I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. -Isaiah 61:20
I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday. Well, it was only 2 years and 4 months ago… 🙂 I spent the entire day leading up to my wedding “becoming” the bride. I waxed, had my hair done, makeup done, got help dressing, help walking… I stood there on the boardwalk waiting for the climax of “Closer” by Stephanie Gretzinger to play so I could emerge from behind the sand dunes. It was a few minutes into the song, and the wedding had already started late, so people were probably wondering if I had jumped ship (no pun intended being that I’m a sailor). 😉
As I stood there behind my bridesmaids, my sisters, my friend, I remember thinking (and I believe saying), “I can’t believe this is happening.”
It was my third engagement.
Third planned wedding.
Third time invites had been sent.
Would anyone even come?
Thankfully, they did. And thankfully, I made it to my wedding and down the isle.
But there were doubts.
There were fears.
My fiance was amazing. It wasn’t him. It was me.
How could someone with my track record of relationships (and engagements) be blessed with such a patient, loving, God fearing man? The rejection set in full swing.
Just like in the Garden of Eden.
It seemed too easy that Casey loved me REGARDLESS of my past. It had to be harder than that. He had told me early on that God told him he would marry me. Really? Well, maybe not me specifically, but he told me God said he would marry someone with a lot of baggage to unpack…
And I had baggage.
He told me that after I texted him this photo:
It was confirmation to him. I was blown away. And scared…
Was he the “one”? I had had my heart broken so many times before, and thrown all my eggs into one basket so many times, only to have them crumbled on the floor, a rotten mess I was left to clean up.
But he believed in me. He saw my identity in the Father, not the identity I had given myself.
There is redemption.
Like the prodigal son who returns to the Father, we are welcomed by our Bridegroom, no matter what baggage we are carrying. He is ready and willing to help us unpack. And He will keep helping us do so until He returns for his spotless bride, the church— those who seek righteousness and desire to unpack that baggage so that He can fill us with His truth and love.
It’s a beautiful thing.
I just returned last week from my brother-in-love’s wedding. He is my husband’s twin (fraternal), and he finally has a bride. I remember the newness of it all—and the pain of the unpacking—but as with wine, marriage gets sweeter with time. What a symbol marriage is: a representation of the covenant relationship we have with Papa.
It’s a sweet surrender.