From an article originally posted August 12, 2012…
This weekend was amazing, though painfully lacking in sleep. As Lake would say, ‘I’m very pleepy.” I could not have imagined a more joyous occasion. I was anxious about being the old lady amongst a bunch of youngsters. I was nervous in anticipation of having the stamina to keep pace, but something I should have known from the start. I LOVE PEOPLE! Love em! Can’t get enough of them. All types! People! People! People! I had a weekend full of them!
What a gift this weekend was for my soul. I may have been the last one to bed every night. Don’t tell my man, he’s really protective of my sleep. He knows what the end product is when I spend it all, and sometimes it isn’t pretty.
Mary and her family organized everything brilliantly. Friday evening, they wisely decided we would do all of our speeches. This, not only, took off a lot of pressure for the wedding, it gave the multitudes the opportunity to share about our special bride and groom. And share they did. I cried I laughed so hard. It was simply a lovely evening with old and new friends. Here is, generally, what I shared Friday evening at the rehearsal dinner.
Mary P. Jett and Wilson Joseph Nettleton IV,
Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with cancer. It was a heartbreak for our family. People would ask me what to pray for specifically. My answer was always, “Pray I can make this wedding.” My heart hurt when I thought I would miss this special weekend with you both. Mary’s mom and I were preparing Mary that I may not make the fight. Good providence caused my chemo start date to be pushed back. I’m so thankful I did not miss a single moment!
I first met Mary at 15; fresh with her permit and truckloads of cool and just a hint of cynicism, I was hooked immediately. Over me, young Mary became a resident of my purple couch. She says it’s her favorite couch, even if all four of my kids have peed on it. From this vantage point, Mary watched my marriage, my parenting, my life. She asked thoughtful questions and thoughtfully watched and participated as I muddled through life. It was my joy and privilege to live honestly in front of such a teachable young woman.
We talked about intentionally looking at the character of her daddy and men she loves, and to begin to pray for the man she would marry. To believe in a big God with a great plan for Mary. To date with intention and patience rather than whim and passivity.
I was committed to Mary finding a Godly husband. The first time I met Daniel Mason, I asked him. “Have you ever considered falling in love with Mary Jett?” It might have been a little awkward, but I was committed to finding her a godly husband.
Then Mary came to my house and told me I needed to get on twttier and follow this guy Wil. I laughed at his wit, his perspective and his honest appraisal of the mundane. As soon as I read his site, I said, “MARY, YOU NEED TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS GUY!” Sure, she might say I said this about any Jesus-loving man I came in contact with.
One thing Jason and I have continually talked to Mary about is from 1 Cor 13.... That love is kind. It’s our standard, our mantra. Truly, we totally overkill this point. But kindness is tough, and it matters. It can only be accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit.
If love is kind, and the Lord requires it of us, then there will be grace provided to fight with kindness, disagree with kindness, choose movies with kindness, eventually parent with kindness. I know you have often heard this from me, but marriage is hard, reﬁning, and amazing, your selfishness is about to be exposed, but rejoice in the uncovering of your depravity and allow Jesus to refine you both through this beautiful process.
Lastly, I want to say this: don’t be afraid when the Lord brings suffering into the life of your marriage. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 2:10:
For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
The hard in life is meant for your good and Gods glory. If the nearness to Jesus is truly our only good, then hard is meant to train in understanding His goodness. Let hard be used to bring you both nearer to one another and Jesus.
I love you, Mary! I am very proud of the woman you have become in Christ, and I look forward to many years of watching you grow in grace.
Wil, I love how Jesus made you, and I am beyond delighted for the match He made for my favorite Mary: love her well, love her with kindness, and live in the rich blessing that is Mary P.
Thank you for letting us all be a part of your story and this special weekend. So thankful that I didn’t have to miss these moments.