I've been dreading this coming Saturday....
I think you all know what I'm talking about. It's the wedding of not one, but TWO of my cousins, Erin Czepek and Jesse Moore. And just to clarify any concerns, they are on OPPOSITE sides of the family (Jesse is the son of my mom's brother and Erin is the daughter is my dad's sister). So, it's all good. :)
When they got engaged last spring I was still in denial about missing it, even though my plans for Haiti were already a go. After all, there was still a possibility that I might be able to fly home for the weekend and be a part of the big day. But as the date has approached, and factoring in my big visit home for Christmas, it's been pretty apparent to all of us that this is a day that I will have to miss. I'm thankful for the understanding that I've received from my extended family, and especially from Erin and Jesse about my absence.
So now I've spent the last month wondering what to do myself when May 2nd rolls around. It's more than just the fact that I love weddings, more than being home to witness the marriage of my two cousins that I've known forever and watched the love story unfold, but the thought of being so faraway when so many family and friends gather for such a special celebration.
Yes, if it hasn't been obvious already, I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself. It's pretty pathetic actually.
But I've realized just now as I've been typing out all of my feelings that I have two choices here.
I can sulk about it and have a big pity party here in Haiti while everyone gathers for the wedding in Wainfleet, or I can try to be optimistic and think about what the Lord might be trying to teach me through this.
It says in the Bible to count your blessings, so I'll give it a go...
The first blessing is technology. With my access to internet I will be able to view pictures and even be able to witness the ceremony and reception on tape when I return home this summer. In fact, there is even a chance that I might be able to view a portion of the day on a live video skype that my Uncle Randy is scheming. Who knew!?
The second blessing I have is family memories.
I have a lifetime of memories with both of them. Family Christmases and summer picnics. Riding the quad up and down the dead end road at the cottage, and fishing at Lake Nipissing. Cousin sleepovers at Oma and Opa's, and Grandpa's expert Easter egg hunts. I could go on and on, and as I think back to the memories, I feel so grateful for the special family times we've shared. The wedding will be full of memories that I have to miss, but it can't take away all of the wonderful times that we've had over the years. I am holding tightly to those memories this week.
The third blessing is more learning.
It says in the book of James to rejoice in times of trial because it is then where you develop perseverance, patience and the truth that Jesus is all we need. I know that as I 'look up' and watch for the ways the Lord will use this time, the lessons learned can not be traded for the chance to be home. The Lord is up to something here, and even though it's painful, it's another chance for me to grow and lean on the Lord for my joy in this place.
So that's a start, and as always, I'm sure there will be more 'lessons' that I will become aware of down the road. Thank you for your prayers for me during this time.
I'm ending this blog with a picture. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of Erin and Jesse.... I can't even remember when it was taken, but it's definitely a classic! I hope I don't get in trouble for posting it, but I think it captures the character of their relationship so well.... If you didn't figure it out by the fit, Jesse is actually wearing Erin's coat! haha! To me, it gives such a reflection of the natural relationship of love they have for each other. I am blessed to know them and despite the distance, I will definitely be celebrating the day over here in Haiti. Love and blessings to you Jesse and Erin and you begin this new life together!