HJ/EDMay 22, 2006

Mother shares story of losing 3 daughters in car accident

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Almost 500 women gathered at First Baptist Church in Cokato to hear Deb Mayer’s inspirational story of loss, faith and strength.

The morning began with a brunch and a fashion show of young and old bridal gowns from the area to compliment the theme, “Three Brides in Heaven.”

The theme derived from the photos of the three girls in Deb’s wedding gown. This was the picture she focused on as family and friends gathered to pray the day of the accident.

Mayer stated how during that time of prayer she heard Jesus say, “They are my brides now,” as she fixed her eyes on that picture.

The pictures were taken on Deb and Joe Mayer’s wedding anniversary, which included a renewal of their vows. Two of the daughters, Krista and Nikki, wanted to try on their mother’s wedding dress.

Years later the youngest daughter, Jessica, wanting to be like her sisters, asked to do the same.

Deb is now comforted with the idea that her three daughters have become “brides of Christ.”

There are many scriptures in the Bible referring to Jesus as the bridegroom and the church his bride; Mayer focused on these as she spoke.

She shared stories of each of her daughters’ faith and life through scriptures written or highlighted in their Bibles. For example, her oldest daughter Krista wrote in a personality journal for school, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.”

This reassured Mayer that her daughters were “with the Lord.”

The day after their accident, she walked into Nikki’s bedroom and opened her daughter’s Bible to a passage highlighted.

It read, “Do not store up treasures from earth, but treasures of heaven.”

Mayer asked the audience, “How are we preparing to be brides of heaven?” “To do this we must be good and faithful servants, and love one another, she stated.

“They knew how to love people,” Mayer said of the commonality her daughters shared.

After she had read the passage, Mayer heard her daughter say something she commonly would say, “Don’t worry, Mom,” and Deb knew “with the Lord” was where their hearts are.

She explained her youngest daughter Jessica loved “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

In the last chapter, the children died, but C.S. Lewis explained this wasn’t the end of the book but the first chapter of many.

Mayer explained eternity and how her daughters are now experiencing true life. “This is only the beginning, there is a better life yet to come,” she explained.

She went on to explain how the Bible speaks in metaphors using language of agriculture, military, and romance. For example, the famous, “you reap what you sow,” and “the bridegroom, Jesus.”

Mayer used an analogy of the Jewish wedding customs “symbolic of a much greater wedding,” she said.

First was the betrothal in which the fathers of the bride and groom would bargain for the “bride price.”

Mayor explained how the price Jesus paid for us was also great. He did not pay with silver or gold, but with his blood. “We are betrothed,” she said.

At that time, the groom went away to add a room to his father’s house, sometimes for a year. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms...I am going there to prepare a place for you...I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

During this time the bride would intricately prepare her gown, as Christians prepared for the “Great Wedding Day.” She explained this symbolizes the preparation for the purity of our character.

The final part then, is the wedding and ceremony. “We will be with Him, our bridegroom, for all eternity. What rejoicing there will be,” she said.

Deb ended her talk with a song she had written in the days after the funeral. She had written “You are mine” inspired by a card received from the funeral that read, “See I will not forget you...I have carved you in the palm of my hand” (Isaiah 49:15).

Lynda Korhonen closed the event with tears in her eyes saying, “God is calling you to be a tool of his love.”

To learn more about the Mayer family, visit their web site www.mayersisters.com.

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