I’m reminded of Charles Dickens writing long ago when he said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” And even when times are tough, love still lives. Weddings bells still ring, and joy and laughter still manage to sneak into our hearts. This was definitely the case last Friday afternoon when Whitley and Justice promised to love each other forever. It was not what was planned. They intended to say “I do” on April 3 on the Gunter Farm, which has become a bit of a tradition for the Gunter grandchildren. They worked hard to bring their vision to life, dress was ready, and Justice’s mom was busy creating their florals. Enter a world wide pandemic, an order to limit gatherings, and plans began to change to account for the health and safety of our community. Then last week, another statewide mandate came further limiting gatherings, and Whitley and Justice’s ceremony changed again from family and close friends to parents only. Tears were shed. Letting go of your wedding vision is painful.
When life throws us a curve ball, we hang our head for a second, but then we do what we have to do. We find a way to appreciate the beauty of life, love, and each other. It is, after all, the celebration of love that creates the wedding in our hearts. And that’s just what Whitley and Justice did. They let go of one vision, and within a few hours, created another one. And it was the one that was meant to be. Their wedding was simple, yet beautiful, and so, so sweet. It was a celebration of two souls who found each other against all odds. It is in times like these that love grows even deeper and stronger. Whitley’s mom videoed the ceremony for a Facebook Live, which allowed family and friends to celebrate in real time. And Whitley got herself a husband. – I loved her post Saturday morning which said just that.
I know I’m throwing in quotes like crazy, but they just seem to fit. Helen Keller said, “Character can not be developed in ease and quiet.” It is our reactions to the curve balls of life that define us, and become a part of our story. Our challenge is always to find the beauty in the moment, and embrace it with everything we have inside us. Every generation has it’s moments of pain and trials; let us hope and pray that this one passes soon, and life returns to normal. In spite of it all, love prevails – and I truly believe – love prevails more abundantly when life gets hard.
Whitley and Justice, our family will always smile when we think of your love and your wedding. It’s all been a whirlwind, and we couldn’t be happier for you and the littles that you have united into a beautiful family. Rhett and Sadie may not fully realize that their lives have forever been changed, but we know. And we are thankful and joyful, even in the midst of social distancing.
Here’s sending you virtual hugs and REAL prayers for years of love, joy, and blessings. Pat
You can view Whitley and Justice’s engagement session here.