Our girl got married yesterday.
In what can only be described as the Bohemian, Love Child Princess meets God's most perfect lush explosion of flowers and lush forest on the top of the world looking over the Blue Ridge Mountains...Our girl married her boy.
God was all over that place. God was all over them. Love, joy, tears, and laughter permeated every square inch of that mountain top. I. Have. Never.
I wept through most of the ceremony including while I was reading the passage from John and Stasi Eldredge's Captivating that Sherri had selected and asked me to read as a representation of the C7.
We ate and danced and laughed to exhaustion. One of the C7, Judy, brought her husband and three littles (the two girls are officially C7 Mini Mes (the group is always amused how I "name" things). They added a sense of joy and light to the festivities that cannot be measured.
Last night as some of us were crashing, Kacey asked, "What was your favorite part of the day?" Besides the obvious...Every. Single. Part....it has to be Sherri and Tim's dance. It was to Kari Jobe's Beloved. A song that was played at Captivating and Sherri had this wonderful dream/vision...and we have prayed that dream with her...today...right in front of our eyes...God gave Sherri and Tim...their Beloved. I had one of the littles in my lap...sweet Katie....who I desperately wanted to smuggle home with me. I am weeping and smiling as Sherri and Tim dance to Beloved with Katie snuggled up in my lap wrapped up in my pink pashmina (I must send her one), and she says,"Miss Heather isn't she beautiful?" "Yes," I answer. Then she asks, "Are those happy tears?" "Yes, Katie, they are happy tears. God answered all of our prayers today...our girl is Happy and a Beloved and a Beauty." Katie snuggled in deeper and sighed a little, "Mmmm..." she sighed/whispered. God, I so love the heart of a child.
I am digressing a lot....
As I fell asleep last night and awoke far too early this morning, I couldn't get the pastor's words during the ceremony out of my head about being a couple who lives grace.....about them and us doing "life" together.
Which made me thing about a post I wrote yesterday morning that I kept as a draft so that I could give myself time to mull over it. The post is raw and real...and says maybe too much.
So...here I sit on this deck in the wee hours of the morning looking over the Blue Ridge Mountains feeling tremendously grateful, feet throbbing a bit from the dancing ;), and working through the restlessness in my head and heart over that phrase "doing life together" and all that means.
I believe with all that I am that God sent the C7 to us at the perfect time so that we could "do life together" not simply through a season, but over the breadth and depth of our lives. I don't write that a lot or say that a lot, but ever since we all chose the same table, against the wall, with the sunshine beaming in on it (the only one that did), all of us signing up for this Captivating adventure solo to go spend time on a remote mountain with 300+ women we didn't know of all backgrounds, faiths, places, etc. from all over the world...God did that. God brought us there. That moment in time. He chose us to do life together. The surreal thing, even now for me, is when we left four days later with addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers...we still had no clue about who did what, work, stay-at-home mom, spouses, religions....all things we would learn in the days, weeks, and months to come. In that four days we learned about each other's hearts, souls, fears, our search and work with God in the inner parts of who we are...we prayed together before meals...we did learn who ate what ;)...but we just learned the deep inner parts. The life...the rest of doing life together would come...later.
Even to write all of that...two years later...leaves me shaking my head, crying, and breathing differently. Who does that??? C7. God. Not necessarily in that order. :)))
I have had friendships. Family. All of us did.
Doing life though? With a group of people? I don't know that I ever had that before C7. Sadly, I know I didn't. Not because I didn't have amazing people in my life...but because I was ill-equipped to do it. *Sigh*
If I am a better sister, friend, whatever...today. It is because of the C7. They have taught me how to do life with people...a tribe. My conversations are deeper. My relationships more fruitful. My heart more open. There are tougher things too. I have lost friends, loved ones...not everyone wants to do life like this with others, and I completely get, respect, and honor that...because I was a slow learner too. Maybe someday. I have hope. To do life with someone is to have a deeper truth spoken to you than you ever had, but served up with a greater love and grace than you ever known. The conversations between us are not always easy...sometimes rarely so....there are seasons, but they are real, raw, grace-filled, enveloped with love...they are from safe people in a safe zone that we have created between us with God. It is magical.
Which gets me back to yesterday....the wedding of our girl. If there is a way to start your life together...they nailed it. I have been to a lot of beautiful weddings...magical ones even, but theirs felt different....there was an air of peacefulness and joy and love that could not be quantified. I really felt like if I stepped outside of the rock walls surrounding us, I would find myself on a cloud floating above the earth. It did not feel of this world. It absolutely felt like we were experiencing a bit of heaven. Sherri's joyful laughter crackling in the air throughout the day. She was the most joyful bride I have ever seen. Ever.
So this is what it means to do life with people...I have been missing out, doing it wrong, and I am sorry for that...for myself, but more for those in my life. I hope I have gotten better, but I know that I have more lessons to learn from my sweet C7 on doing life with others. I am blessed that so many are loving me through it.
Yesterday Katie looked up at me out of the blue and said, "I am so glad I met you." Me too Katie. Me too.
Sending love and light to everyone from the incredibly gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. My joy tank runneth over. My heart is full. The tears are falling like rain. They are happy tears (Yes Katie!). Yes they are. :)))
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)