Well, my big brother is married. He’s a husband. He’s also now a Daddy and a Step Dad. His best friend is now his wife. Two little ones got a new Daddy for Christmas.
What a beautiful evening it was last night. God was honoured and glorified and we all joined in the celebration. Oh How the Lord is near to the broken hearted and how he brings beauty from ashes. How He preserves one for the comfort of another. How the long loneliness of one prepares and preserves him to be the salve of the shorter but more intense sorrow and loneliness of another. How the prayers of one are answered even in the sorrows of another.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
The reason I say all of this and break into one of my favourite hymns concerning God’s sovereignty is the story that precedes this wonderful union. Heather was married for 20 years to a wonderful godly man. Almost two years ago her husband passed away. She was left, a widow, caring for their six children (two of whom are now adults but two of whom are small children they had adopted from Liberia just several months before her husband died.) Philip was a bachelor. He very patiently waited for the bride that God would send to him. His family and friends prayed for him and knew how much he wanted to be married and to have a family. We wondered when the right woman would be brought to him. God preserved him and prepared him over many years to be the answers to a widow’s cries of loneliness and her desires for her little ones to have a Daddy. Their story is one of God’s many beautiful stories of redemption, in that God took sorrow and pain and death and in His good time made something beautiful. His mercies are new every morning, He turns mourning to dancing (and Oh yes! There was dancing at this wedding!) and He makes all things new… In short, our good God is full of surprises even when they often appear in the forms of black and billowing clouds. Oh how they break… We want to duck and cover when we feel the rain about to fall. But He commands us to open up our hands and hearts and look up to Him for His gracious blessings, even those that flow out of the clouds of sorrow and suffering. And He will never forsake us. He will never put us to shame. Glory be to God!
And now for the pictures…
My little guys all decked out. I love the shoes.
My boys with one of their new cousins!
Phil hanging out with his groomsmen (this is his best man next to him) before the wedding…
Hamming it up with his nephew, the ham. It’s a family trait, this ham business.
The guys gathered around to sing to kill the time. This is a very musical bunch!
The light coming through her dress here was just too much for me to resist… It was very kind of God to allow the rain to stop and the sun to come out for some of the pictures!
My new adorable niece, Gabby!
My little man playing with an umbrella…
and looking mighty cute doing it…
Me and my handsome boys!
Me and my handsome boys and my hot husband…
My little brothers. (Little?!)
More of my lovely nieces! I’m a very blessed auntie with all of these nieces!
Here comes the radiant bride…
And her man’s face as he watches her move towards him… (possibly my favourite part of any wedding because I think of the church being presented to Christ…)
And look at her adoring smile…
Gabby watches and waits until she can finally call Mr. Phil, Daddy instead of Mr. Phil…
“Oh God beyond all praising…”
Which really needs to be printed here, it’s so beautiful.
O God beyond all praising we worship you today
And sing the love amazing that songs can not repay
For we can only wonder at every gift you send
And blessings without number and mercies without end
We lift our hearts before You and wait upon Your Word
We honor and adore You our great and mighty Lord
Then hear O gracious Savior accept the love we bring
That we who know Your favor may serve you as our King
And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill
We’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still
To marvel at Your beauty and glory in Your ways
And make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.
O Lord, my God, I pleaded that You might heal and save
Lord You from death have ransomed and kept me from the grave
His saints, O praise Jehovah, and praise His holy name
His anger lasts a moment, His grace a whole lifetime
For sorrow, like a pilgrim, may tarry all the night
But then a shout of joy comes when dawns the morning light.
O hear me now Jehovah be gracious unto me
To You I cry Jehovah O now my helper be
You now have turned my sorrow to dancing full of joy
You loosened all my sackcloth and girded me with joy
To You sing songs my glory and never silent be
O Lord, my God, I thank You through all eternity.
I love it that I just googled for the words to this song and they came up on Heather’s blog!
The exchanging of the rings.
I love the look on my brother’s face here… How he respects and admires and adores her…
And then the kiss. And I gotta say… Phil put a lot of guys to shame in this department. It was quite the kiss to seal the deal!
That O lying there on the floor is the only thing that went wrong. It fell off the wall midway through my brother’s vows I think (or during the ring exchange.) My oldest son said that “the gravity of the moment caused the O to fall!” LOL
Mr. And Mrs. Philip Robert Olsson…
They look so happy and contented….
I snuck a picture of the wedding party!
Here they come as a married couple…
I think they are admiring the cake here…
My brother and his best man celebrating…
Cute, cute couple!
One of the toasts…
The cake. Frame by frame…
The dance… Heather recorded “I just call you mine” for my brother and she sang it to him as they danced…
I love how absorbed they were with each other and in the beauty of the moment…
Thanks be to God!