Now that I’ve shared with you a picture of my first home and the visit I had with an old high school teacher, I shall get to the point of my visit to Parma, Ohio, last Saturday. The trip was all about my nephew’s wedding!
The only sibling I have is my brother. And the only child my brother had is my nephew, Erik. The details are not necessary for you to know, but suffice it to say that my brother was not around for much of Erik’s life. Sadly, there has pretty much been no father/son relationship for probably ten or more years. Unfortunately, I was not involved in Erik’s life when he was younger, due to the distance we lived apart as well as the stressful family situations that kept us apart.
Erik grew to be a wonderful and respectable young man. His maternal grandparents moved in with him and his mother to make a loving home for him. Two uncles and several family friends saw to it that Erik got to go to Cleveland baseball and football games. They included him on family vacations, and surrounded him with love.
Jesus grew up without his father. All right – His heavenly Father was always there with him, but not physically there. However, Jesus had Joseph as His earthly father who taught him carpentry and probably so many other life skills and lessons. His earthly parents took him to the temple and helped Him learn and grow.
Luke 2:40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
When I saw the photographer set up for the photo of Erik with all the uncles and aunts and friends that helped him grow to be a fine young man, and son, and now husband – it moved me to tears. Even though his biological father had been scarce through the years, the gap was filled with friends and family who loved him, nurtured him, and provided for him.
We all may, at times, think that we got dealt a bad hand if our childhood was challenged with missing parents, poor living conditions, health issues, or skimpy resources. But if you trust God, He will surround you with all that you need. He can bring the people you need to nurture and lead you. Perhaps it was a blessing that a certain person was more absent than available in your life. Maybe you learned to be more gracious if you grew up with less. If your life lessons were hard, maybe you have more appreciation for things today.
It was a beautiful wedding and lovely reception. Old relationships were rekindled as I struck up conversations with people I hadn’t seen or spoken to for years. There was no room for sadness at old broken relationships. It was a day of celebration for the man that Erik has grown up to be and now the joy of sharing in his wedding day.
When you put your trust in God, He can always make good out of a situation as he provides each of us with just what we need. He can heal old wounds and broken hearts. He always has a plan. It is never too late to turn to Him to change something bad into good.