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Bruce and Kate Dahlman, serving with Africa Inland Mission
October 2, 2015 11:43 am
Published in: Good

We are having a whole lotta “good” in our lives right now (as opposed to “bad” or “ugali”;  see “Hello World” post that explains our blog title).

Our firstborn son is getting married to the love of his life, two weeks from today.

So, we (darling daughter, lovely daughter-in-law-to-be, amazing sister-in-law, “good sport” son, me, and just about anybody else we come across who will listen to our chatter) are currently in the throes of wedding preparations.

Actually, throes is not the correct word at all, as it means “in the middle of doing or dealing with something very difficult or painful”.

This is so not what we are doing; this is so not the adjective to describe this surreal, enchanting, magical, incredible “micro-season” of our lives.

We are joyfully having the time of our lives, dashing around to buy this charming decorative ornament, these lovely flowers, that color of table runner (“aubergine”), those twinkly lights, reserving hotel rooms, organizing the rehearsal time and OH YES, planning for that dinner, too…

And me…. buying no less than five mother-of-the-groom dresses. Yes, five. Three have already gone back to the store; and the last one not making the cut goes back today, leaving

  • the flowing, elegant one that is something blue. Together with
  • the diamond-like earrings, necklace, and bracelet from a friend (something borrowed);
  • the sparkly shoes with just enough “bling” (something new);
  • and the something old?   Well now….all those things must adorn someone…

(Yes, I realize thesesomethings” are the bride’s purview. But hey….it’s my blog and I’ll something if I want to…).

Good. It’s all good…so incredibly, wonderfully good.

Because there is nothing so wonderful as seeing one of your children find the right person with whom to spend the rest of his or her life.

It’s been a long time coming for our Erik.

Thirty-three years ago this past April, Bruce and I were blessed with an extremely unique, amazing and whip-smart little boy.

Boundary Waters Boys - Version 2

An exceptional, reserved, one-of-a-kind type of guy who has had his fair share of challenges in this world…but one who has always stayed to “true” to his inner self, who knows clearly “who he is” and what he wants out of life.

We admire that in him, even though at times, we may have not always agreed with his decisions.

And…his life hasn’t always been easy.

Especially when his parents dragged him to live halfway around the world, out of his comfort zone and into the metaphorical “jungle”, to Kenya; all at the tender age of 10.

We had been called….but he had not.

Oh…there was no “kicking and screaming”; but for a sensitive, introverted guy like our Erik, this “new adventure” must have come completely “out of the blue” for him.

But he, born with the kind of temperament that can stand strong, even in times of personal adversity, somehow managed to adapt and survive, if not exactly thrive, over there during those two and a half years.

Erik and Twiga

And we, the called-by-God-but-still-fallible parents, feeling our share of “missionary guilt” over the years, have apologized, sincerely from the heart, for the pain and the sacrifice that such a move to Kenya must have caused him; for all the things it might have cost him, so many long years ago.

We think he’s forgiven us…..(smile). He still loves Kenyan chai and is always asking us to bring carvings or malachite figurines back with us when we go there (so he can give them to friends).

And he has continued to be a “survivor” through all of the curveballs that life has thrown at him:

  • through junior high (knowing no one in his class of over 1000 students in 8th grade, to successfully finding his place and his “group” by high school graduation);
  • college (a “break-up” experience with a long-time girlfriend of three years);
  • post-graduate education (it’s not exactly gone the way we all thought it might, although he’s still hanging in there).

He has done all of this with courage, fortitude, and determination, always moving forward even when it would have been easy, some of those times, to just “throw in the towel”.

We are so proud of him.

Even though we haven’t always agreed with some of his life choices (this does not include his choice of fiancee; we adore her!). But they are his choices; he “owns” them.  And that is the way it should be.

So, happy wedding, Erik!  We are so grateful to God for the way He has brought you and Mizuho together. We want you to know that on your special day, we will be appropriately reserved, dignified, and restrained in our outward demonstrations of love and affection towards you.

But inwardly, we will be jumping up and down, thrilled, ecstatic, whooping and hollering with joy, as we watch you get married to the person with whom you are complete.

Just look into our eyes…it will all be there.

 

 

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