God is present. God is at work. God is making all things new.
This weekend Amy and I are in Calaveras County, in the small town of Murphys, to celebrate Kendra and Keith's wedding. We are privileged to be a part of another chapter in Kendra's life.
We met Kendra in 1990--she was 15 years old and part of our church senior high fellowship. Amy led her small group. We saw her graduate from high school and college, be in love, marry and have children. We also saw her walk through a year of her husband's cancer and eventually his death. We flew back from sabbatical a year ago to be with Kendra and to lead his service.
We prayed for Kendra, along with hundred, maybe thousands, who knew her and wondered what life would be like with 10 year old twins and a 12 year old daughter. God has answered those prayers in so many ways. Not in a magical make-everything-all-right king of way, but in the hard work of grief, conversations, tears and struggle.
In the midst of this chapter of her journey she met Keith--a single dad who had never married. Because their daughters were best friends, he knew her story and all that she had experienced. During this past year they went from friends to more than friends, they were engaged and tomorrow they will marry.
Tonight we were at the rehearsal dinner and saw wonderful signs of God's life in them: laughter, tears, gratitude, amazement, joy. What an honor it is to see how God has been present, how God has been at work, and how God has been making all things new.
If we believe the all things means all things, then this shouldn't be a surprise. All things means every part of the journey, not just the happy times. All things means the people, the relationships, the grief and the joy.
I pray Kendra and Keith continue to experience new life together as their children become siblings, as their families become family, and as their faith deepens to trust God in this next chapter.