This event will always have a special place in my heart. I planned an evening to celebrate my parents and their commitment to each other, thirty years after their "I do's". I am so proud that they chose each other day after day, year after year, and ended up where they are today.
They began their life together when my mom was 17, and my dad was 21. They got married in a little chapel in Miami, Oklahoma, and then had a reception at my great-grandmothers cafe. It all sounds cute now, but at the time, emotions were high (due to a teenage pregnancy and quick marriage), and I really get a kick out of looking at the photos from that day. The expressions are priceless. My mom graduated high school the following year, with my big brother, Chris, on her hip. I was born two years later.
The four of us grew up together in many ways. My mom and dad are amazing people, but that doesn't mean that they didn't struggle. It wasn't easy, and honestly, only the last couple of years have been happy years of marriage. Even more reason to celebrate. I won't get into details or stories, but I can tell you there are years of unbearable hurt in their history book.
And that's the beautiful part of their story, it's in the past. Thank you Jesus for restoring my parents, their marriage, and their faith in YOU. Mom and Dad, you've taught me first-hand the importance of forgiveness, the impact of our words, and how to lean on the Lord when things are beyond the point of reconciliation. You both are a blessing to me, and to our family!
The love poured out for them that night, as we all gathered in the yard at their home. The night was truly a blessing and the amount of people that came brought them so much joy. Family members, new friends, and friends that have made everlasting imprints in their history, all showed up.