but the kitchen sink before you leave and still need to go to Sam’s, Walmart, Belk, Dollar General and Hobby Lobby all during the day of the dinner for things you forgot.
- The shoes that felt comfortable at 9 a.m. feel like torture chamber equipment at 9 p.m.
- When your car is loaded like a Jenga puzzle, it’s going to be the container with the most little pieces that comes crashing down from the top and scatters its contents in all the crevices you’ve never even seen before because you have never had every single seat in the SUV down for luggage room. (…And it will probably be something like…say thyroid medication…something you need very much, that you will never see again).
- Somebody IS going to fall down on a trip like this…it just WILL happen.
- You can leave home in your short sleeves because it’s 68 degrees outside and feel snow in your face before the day is over.
- Your GPS will mostly be accurate, but the one time Siri makes a blunder, there could be lots of mud in the recovery process.
But let me just say this: None of these little incidental things could even dampen the spirit of this mother of the groom. Nothing that stresses or panics about a destination wedding is even as much as a real hiccup IF the FINAL wedding destination is heaven. Our son is the best example and teacher of Christianity to his parents that we could have ever imagined or for which we could have ever prayed. He touches our hearts daily with his dedication to the work of our Lord as he serves the church at Macland Road and in his personal relationships. I believe he wants to do the right thing more than just about anyone I have ever known. I do not deserve to get to be his mother and I certainly am not responsible for the goodness in Him. But I am thankful to God for it every day. He has always intended to please the Father and there has never been a day in His life when he purposefully rebelled against Him in any decision. (I know that’s a big statement, but I’m convinced of and humbled by it’s truth.) I have lived in amazement at this reality; amazement, shame—when I think of my own failures,—and thankfulness. One of the groomsmen shared a little detail with me on the day after the wedding. The last message Caleb delivered before getting married was delivered by a groomsman to one of his elders who was in attendance at the wedding. The message? A check for his contribution for the Sunday he would be away on his honeymoon. I love that heart.
Rebekah Meinsen Colley (that is so fun to type and say) is a treasure that we surely could not have anticipated or merited. A few days ago on a Sunday, Rebekah sent Glenn and me a text message: “Today we studied Jethro in Bible class. I just want you to know that I am so thankful I am getting the blessing of great and wise in-laws like you.” Now tell me, who gets a daughter-in-law who knows how to make you feel that good?! She called Glenn and me into the little private dressing room where she was getting ready to marry Caleb last Friday night and gave us each a little red bag. My gift was a necklace and Glenn’s was a key chain. The inscription simply said “Thank you for raising the man of my dreams.” I will treasure that necklace for the rest of my life because it’s a little symbol of a huge and rare blessing. If I had to pick one thing that I love most about her, (Well, first…it would be so hard to pick…) I’d say it’s a genuine love for lost souls. I have watched her agonize over those around her who are unprepared for the judgment day. Glenn and I can learn much from this handmaiden of the Lord. We bask in relationship blessings from our faithful Father and we are especially thankful at this juncture in life for Rebekah’s parents. We will forever owe a debt to Jim and Debbie Meinsen for the things they put deeply in Bekah’s heart.
Destination weddings are wonderful. Destination marriages are the best ever…and ever…and ever! I pray that Caleb and Rebekah will never lose sight of the goal. I pray they will keep the directions handy (This GPS never makes an error.) and study every detail of the route. I’m going to the same place to meet the same Bridegroom, who is already there. It’s a destination that’s already prepared (John 14:2)…and that’s a very calming reality for this mother.