Things don’t just happen, they are part of a bigger plan

By PAT BROWN,

A nna Lauren and I were sitting in church the other day and the musicians played a particular hymm,  “It Is Well.”  Before we knew it we were both sniffling as the tears began to roll.  Mom, of course, passed tissues. 

The hymn was written by Horatio Spafford, who lost his four daughters when their ship sank just off shore as they were returning from a vacation.  The mother survived, but the four daughters were lost.  When Brother Buddy Keyes was pastor at First Baptist, he told the story of Spafford, and it was locked away in our hearts. 

Spafford, a Presbyterian layman, was saying through the song that  while he could not understand why this tragedy had happened, it was God’s plan and because it was, things would be okay. 

Last year we had our tragedies as well as new beginnings.  At first was the loss of Colby, Anna Lauren’s new husband of only seven months, which we though was going to be more than we could bear.  However, God and a bunch of loving friends got us through the initial shock and helped us with the healing process.

Several months later in the early summer we had a golf tournament and Nancy got Anna Lauren to help with the event. 

This is where the new chapter of the story begins.  That day Brooks Baldwin was playing golf with his dad Charles and brother Zach.  Brooks is one heck of a golfer and we have known the family since we moved to town in the early 90’s.  That afternoon Brooks told Anna Lauren they would have to sit by each other for the dinner since neither had a date for the event.  They enjoyed dinner and a couple weeks later, later he asked her to another tournament.

From her mother’s and my perspective, this was great because Anna Lauren was able to get up and going again, as she should.  It was good for us because we have known the family for years and they are wonderful people. 

Anna Lauren and Brooks became closer and closer.  We had a family reunion in Newton and Brooks came with Anna Lauren.  I knew he was coming but did not let on. 

He came in and I asked what his business was.  He said Anna Lauren had invited him--I said “fine.”  I was referring to him as “young man. “ Somehow the conversation turned to what he should call me. I responded, “Mr. Brown” would be fine.  We have had a lot of fun with this and to this day I call him “Young Man” and he calls me “Mr. Brown.”

Time progressed as did the relationship.  Then on Christmas Day Brooks stopped by and wanted to speak with us. 

He wanted permission to ask Anna Lauren to become his life partner.   I told him she had a strong temperament like her dad and she was high maintenance.  He said he could deal with the temperament and could support her in a proper manner. He said, when you know, you just know.  That God had placed her in his life, as well as putting him in hers.  He told us he was going to wait for just the right time to pop the question--but it would not be long. 

Anna Lauren had planned a surprise birthday party for Brooks just after the first of the year.  We all met in Jackson and Brooks opened his gifts. When he got to the end it was as though he wanted to make a little speech.  This is when he got down on one knee and asked Anna Lauren to be his wife.  Of course she said yes.  

The two of them seem to bring out the best in each other and they both enjoy having fun, not only with each other but including others. 

Wedding bells will be chiming in April and we could not be more pleased.  Brooks is a great guy and will be great for Anna Lauren.  The two will be moving to Cordova, just outside of Memphis.  As for Mom and me, it looks like we will be planning a lot of road trips in the future.  So allow Mom and me to say congratulations to the future Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Baldwin!

  

And to also know--

 

  It is well,

  It is well,

  with my Soul!