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By Sami Fortin
Special to The PREVIEW
To my daughter, Jessica, on your wedding day.
The story of the wedding quilt, my life experience and the things I long for, has totally come from the Lord. I hope from one generation to the next, His love will come through this gift in a way that will change your life forever.
I have missed my mother ever since she moved on to be with our Lord when I was 24. I have held on to my dresses for my wedding day in memory of the love she knew and held out to me.
She didn’t talk a lot about Jesus, but she showed me His sweet love in the things she said and did for me. There is no doubt in my mind she knew Him well. I have high hopes of spending eternity with Him and seeing my family again.
I knew it would take a lot of work to alter the dress to fit and it would be worn once and put away. After 38 years, I have resurrected this dress and the maid of honor’s dress to put into something that will hopefully last and have great meaning and a story of love for a special daughter and her husband.
When I tore the dresses apart, I had visions of my horrible marriage, tied up in drugs and abuse and thought you also would feel this. I saw the perfection and hard work that went into making the dresses and I cried.
I prayed and went to church, where I received godly counsel and was told my mother made this dress in love for me. That was what I was doing for you.
It has been a sacrifice of late nights, almost a year of stealing time, to get it done. I have had tears every time I had to tear it apart and start over. To see each piece come together out of the torn love of a lost mom and a husband I loved no matter what.
It has been a life experience in what love can do to our hearts. It is a chance to serve Him with a new family. I’m sorry for the past, but I press on to run the race. I have been richly blessed by all He is.
Out of the patches and torn seams of our lives, come something beautiful. I’m not just sewing pieces of material, but putting together hopes and dreams, wishes out of the past, perseverance for the present and confidence for the future.
May this quilt be something for His glory. My desire is that it be meaningful, purposeful and lovely to behold — like His bride.
Just looking over the quilt to see the accomplishment, to notice the one huge mistake, then to realize I’m forgiven — it’s in the past, I can move on. I will let it go, plus all the many things to come.
We make choices and decisions every day. I say make each day count. If you’re serving the living eternal God in all you say and do, He has promised you abundant life and eternal life with Him.
I won’t make your choice for you, but I ask that you let this love carry on for those you love and for those to come. Make a difference by the love of a savior for one such as you.
I give this gift in eternal hope you won’t miss this narrow gate and experience all that He has for you. I love you, Jessica Jayne, and I love your husband, Jeremy. Make this love last a lifetime and beyond.
The bloodshed, and the nights of sleep given up, doesn’t compare to the joy of completion.
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