A Wedding Update- Great Sadness & Joy

If you read this post, then you know how excited Josh and I were to have the kids I’ve been mentoring be our flower girl and ring bearers.  I stated in that post, “If nothing goes according to plan on our wedding day, but we become husband and wife and the Burton kids feel honored and loved, then we’ll have incredible joy.”

In a tragic turn of events, I got a call on Friday afternoon from the kids’ father.  Through his thick accent, he relayed to me that their older brother died that morning in a car accident and that they “had big problems.”  The kids, of course, would not be able to be at the wedding the next day. I hung up and cried and cried and cried. It was a whole mess of feeling pain for their family, helplessness that the kids needed me just as I was leaving the country on a honeymoon, and great sadness that all the plans we had for their special day would not be realized.

Despite our grief, God was so gracious to allow Josh and I to experience complete joy on our wedding day (as evidenced in our  wedding video).  We even asked four kids we love to step in and play the honored role of flower girls and ring bearers.  They were awesome.

We knew our Burton kids needed encouragement, so we planned a special day for them right after our honeymoon.  We also wanted to give them an experience before school started so that they would have something more to talk about than the loss of their brother (we knew all the teachers would ask about the wedding).  Our special day together was spent at my dad’s lake house and was filled with great joy. Here are some highlights…

On every good road trip, you need to save time to play with the happy meal toys.

We rented “How to Train Your Dragon” for a little afternoon break. No one would stay in the car.  They needed to be right there with Josh who involved them in the whole process.

Swimming was great in the lake, but even better in the hot tub.After swimming was their first boat ride.  The kids all loved being the captain of the ship.

After a cook-out dinner, we roasted s’mores together.  We’ll definitely be putting a fire pit in our backyard so that more inner-city kids can experience s’mores for the first time. What a treat.

To work off those s’mores, we did some bike riding.  Josh has this cool fold-up bike that the kids were amazed with and all got to ride.

Our time together ended with a presentation of  their TOMS shoes, their wedding clothes, and a special gift for the little girl- The Barbie Wedding Set (I added una niña de las flores mexicano). We are so grateful to be able to buy them new shoes for school, their first suits and a beautiful dress.

If you would, please pray for this sweet family who continues to have “big problems” as they deal with the death of their eldest son.  Pray for Josh and I as we discern our role in helping this family we love.

4 thoughts on “A Wedding Update- Great Sadness & Joy

  1. APril and Josh………..your hearts for the Lord and those children is contagious! I love love love you guys.

  2. I love every thing about this!!! I love you so much and I’m so proud of you and your willingness and heart to love others so well. This kids are truly blessed and I know they bless you TOO. You and Josh rock! XOXOXO!

  3. Tears came to my eyes reading this one. I’m so blessed to call you friends. You are perfect for each other in so many ways, and such an inspiration. Thanks for loving those kids so intentionally. Love you guys!

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