Our Girl

Tonight is our Sarah's last night under our roof as an Atchley. The feeling is beyond bittersweet. Rehearsal went well and the rehearsal dinner was a time of "togetherness" that I will always remember.

Wedding is tomorrow at three o'clock. My little girl. My little "tomboy" has grown into a Godly and talented woman. This night marks her final, brief sleep under her daddy's authority and covering as "daddy" - but she gets the intense joy and complicated privilege of returning home, and still take her place under him as her pastor.

My dear friend (who is a pastor's wife and a pastor's daughter) Donna Jean once wrote Sarah the most insightful, moving letter about what it really means to be "the pastor's daughter". Remembering her wise words is what blesses, fills, and ministers to my heart this night. My friend brought my daughter a word in season, for sure, with gems of wisdom tucked in between the words telling her what to look for in the "right man"...that man who will someday marry "the pastor's daughter".

Praise Him! God has given Sarah a man who understands the unique relationship between pastor-daddy and daddy's girl. It is a father-daughter dynamic that is truly unique in all the world, and if a future husband does not understand it and honor it, he does his wife, her pastor-dad, and ultimately a whole church body a disservice.

Because when that relationship is beautiful and right, as it has been in our home (not perfect, but beautiful. There is a difference.) it is a joy above joy to those daughters to serve their father side by side in ministry. For my girls, it has always been a dream. It is coming true. What these girls need is not another pastor....not another father...those positions are well filled. They need a husband-lover and a friend. A friend who is not intimidated by the love they have for their daddy.

That is a tall order, and it is a rare man indeed who can meet up to it - respecting and cherishing the bond that his young wife will always share with her pastor-father. Sarah's man rose to the occasion - Hannah's man did so as well, and my heart magnifies the Lord in it!

Goodnight, little Sarah. I had a dream once, too, when I was young and about your age...and you came true.
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