Blog – 9-20-17
Last weekend my dear friends John and Sandy’s daughter Katie got married. Katie is a creative, free-spirited girl who brings joy to everyone she meets. Her infectious, creative spirit and love for art was hard to contain as a toddler at times, however, especially when she did things like color all over her legs with a permanent marker the day she was a flower girl in a wedding! That’s just Katie!
I had to talk Sandy off the ledge a time or two when Katie was growing up and encourage her that Katie was going to be just fine. Those things that made her crazy back then were the very things that were going to make Katie successful in the future…her spunk, her zest for life, her creativity and her determination.
And boy have they ever! Katie graduated in May from Johns Hopkins University with a master’s degree in medical illustration. It’s the most prestigious course of its kind in the country where only the best of the best are accepted, and Katie passed with flying colors. You go, Girl! I could write an entire blog on Katie and how special she is, but I will try to stay on point!
Well, when Spencer, the man of her dreams, proposed last year, Katie knew she wanted to have the wedding at her parents’ place. You see, besides art, Katie shares my love for our furry, four-legged friends, and she especially loves horses. She showed horses growing up, and animals have always been a huge passion in her life.
When Katie suggested that they have the wedding in the barn where her beloved horses used to live, however, Mom and Dad saw the situation a little differently than she did. They saw a cluttered barn filled with equipment, horse gear, tools, odds and ends that found their way in the barn after the horses were gone. To be honest, the barn was a mess, as most working barns are. After they initially said no and tried to steer her in another direction, they couldn’t ignore the disappointment they saw in her eyes. Her Dad couldn’t let his little girl down, and they knew they had to find a way to make her dream come true. A barn wedding it would be!
I tried as hard as I could to assure my nervous friends that we would all pitch in and help them make it happen. My job, according to Katie, was to keep her Mom from going crazy and keep her as calm as possible! I readily agreed because I knew that while her parents saw a mess, Katie saw something beautiful hidden beneath the mess.
Cleaning out the barn and trying to figure out the flow of the wedding and the reception was a huge challenge that began back in April. Where could the caterer set up their trucks and equipment? Where should the wedding itself be held? (It ended up on the soccer field below the barn – perfect!) Where would the band fit best? Where would we put all the tables? So many things to figure out, but as ideas started flowing and a clear vision started developing, we all began to see what Katie saw all along. This really was going to be an awesome place to have a wedding!
As I reflect on that event and Katie’s vision, I can’t help but think about how God looks at us the way Katie looked at that barn:
We see a mess – God sees beautiful.
We see impossible – God sees endless possibilities.
We see broken – God sees transformation.
We see a lost cause – God sees a potential miracle!
Saturday night was a proud moment for John and Sandy as Katie got the wedding of her dreams. It wasn’t the wedding they initially pictured for her, but I know they would both agree that they wouldn’t have traded it for the world! It was breathtakingly beautiful, and Katie was one of the most gorgeous brides I have ever seen. I may be a little prejudiced since Katie has always had a very special place in my heart, but she looked like a goddess. Look at the pictures and tell me I’m not right!
I’ve also learned a thing or two about dreams as I’ve been on this wedding journey with my friends. The dream I have for my kids and the people I love may not align with the dream they have, and that’s okay. My job is to support them the best way I possibly can and help them make their dream a reality. They may see something I simply am not capable of visioning.
And above all, I will forever cherish the small part I played in making Katie and Spencer’s wedding dream a reality because there’s nothing like witnessing the joy and the excitement that overflows when dreams come true!
Hugs and love,
p.s. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy!