Seven years ago today it was very blustery in Oklahoma. We had a cool front push through and it was bitterly cold and windy. Seven years ago was also the day that I married my husband and become the Mom to four children instead of just one.
The ceremony was very tender and sweet. My long-time singles pastor married us in a beautiful chapel that is on the campus where we first met. It was very small and intimate. Only our very closest friends and family were invited.
I had been part of a singles ministry for nearly ten years. I had seen couples come and go. So many were eager to move on past their hurts and ended up marrying too soon and in the end became a statistic with broken dreams, hearts, and their precious children were reeling again from a tragic divorce.
I had heard at a seminar one day about how important the covenant between a man and woman is during a marriage ceremony. I also had learned that equally important are those that are witness to that ceremony. We are to hold those accountable and pray for them in their marriage...we are party to a covenant.
We discussed and prayed about who to invite to our marriage ceremony. We were not looking for a wedding but a marriage....a covenant vow between two hearts that would never allow the talk of divorce or separation. We KNEW the Lord had brought the six of us together and we wanted this ceremony to be a reflection of what Christ had done....not a showy display. We opted to not invite numerous people that we called friends but only invited those we knew would stand by us through thick and thin...those dear souls that would drop to their knees in prayer for our family.
My sweet singles pastor Jon could barely make it through the ceremony. His tears were those of joy because he had witnessed our meeting and courtship. He and his wife both knew how much I had prayed for the 'right' man not any man to marry. Just one year prior at the reception of two of my friends from the singles, Jon and I were seated together at the reception. As we were watching our two friends cut the cake, I spoke outloud words that were going on in my head and heart.....for me only but as I do sometimes they just blurted out, "I hope you are able to officiate my wedding one day." I realized I had blurted this out when Jon said, "Me too sweet girl....me too."
So at 7:00 p.m. on April 6th, two hearts were standing before our precious pastor, our collective children, dear family members, and a handful of friends. At the end of our vows we had a ceremony with our children and gave them each a symbolic gift. Mike gave Matthew his gift and I gave Seth, Zach, and Hannah their gifts. Jon spoke to them from Ephesians 5 and express how they are to honor their mother and father. He spoke eloquently and beautiful to these four precious children. Jon then told the audience that we were signing a marriage covenant and if the Lord so led others in the small, intimate chapel to join us in signing this covenant of marriage that they could come up front to the altar to do so. What a joy filled our hearts when we saw our friends and family come up front and sign this covenant.
The wind was howling loudly and the beautiful stained glass windows seemed to almost move in and out as the wind blew. It was very cold outside but inside it was filled with warmth and love.
There were no elaborate decorations or expensive floral bouquets only hurricane lanterns with white pillar candles lined the chapel and illuminated the stained glass windows. A simple bouquet of flowers sat on the altar with our marriage covenant. I could not have asked for a more perfect day. As we pledged our vows to one another I could not help but remember all the times that the Lord had been faithful to me in this journey. I looked out across the room and saw the sweet faces of those that we both loved and knew that this was the beginning of something really special.
Sweetheart, thank you for seven wonderful years! Looking at our children I cannot believe how much they have grown in that time. They are young adults. Our family has been blended together so beautifully. I am so thankful the Lord led you to Oklahoma and ultimately to me!