I always celebrate when the daisies begin to bloom. Beautiful, elegant in their simplicity, signifying innocence, purity, new beginnings, true love — and the marriage of my daughter, Emily, to her husband, Jordan.
Twelve years ago today, May 27, 2006, Emily carried daisies, her favorite flower, when she and Jordan married for the second time. Yes, you read that correctly. The first time they married, in 2001, they were too immature to make a go of it, made too many mistakes and gave it up as a lost cause. They divorced, went their separate ways for a couple of years, floundering while searching for some meaning in life and yet not finding any true contentment.
God had other plans for them, though. As they walked through that valley of hurt and disappointment, their hearts were made tender and receptive to both give and receive forgiveness. I still am amazed at how it came about. Emily had returned to her spiritual roots and felt an overwhelming need to make things right with Jordan, and one day, without knowing if he’d even listen to her, she called him.
She told him she was sorry and that she was praying for him. The God who prompted her to call had been working in Jordan’s heart, too. He said he was sorry, and he also was praying for her. They met to talk things over. They continued meeting, and the love that had almost died began to sprout again.
How appropriate that a day in May, when daisies nodded approval in a warm breeze, was when they choose to marry again in an outdoor ceremony at Historic Sam Houston Schoolhouse. Emily walked in bare feet from the visitor’s center to India’s Garden where her beloved awaited.
His face as he watched her approach was one of the most moving sights I’ve ever seen. They pledged themselves to each other in front of family and close friends, led by the minister of the church they still attend today — the same minister who, a few weeks later, baptized them in the river as a sign of their renewed faith and commitment to each other and the God who brought them back together.
As I wrote in a column celebrating their 10th anniversary, you still can see the love on their faces when they look at each other, you still can feel the love surrounding them like a hedge of protection sent by God.
That first, failed marriage did not result in children, but this one has brought forth three little blessings who keep their lives filled with love and laughter.
I had told Emily shortly after they married that she’d be expecting a child on their first anniversary. Sure enough, Ellie was on her way when May 27, 2007, rolled around; she was born in October 2007, followed by Seth in January 2010 and Thomas in November 2013. The family is active in church, the one Emily and Jordan first attended when they got back together, still led by the same caring pastor who counseled them in those early days, performed the ceremony when they remarried and baptized them in the river shortly afterward. He also has now baptized two of their three children.
I cannot put into words how blessed I am to be writing this column today. I cannot put into words how blessed I am to see my favorite (and only!) daughter and favorite (and only!) son-in-law still as in love today as they were 12 years ago. Ephesians 3:17-21 comes to mind:
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
Immeasurably filled: That’s how I feel today. And so very, very thankful.
Happy anniversary to us all. I love you.