White Wedding Faith

White Wedding Faith

White Wedding Faith

Dedicated to Abbey & David

Today I’m absorbed by White
Taken away to this Wedding Day
Built on Faith and clothed in Hope
Prepared by time and drawn by Love

Moving slowly,
With my nervous smile
Dad, my escort down the aisle

Keep calling, calling me,
Drawing me from shadows
Keep loving, loving me,
Holding me under cover
Be the one who calls my name,
Loves my name
Halt my breath with love
Start my heart with love
Be the one

Hear my heart
You’re timed to turn
Waiting breathless for your Bride,

His head turns to see my face
Days of patience transformed
From a glimpse into a glorious creation

Keep calling, calling me,
Drawing me from shadows
Keep loving, loving me,
Holding me under cover
Be the one who calls my name,
Loves my name
Halt my breath with love
Start my heart with love
Be the one

Live this life and serve the Lord
Enjoy His favour through pleasure and pain
Still serve each other, Love each other

With each year a milestone
The path is paved with celebrations
When we’re old or if love feels cold
We can enter back through the glow
Of our white frosted frames of
Life’s sweet memories

This union of our two
Is now complete as one
What began with a Wedding
Beats strong as a Marriage
You are the one
For me

Andrew Pitchford
November 2013

To read the Father of the Bride Speech that came before this poem click here.

Father of the Bride Speech

Father of the Bride

Today I will have just given this speech at the reception of my eldest daughter Abbey’s marriage to David White. It’s been an incredible time as a Dad for evaluation of life, family and what is pure and important. Enjoy the speech and feel free to read the poem “White Wedding Faith” I wrote which is linked at the end. If you think about it you will realise it was a ‘White’ wedding in more ways than one.

Thanks

Family and Friends thank you for coming to celebrate this once in a lifetime occasion. You are here at a point in history where Abbey Pitchford and David White have become the soon to be famous Mr & Mrs White.

John & Jenny, Lesley and Tim thank you for the son you have raised who has captured my daughter’s heart. Cheryl and I have appreciated getting to know David and seeing how he values, cares for and loves Abbey.

Father Heart

A Father’s heart is a mystery to many. While we are there for a hug, a kiss or a snuggle during a scary movie, we can sometimes appear distant or disconnected. We may seem uncaring and yet we value our role as protectors over the family we love.

At times we would rather be quietly guarding the door rather than partying on the inside with everyone else. It’s this protective love for a family that takes on a new level when it comes to our precious daughters. We want the world to stand back and admire their beauty from a distance. In our perfect world they are to be appreciated but not touched, never borrowed and always loved and protected.

In Proverbs 18 we read; “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.”

In my daughter I see a beautiful young lady of incredible gifting and determination. She has experienced the perfume and the thorns of life’s rose and continues to grow as she learns to know herself and the world around her. Her grandmother’s smile will open doors and encourage many as she builds a home with David.

Like her mother I see in Abbey a soft heart for the hurting and a focussed heart on injustice. She has the same creative spirit her Mum brings to our family which will ensure she and David enjoy a warm home together. David will need to ensure he keeps a strict regime on exercise if I’m an example of what a lifetime of Pitchford healthy meals can do to a once taught buff body.

For a Dad this time of handing the mantle of responsibility to someone else who will be the one who loves, cares and protects your daughter is a serious decision. In both your mind and heart you pray the groom has a love based on the same values, that they don’t take marriage lightly and they view the role of protector with the same vigilance.

In David I have both peace and confidence he will love, value and esteem my daughter. When David first asked to take Abbey out on the date that would start their relationship I had a speech prepared that would talk about Love, Integrity, Honour and Protection. Somehow Abbey came into the room just as I was getting started and only one word had come out, ‘Protect’. That’s the hallmark I leave David with knowing that he has a love for Abbey, he is a man of his word and he honours Abbey with his actions.

Great communication is the super-glue legendary love is built on. Cheryl and I pray that as Abbey and David get to know each other they will share clear communication of their hopes, dreams and desires and that this will strengthen the love they planted here today.

In Philippians 3:13 there is this great verse which encourages us into the future.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

Now I would like to read a poem that I hope captures some of Abbey’s thoughts as she went through today.

White Wedding Faith

Strong Enough

Time and Slumber

Forgive me if I’m wrong but this looks like more than I can do on my own.
Lyrics – Matthew West ‘Strong Enough’

There are times in our life when we meet faith head on. I’m walking that path now. My gut says “hang on” but the tear ducts yell “run away”. It’s where all the things you’ve learned about yourself and the God you love meet at a crossroads of decision.

I know that I want to come through this having learned new levels of faith and strengthened muscles I probably didn’t know I had. I want to be ‘Strong Enough’ and not weak. One thing about crossroads is that they sometimes seem to be like a cloverleaf freeway on-ramp of possibilities. More than one decision faces you and the traffic seems heavy and fast. Its at these times that you need focus and good visibility.

This last weekend I wanted to find a quiet place to ‘hear’ more clearly. It wasn’t about the sound proofing of the closet, it was about finding time for me and God to hangout and talk things through. Thanks to an understanding wife and children I was able to have Saturday to do just that. For me the best place to think is a ‘drive’. So come Saturday morning I woke with only the concept of heading out for the day with God, my steering wheel and a tar sealed centre line.

Just before leaving home I had the idea of going to a wonderful beach spot a couple of hours away where 22 years ago my then girlfriend and I went to seek God on the whole idea of marriage. We were deeply in love but we didn’t know if this should go to the biggest commitment of marriage. We drove to this beach and together as well as individually we sought God in prayer and through His Word for  an answer. I think the greatest result of that day was the peace we received walking into our life together.

One of the things that set the tone for this day just past was checking my phone and seeing I had the entire Keith Green collection on it I set the playlist to ‘shuffle’ and let God drive the conversation through the music. The lyrics of the music brought me back to some home truth’s on my own commitment. Keith Green would have been the Lecrae of his time and it was just great to be back in sync with youthful passions through the music in the car. I remember at one point just asking the Lord to be with me in the car. I looked at the passenger seat beside me and saw that I had my shoulder bag and water bottle there. I felt they needed to be moved if Jesus was going to have a seat next to me so I took them off the seat. It was my way of inviting the Lord into that space beside me. I know this may sound slightly irreverent but for me it then felt I was on a road trip with Jesus. We were talking when we talked and listening to the Keith Green tracks as we went. Jesus, Me and Keith; it was quite a trip.

After a drive around the beach, taking photos of an aero-club meet and spending time overlooking the cliffs at an old Children’s Bible Camp I went to as a child, I then drove another hour to see my parents. My Dad was out so it was just Mum and I. Sometimes you need one on one time with someone close. Mum later said she found it a blessing that we were able to be together to talk and pray as just the two of us. Often my family and Dad are around and it was so it was just unique to have time with Mum. Her caring heart, wise counsel and spirit-led prayer were anchors in the day.

Although it was now late afternoon I didn’t feel it was time to go home so I set the GPS for a new destination on the opposite coast of New Zealand to Bethlehem, a small coastal town north of Tauranga. I knew some old friends were there but they didn’t answer their phone. I started the drive anyway as it is an enjoyable scenic drive. On arrival I felt to contact these old Youth Group Leaders and after a couple of calls connected with them via mobile. While they were an hour away from the direction I’d just come, they encouraged me to go to their house which they told me how to enter, and make myself at home. This was a blessing as I had an hour of total quiet to sit, pray and read. Here I demolished Philippians and was saturated with encouragement from Paul’s letter.

When my friends arrived I was falling asleep. Thankfully their smiles and conversation reignited the coals of my energy level and we spoke for about three hours. God speaking through friends who let go of their agenda and display God’s is powerful. They didn’t tell me what to do, they shared with me God’s heart for me, my future and my family. One of the best pieces of advice that was dropped into that conversation was to think on the attributes of God and His character. It was a drop of refreshing salve on the parched skin.

My drive home was a great time to finish the day singing in the car just out of a heart of gratitude for every aspect of the day. It was just before 1am when I walked through the door to a much needed bed.

The crossroad is still before me but I’m not driving alone. The words of Matthew West’s song ‘Strong Enough’ emphasise that journey.