The wedding is 2 weeks away. Tredessa will marry. She, pure as the driven snow, will meet Ryan at the end of a 30-foot aisle and she will make promises. And if you know Tredessa, you understand that she will make them solemnly, with great care and that she will not have entered in lightly.
Making the house ready for company for the festivities, I re-arrange the furniture in her old room. I have placed the bed where she kept hers the years she was here. For a moment I close my eyes and I recall the perfect white-and-navy, tailored room. There was a star-shaped metal lantern suspended exactly 12″ from the window, perfectly centered. Shelves lined with books and photos, a place for everything and everything in its’ place.
As meticulous as she is, you might be surprised if you learned how many things she loves, how many interests she has: art, music, reading, learning, the Word, love and romance. She is a veritable walking “imdb,” able to not only quotes lines from hundreds of movies, but also possesses the ability to “name that actor,” any actor and tell you every major role they have ever played. She and her dad used to play their own 6-degrees-to-Kevin-Bacon before it was a real game. And she loves children (dotes on her nieces and nephews, especially) and missions work and has traveled and taught and ministered across the nations. Yes, Tre is multi-faceted and multi-talented.
For a minute or two, I allow myself the luxury of remembering Tredessa in this house, a young girl becoming a woman. I recall her consecration to Christ and her refusal to “date around” to find the man God would send. She had decided on her own that it was a waste of good emotion to fall in and out of love and she would have no part of it. She was ever and always waiting for the “one.” This lucky “one” would get all of her love, all the depth and breadth and width of it (Lucky Ryan!). Meanwhile, she brought goodness and godliness into this house and our family.
She was the third of our children. She had the long-Averi-type hair and a raspy voice. When we’d get a drink for her and her sisters to share at a drive-through, little 3-year-old Tredessa would ask, “Can I be in charge of the drink, daddy?” Already showing she was willing to carry the responsibility of a big task, already being groomed by God to lead a massive music festival one day.
But in this house, 9 years ago, she was finding her way, discovering God’s plan for her life. And in that room, she was seeking Him for all she was worth. And loud? Oh my. Her room and the bathroom and hallways were always pulsing with amplified praise! There was life, lots of life. And lots of long, dark hair everywhere. And a bathroom full of girl products.
Then today, as I sat remembering, I recalled a scene so distinct it seems yesterday – truly as if it were. just. yesterday. Yet, it was also so common it could have been one of any number of days. Dave and I had been out, perhaps grocery shopping, on a fall day. Tredessa’s car was in the driveway so I knew she was home, but I didn’t see her. There was music coming from her room. When I went upstairs, I peeked through the door, which was slightly ajar. She had the curtains drawn so the room was dark. She was on the floor worshipping the Lord, her hands upturned, tears streaming down her face ~I lift my eyes to you Eyes that have seen a thing or two Who is this stranger in my life?
I lift my hands to you Hands that have carried what is true Intimate stranger be my life
And my heart swelled in the moment, watching her so unaware, just loving her Savior, consecrating anew. And she sang along with Rita Springer,Jesus I love you Jesus I adore, I adore You Jesus you still have my affection and my song will be “I love you”
And I cried in the memory and thought how blessed that room is. And in all the years she waited, Dessa did not wait alone. She has been a faithful bride to Christ. And she loved Him. And He has loved her back.
And in two weeks, she will join Ryan at an altar. And God will be a witness and He, like me I bet, will be remembering all the lovely songs she has sang to Him and will be thinking what a blessed man Ryan is to get her.
Tre-Tre, you are going to be the most ravishing bride, both inside and out. The most.