Paradise

shutterstock_121881727Every little girl dreams of her wedding day. Who she will marry. What dress she will wear. The flowers. The beauty of her day. The kiss. The dreams can be as elaborate as she desires. As she closes her eyes and dreams she uses her creative imagination; the pictures in her mind begin to form and she will add to those many times in the years to come. It is in her dreaming that gives life to those ideas and visions as a small child and progresses as she is growing into a young woman.

This weekend my husband and I had the honor of attending a family wedding. It was not just any family member though. It was our niece. It was very special because she was the flower girl in our wedding 17 years ago. She was so young and precious and looked like a little princess in her white flower girl dress. She held the flowers in her hand and felt so grown up as she walked her pretty-little- self down the aisle and sprinkled rose petals. Many years have passed since my wedding day and she has all grown up now and becoming a woman herself. The plans, dreams, and images that she dreamed of as a child were able to come true. She began preparations over a year ago after she was engaged and it was all leading up to this special day.

She was married to the love of her life at the most beautiful venue at Paradise Cove overlooking Lake Grapevine. Everything was perfect! She looked radiant and gorgeous as she walked down the aisle. Her brother escorting her on one side, her stepdad on the other. She had imagined that moment differently as a little girl. She always imagined her Dad walking her down the aisle and giving her away to her groom. She had a sweet picture of her Dad on her bouquet. This was to symbolize him walking her down the aisle even though he couldn’t physically be there. He had passed away the year before.

She said her I do’s with her beloved in a gazebo overlooking the lake as the sun was shining so brightly. Everyone looked on with sheer bliss and happiness as the two joined in holy matrimony. They walked so gracefully back down the aisle and the celebration began! They had sweet toasts, special dances, cutting their cake and many more special moments.

A sweet flood of emotions welled up inside of me during a time that my sister-in-law… aka the mother of the bride… moved to the dance floor with her stylish boots to embrace her daughter. They began to dance to a song Freefalling. They danced so carefree. They sang out loud the words to the song. So much of a mother’s love was wrapped up in that sweet moment that it just stirred something from deep within me. Even now as I am reflecting back upon that precious moment the tears are falling down my cheeks. Her brother looked at me and said oh, it’s ok, don’t cry. But the tears would not stop. I kept thinking how sweet it was for a mother and daughter.

The love that she has for her sweet little girl and how she wants the best for her. How she would give anything, do anything, surrender anything of herself for her child. The emotions rising up within me began to be drawn from such a deep well that stirred up a sense of compassion for the sweet girls in my life. Although I only have 2 natural born sons, I have so many spiritual daughters in Embrace Grace. I always call them my sweet daughters, and that I have way too many to count. I always feel they are a part of me along with their sweet babies. My heart expands more and more with each new addition.

Just that morning I had asked for a topic for the weekly blog and heard Paradise. Later that afternoon I was reflecting upon the recent events of the wedding and more in my journal and flipped to a page from July 2012. It was lyrics from a song by Coldplay titled Paradise. When she was just a girl, she expected the world, but it flew away from her reach, so she ran away in her sleep. Dreamed of Paradise, every time she closed her eyes. Life goes on it gets so heavy, every tear a waterfall. In the night the stormy night she closed her eyes. In the night the stormy night away she’d fly… and dreams of Paradise. So lying underneath those stormy skies she said oh-oh-oh I know the sun must set to rise.

In this song it speaks of a little girl that would fall asleep at night and chase her stormy days and nights away in her dreams. No matter what your days are filled with. If you have some loneliness, sadness, or anything that brings the stormy clouds… There is nothing that can keep you down. If you are feeling low, just know that those stormy days will pass and fade away. Your days of Paradise are in your future. The sun will shine, a bright new day will appear and wipe away those stormy days. If you have been thinking lately that since you are now pregnant and the hopes of your dreams that you had as a little girl look so much different now… There is so much happiness to look forward to! Days upon days of joyful moments and memories to cherish with your little one!

One day that man of your dreams that you had as a little girl will sweep you off your feet and will lovingly accept you and your precious little one into his life. In the meantime, just relax and enjoy this journey of being single. Your time will come. In the waiting season, just allow yourself to be refined. Just as a priceless gem is refined, so are you too priceless. You are unique. There is no other person on earth that is exactly like you. When your match finds you, he will be smitten with your beauty and so thankful that he found you. He will be enthralled with your beauty. He will be enamored by YOU. He will love you and cherish you. Dream and have fun with it.

I’m sure that as a little girl you dreamed vividly of your wedding day and how special it would be. You have pictures in your head that you have held onto for so long. Have fun and reflect upon the dreams that you had as a little girl and your wonderful wedding day. Write them out in your journal, share with some close girlfriends.

What does your Paradise on earth resemble? Of course when we go to heaven we will live in Paradise forever with Jesus along with all the heavenly hosts. My son said Paradise looks like a beach with him fishing and catching tons of fish. Maybe your paradise is living happily ever after with the love of your life. Maybe it is surrounded by peaceful days and full of serenity. Whatever your paradise looks like…embrace it.

He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence. Psalm 103:3-5 MSG

Embrace this time of Paradise on earth that you have been given or will receive in the future. Enjoy the moments. Live life to the fullest! You only live once, so make it count!

Another one of my nieces was married several years ago and she rode off into the sunset on a beautiful brownish bronze horse with her husband leading with the reins. Oh, it was so breathtaking and beautiful! Every girl dreams of something heavenly for her wedding day. Your day will be like nothing else you have experienced. It will be special. It will be monumental. I pray it will be heavenly!

Written by Salina Duffy

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