My Rite of Passage was a treasured moment. My dad had already shared the experience with my two brothers, so I knew it was something special and valuable for my family. I have to admit, I wasn’t really expecting it because I had already graduated from college and moved back home to start my career.
It started just like any other day, but we had family coming in from out of town, so my dad asked that I make sure to dress nicely. When I arrived at the church to begin my work day, I was surprised to find that several women from my family were there. I was presented with a Bible that had been given to my great, great grandmother on Christmas day in 1955, along with a highlighter.
As I journeyed through different rooms in the church, I was met by my aunt who shared what it meant to be a woman of faith, followed by my grandmother who told me my responsibilities as a woman in our family, and my other grandmother taught me how to leave a legacy. As each woman shared their topic, I highlighted the accompanying verse in the Bible and wrote their name next to the scripture they shared.
I then met with one of my mentors Dee Kelley, who taught me about purity and gave me my promise ring. My last meeting was with my mother who gave me a beautiful ruby necklace. She presented me with Psalm 31:10, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth more than rubies.” There was a ruby for each woman who invested in my life that day.
After I met with mom we went out for lunch with my family, where my dad had one more surprise up his sleeve. My brothers each received a sword for their Rite of Passage, but my dad presented me with a crown and shared Proverbs 12:4, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown…” He told me to place the crown on my bedside table to remind me to pray for the man I would someday marry, and to strive for becoming his crown of honor.
Six years later at my rehearsal dinner, I held up that crown and reminded my dad of the challenge he gave me. I then turned and gave the crown to my husband Mark. I told him that my prayer was always to be a crown to his head. That crown now sits on our bedroom dresser to remind Mark that my heart’s desire is to be the kind of wife that embodies Proverbs 12:4.
Mark and I plan to carry on this tradition with our children. The women who were involved in my Rite of Passage are still key players in my life, and they are people that I can turn to when I need counsel or prayer. It’s important to have friends, but there is nothing like having an older man or woman to challenge and disciple you. I want my children, Penelope and Sawyer, to have relationships and experiences like the ones I have been blessed with through my Right of Passage ceremony.
To read more about my families Rite of passage Ceremony check out the book “Rite of Passage” A Fathers Blessing
In the summer of 1976, I was 15 years old, and vacationing with a friend’s family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My friend needed to stop by the Roxanne Motel to pick up money from his employer (Who also happened to be my Uncle Junior Biggs). Uncle Junior was vacationing with his friends Allen & Carnell Gillie. When we arrived, Junior suggested we stay for awhile and hangout with my cousin Kim Biggs and the Gillie’s two granddaughters (Sheila & Sherie) who were spending the day in the motel pool. As we walked into the pool area, I was taken aback by the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, Sheila Lovell. Her appearance rang true to the original meaning of her Irish name, “blinding.” I was definitely blinded by her beauty and what was supposed to be quick trip to get some cash turned into a week’s worth of activities. Little did I know, that week would become foundational for my future marriage. Read more
Today was another amazing day. James’ recovery continues to run ahead of schedule, and we are very excited to update you on his progress. Today they were able to remove the ventilator as well as two tubes out of his chest. This means that James is able to breathe on his own, which is a specific prayer request that we have asked you to pray for. Praise God for his answers to our prayers. He has also begun to urinate more frequently so most of his swelling is gone and he is back to his normal size. They were not able to remove the catheter just yet, but they said that it should not be long until they are able to remove it. He is still on 12 different medications via multiple IV’s, one tube in his chest and two lines in his umbilical cord. With the passing of each day, his medications as well as the amount of tubes should decrease.
Once again, thank you for praying for specific needs for James and the family. We continue to be overwhelmed by God’s providence and prayer support from people all over the world. Thank you for praying for specific things for us- we have seen the Lord provide for each and every request that we have mentioned throughout this process so far. Here are a few things that we ask you to pray for at this point of recovery: Read more
Today has been another day filled with God’s promises and His working hand. We continue to evidence His sovereignty and His goodness in each moment, praising Him for what He has done so far and for what He will do in the days to come. We cannot describe how thankful that we are for our church family, our friends, and our family for their prayers and thoughts. Thank you for every single email, text, phone call, and Facebook post- they mean the world to us, and encourage us beyond words.
Today, James has had a wonderful day. Yesterday, we asked that you pray that they would be able to wean him off of the ventilator quickly- well, today, he is now breathing on the lowest setting of the ventilator, which means that he is doing most of his breathing on his own! Praise be to God! Also, the doctors were wanting him to produce urine throughout the day so that they could remove his catheter, and he did well throughout the day in this. We are hoping that the catheter will be able to be removed tomorrow. James is making remarkable progress, and his doctors and nurses continue to be amazed at his recovery process. They have made statements like, Read more
Since we have all of the family together this week in Atlanta, including our two granddaughters, we decided that we needed to start a new family tradition! We got the girls dressed up in their matching Christmas outfits that my wife made for them, and we took them to see Santa. My oldest granddaughter Beau was mesmerized by him, and little Londyn enjoyed him as well. Beau could not wait to get her hands on him and sit in his lap. Buddy took her right up to him, and she acted like she knew just who he was! Read more
Today was a day of miraculous events. We saw the Lord do some amazing things in response to many people praying for our sweet James. The Lord blessed us with the number one surgeon in his field as well as a quick surgery this morning. The surgery also went better than expected. The doctor had told us that he would have to leave the incision in his chest open after the surgery, however, when he finished the procedure, he was able to close it completely. Thank you for your prayers throughout the day- we have seen the Lord’s hand in every single event throughout the day. Please continue to pray for several things:
1. For James to be weaned off of the ventilator system and breathe independently
2. For James’ blood pressure to stay consistently in normal ranges, so they will not have to re-open his incision.
3. Continued rest and recovery for Mallory and rest for Buddy as they have had several long days since James’ birth.
4. For Beau (their daughter) to continue to adjust to new environments and surroundings
On December 3, 2011, my first grandson, James Godfrey McBride IV was born into our family. He has been a blessing to us already, and we are looking forward to seeing the Lord use Him to bless others throughout his life. He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and will be having his first open heart surgery tomorrow morning at 7:00. We have already seen the Lord’s provision and sovereignty this week, and we look forward to seeing Him move tomorrow. As a family, we are clinging to these verses:
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God- you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration- what a creation!You k now me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. ” Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG) Read more