The Calm in the Midst of the Storm

Let me tell you the story of the calmest, coolest bride there ever was.

It started on Thursday with flowers. They were supposed to arrive that afternoon, but we received word that morning that the entire shipment of ceremony and reception flowers was still on a plane in Colombia (the country). I made a few calls and sent a few texts, and we found a place to order backup flowers from. Only when Plan B was in place did I call Cassidy with the news.

“That sounds fine; no problem,” she said cheerily. “I’m sure it will be great.”

On Saturday, the (outdoor) wedding forecast was for scattered storms and showers. There was no indoor venue backup plan. We pushed back the setup time to 2, then to 4. Friends rolled heavy tables across the lawn from the lakeside setup to one closer to cover. While the rest of us watched the sky and made contingencies, she stayed calm, even-keel, and unflustered.

The wedding was to start at 7. Radar showed a massive storm arriving at 7:10. Everything and everyone was crowded under the open-air, covered pavilion—the best shelter available. We hurried the bride across the lawn and under cover at the precise moment that the first raindrops fell.

She walked down the aisle and when she arrived at the front, so did the 70 mph winds that knocked centerpieces and glass jars to the ground. The thunder and lightning were incessant. Children were crying, adults were casting anxious glances at a dark and furious sky, and the ceremony paused while everyone huddled together in the center. The bride never stopped smiling, while the groom, officiant, and friends compared weather sources and debated what to do. The winds abated briefly, but there was a series of storms lined up behind the first. It was clear this was as good as it was going to get, weather-wise.

“Snuggle together—we’re getting married!” the groom shouted to the cheers of the crowd.

Handwritten vows were read, tears were wiped, rings exchanged. They were pronounced husband and wife. Another cheer went up from the windblown, rain-spattered friends and family surrounding them.

With the decorations strewn across the ground by the wind and more storms imminent, the decision was made to cancel the reception and encourage folks to head for shelter. Many dispersed, but several also formed a line to hug the new couple.

“Most memorable wedding ever!” was the frequent refrain. “We will never, ever forget this night.”

As we cleaned up after the last of the crowd departed, my hair worked its way loose from the bobby pins and the hem of my dress was soaked. But all I kept thinking about was I would indeed remember this night forever.

I’ll remember the wind, rain, thunder and lightning. I’ll remember watching my brother find love, joy, and redemption after a lonely and hard season.

But mostly, I’ll remember her face and how she never stopped smiling. How her constant refrain was “I’m great/it’s great/whatever you all think.” I’ll remember her smile as she read the note he sent her and the way her eyes sparkled when they were pronounced man and wife. She was never ruffled, never worried, never shaken.

I’ve never seen anything like it. But then, I’ve never known anyone else like Cassidy. She is joy, and peace, and certainty in the midst of turmoil. You can’t help but feel she knows something you don’t. So you draw closer and you watch carefully, and you realize that it’s Jesus. Her trust and confidence in Him is unwavering. The rest of us are the disciples on the boat in the middle of the storm-shaken sea, bailing water and casting frantic glances at the sky. She is the one watching Jesus sleep and trusting that if he thinks it’s okay, then it will be okay.

It was all okay.

And now I have a sister who will remind me where to look when the storm rages.