I had the privilege of performing the wedding ceremony for my eldest daughter this past weekend.
While Bailey will always be our “baby”, things are now different. She is now under the care of another man, her husband – Michael.
As a father, this brings lots of mixed emotions.
I have concern. Can Michael possibly love Bailey as much as Stacy and I have loved Bailey? Can Michael possibly care for Bailey as much as Stacy and I have cared for Bailey? Can Michael possibly meet the needs of Bailey as much as Stacy and I have been able to meet her needs?
I have sorrow – not in Bailey’s getting married, but in the passage of time. Bailey and Michael got married at a camp where they both met and both attended and worked. I could look out the window of the chapel and see Bailey as a young 7 year old girl running around with her pig tails. Now, she was dressed in a beautiful white gown, preparing to move onto her next stage of life. Where have those years gone? Why did she grow up so fast? She was just a little girl sitting on my lap, now she is married. Amazing. If the next 22 years go by as fast as these past 22 … ugh …
I have pride. Bailey has turned into a beautiful young woman – beautiful both inside and out. I am proud of the woman she has become. She is very public about her faith and seeks to live a life that is honoring to God.
I have joy. Michael is a great guy. When he asked me if he could ask Bailey to marry him, I shared that Stacy and I really had two desires in the future spouse for our children. One is that they love Jesus. This is obvious in Michael’s life. He loves Jesus in both word and in deed. The second is that they love our child. We also see this in the way he interacts with Bailey. He truly loves her. So, we have joy that Michael is now part of our family and that he and Bailey are together. We are truly blessed and thankful. I could not imagine the pain and heartache if we did not approve of the man she were marrying!
The wedding ceremony was very emotional. I was not sure going into it how emotional it would be. I knew I was in trouble when I walked to the back of the church just prior to the wedding party processing in. Our youngest daughter, Charlsea (one of the maids of honor – with her sister Shelby) came up to me and said, “Dad, are you going to cry?” I couldn’t even speak to answer her. Words just wouldn’t come – just tears. In fact, I am getting teary right now just reliving this. Joy, sorrow, happiness, sadness – the whole gamut of the emotional spectrum.
Now their life as husband and wife begins. It will be fun to see them grow as a couple. They will have times of joy and times of heartache.
I would be interested in hearing from others who have had children get married. What emotions did you experience?
Here are a couple photos for you to enjoy: