March 8, 2013 by A Girl Like Me
My wedding was a total blur. I’m not sure if it’s like this for everyone, but to me, it is a foggy day with only bits and pieces of clarity. I remember getting dressed. I remember how the men’s bathroom was right by where I was getting changed and I’d have to hide a lot because Jeff had to use the bathroom a gillion times because he was so nervous. I remember clinging to my brothers arm as he gently told me it was time to go walk down the aisle. And I remember his face. The face of my soon to be husband as he saw me for the first time as the woman he would take as his bride.
His eyes were filled with tears and his face was marked with a smile so big, you could see it from miles away. My heart raced as I walked toward him. Thoughts flooded my mind, telling myself how I couldn’t believe I was finally here. That this day, this day of marriage, had arrived. And then there he was. As gently as he had wooed me in the beginning, his tender hand was there holding mine, assuring me that from that moment on, we were in this life together as a team. I don’t remember more beyond that, just the overwhelming peace that I was exactly where God had placed me in the exact perfect moment. My wedding day. A day I will never forget.
Most of you will get to experience a day similar to this. A day filled with flowers and veils and vows and bliss. You will get to look into the eyes of another human and feel the holy union of God uniting two hearts together in marriage. It’s surreal and consuming and beautiful and redemptive and more than words could express. And yet despite all it’s beauty, it is not the last or best wedding we’ll ever have.
I read a book in college called “The Divine Romance.” Essentially, the author took the story of us and Christ and wrote it in a way that it can be seen as the epic love story that it truly is. The end of the book of course concludes with us, his bride, finally being united with our true bridegroom, the Father. I remember reading that and beginning to weep as I realized how much greater that day would be than any other day I could have here on earth. A day of perfection. A day when I would get to experience love in it’s most absolute and purest form. A day of true redemption.
Ladies, this is the wedding and the relationship that we need to set our hearts upon. Yes, your wedding day will be magnificent. But remember, this covenant is only a glimmer of what we are to receive with Christ. It is a reflection of His love for us and the covenant he has made to claim us as His bride for all eternity. No wedding, no man, no dress and no perfect day here on earth could ever compare to that.
As I was sharing the thoughts and feelings of this book with my mentor, she asked me a question. She said, “Have you ever really pictured what that day may look like? The day when you see Jesus for the first time and realize that eternity with him as his bride begins?” I of course had not, and so she encouraged me to consider meditating on that thing. We all know how we picture our earthly wedding day, but how many of us can say we have pictured our “real” wedding day? I encourage you to take the time and do the same. Set your mind and heart on that day. A day truly worth longing for. So I leave you with this….my picture of my next wedding. And this day, I know will be one that my mind will see and feel with full clarity and fullness of joy. Here is what I feel my real wedding day will be like:
I am lying in field. Almost as though I’m living somewhere between sleep and awake. I am aware of my surroundings, but still floating in the in between. Then, as though it were a gentle breeze passing over me, I hear it. My name. Ever so gently and softly, I can hear my name being whispered across this beautiful field. But not my earthly name, a different name. A name that I know to be mine, but am only just now hearing for the first time. And so, at the sound of my name, I sit up. And there he is.
Off in the distance I see Him. My husband. My Father, creator and savior. It’s the first time my eyes have ever been laid upon him and I am consumed by His beauty. I stand up, and almost before my mind can process it, I begin to run. Run towards him. Towards the only one who knows my heart. I run wildly and without thinking. Just wanting so desperately to be near him.
As I run, images fill my mind. Images of the times I failed him. Images of the times I cursed his name and even hated him. My pace slows. And then more images come. The moments I cheated on him with other lovers and other pleasures. I see moments when I knew he was whispering my name yet I chose to ignore him. Tears begin to fall and my pace has now slowed to a trembling walk.
I can barely see through the mist in my teary eyes, but I can see he is still coming close to me. I freeze. How can I go to him now? How can I face my bridegroom when I have done nothing but wound him? He’ll never want me. And why should he? I am not the spotless bride he deserves, but a soiled whore and nothing more. At this moment, grief consumes me and find myself dropping to my knees, sobbing uncontrollably. And then he is there.
In a moment, I can feel his presence beside me. Warm and comforting. I can’t bare to look up. To look into his eyes and face him with all my sins would be more than I could take. Then, almost as though he knew my thoughts, he bends down and cups my face into his hands. Using his thumbs he softly wipes the tears from eyes until I can fully see his face. His face is so perfect and beautiful that I feel the need to look away, but i possess the inability to do anything but sit and stare at Him.
He looks at me for what feels like forever but is only a moment. And then, ever so quietly, he speaks to me. “My dear girl, I love you so very much. I see your hurt but must tell you that on this day, you have never looked more lovely and more perfect than you do now.”
I begin to cry again. Confusion and relief consuming me all at once. “But I have failed him, I think. How’s it possible that despite all that, he still loves me? Surely I am nothing more than a disappointment to him.” And again, as though he has glanced right into the depths of my heart, he speaks one more time. “My sweet, sweet girl,” He says, “I have never been more proud of you. And nothing, nothing can ever change that.”
It’s the way he says it that moves me. And it’s in that second that I know. This is the day I have waited for. The day where we are together and I am fully his and He is fully mine. He helps me up and takes my hand. He begins to lead me away from the field, on into a place I do not know. I don’t care where we are going because I am with Him and that is all I need. I am his bride.