On a lovely spring morning, my home overflowed with my mom, aunts, and nieces. I rose early to shower and have some time to myself. I went out, alone, to a local restaurant for breakfast and to gather my thoughts for the day. My next stop was the salon where my beautician styled my hair with incredible precision. She paid attention to every detail.
Afterward, I arrived at the church. It was our wedding day, and I was excited, joyful, and expectant. I wanted to be alone for a while, before the building filled with bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, and countless people who were dear to us. I needed time to center myself.
Soon, the photographer arrived. He took a wide variety of photos before the wedding, but my favorite was captured in the sanctuary just before the ceremony when my groom and I held hands and prayed. We were careful to keep our eyes closed so he would not see me until I was walking down the aisle. Shortly after we finished taking pictures, as I waited for the ceremony to begin, beautiful worship music poured from the sanctuary, with my groom leading in song. It was such a sweet surprise. At last, I heard the long-awaited words.,“It’s time.”
My heart began to beat a little faster as I was led toward the sanctuary. The moment had arrived when I would hear my wedding song for the very first time. My groom had written, produced, and recorded this song to accompany me as I walked down the aisle. It was perfect! Instead of a typical slow ballad, it had a little bit of "bop" to it. I found myself rockin’ along as I gazed into his eyes while walking down the aisle. For a moment we were the only two people in the room. He softly asked if I liked the song and all I could do was nod my head to say yes and smile. I still remember the lyrics:
"Here comes my crown and my glory,"
"She’s every prayer that I’ve prayed revealed,"
"Here comes my good thang."
We cruised through the ceremony with ease. We said our vows and, boy, did we kiss! Once we said, "I do," we wanted our first experience as husband and wife to be taking communion together before the congregation. Immediately after communion, we began to worship God by singing a song called, “I give myself away.” Suddenly my husband, who is a phenomenal worship leader and singer, was given a microphone and the entire room was ushered into the presence of God. As I looked out into the congregation, people’s hands were raised, many singing along, and some even weeping. As the music continued to play, my husband extended the invitation for salvation.
The next moment was unforgettable. Through an act of beauty and grace, God showed us his love is the greatest and most precious gift of all.
You see, when my husband and I were first engaged to be married, we set aside one day a week to pray for specific family members to give their lives to Christ. We couldn't imagine a better time for those prayers to be answered than at our wedding. After all, this would be the first time many of them had been inside a church building in a very long time. I cannot recall the exact words my husband said, but I remember his invitation to come to the altar if they wanted to receive Jesus Christ as their savior. Eleven of our family members responded. I fell to my knees in worship, not caring that I was in my wedding dress. Tears of joy streamed down my face as I looked in awe at what was happening–the beauty of the Father's great love and mercy on display for all to see
Now and then, I look back at that beautiful moment. My dress was pretty, the song my husband wrote for me was phenomenal, but nothing can outshine the wondrous luster of God's love poured out on those we love most. Not only was it an outward display of two hearts and lives uniting, it was also a time where many hearts united with the one great love of Jesus Christ–a love that laid down his very life for them. It was a visible display of God's mercy, an unforgettable end to our wedding day that is forever etched in my heart
No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends. John 15:13 (amp)