One of my favorite parts of the pastoral ministry is presiding at weddings. I would estimate that I have now performed about 300 weddings during my 32 years of ordained ministry. None, however, compares with the wedding of my own daughter, Sarah, this past Saturday, August 18th!
Did I mention that she is my only daughter! When she was born 28 years ago at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, and I saw that it was a baby girl, I let out a scream of joy so loud that it rang down the corridors. Several nurses came to see what had happened. From that very first day Sarah and I have had a special relationship. My little princess!
Well, she finally found her prince and I was none to sure about this Jason fellow when I first met him! Could he measure up? Was he man enough to be the husband to my daughter? Could I trust him to care for her as I had done as her dad for all these years?
It quickly became obvious to Colleen and me that Jason was “the one” and that he would make a wonderful husband for Sarah. First, and most importantly, he loves the Lord! Second, he has a full-time job and a house! (Just kidding) Third, he loves Sarah and brings complimentary gifts that will make them a great team, including the patience that will be necessary to deal with this daughter of ours who can be both “sweet” and “sassy” all at the same time. God’s timing is perfect!
And so this past Saturday I did something that I have never done before in any of the 300 or more weddings in which I have participated. I walked the bride down the isle, and this bride, next to my own, was the most beautiful bride I have every seen. I gave her a kiss and gave my soon-to-be son-in-law a hug. I stepped to the side, as fathers must do, and they took their first steps together towards the future that God has planned.
I shed a few tears as I shared the message and vows with Jason and Sarah later in the service… but they were mostly tears of joy. Colleen and I are blessed to have raised three kids who love the Lord and have now married wonderful Christian spouses. They have given us five grandkids and we trust that Jason and Sarah will add to that number in the years to come.
There are many things we work for, pray for and hope for as parents, not without some challenges and disappointments along the way. But this past Saturday, as I walked my own daughter down the center isle at Christ Church, I was reminded of God’s amazing faithfulness and that nothing compares with the joy of seeing your children grow up to be loved, happy and blessed!
Colleen and I thank each of you who have helped encourage our children over the years. We also thank you for your many prayers and good wishes at this special time for the Pagh family! For me, it was the best wedding ever!
Pastor Greg Pagh