The doors to the back of the chapel are closed. The bridesmaids have made their way down the aisle, been greeted by their groomsmen counterparts, and have taken their place for the ceremony. Michael, the groom, stares at the double doors with great anticipation. He isn’t alone. All of us who have gathered to witness this union have contorted our bodies in the pews and are bobbing our heads back and forth to secure just the right perspective through the crowd for the moment when the doors will open.
Then, one door moves ever so slightly. A chuckle comes from the group because what we see isn’t what we have been anticipating. The door closes behind the tiny flower girl who has emerged (she will later refer to the bride as her best friend at the reception), and she goes about her flowery task. She finishes her trek and everyone re-fixes our gaze on the doors.
It’s only a few moments but it seems like days. I tear my eyes away from the doors to see how Mike is holding up. Then I pray that he will. What a tense moment! Crying at weddings isn’t my thing , but I struggle to prevent my emotions from taking over. Michael keeps his cool too, but it was touch and go for a moment. I’m pretty sure my prayer did the trick (you’re welcome, bro). God has done a special thing with this couple and it isn’t easy to keep from getting caught up in it all.
He and Breanna have been through a great deal leading up to today. I had the honor of leading them through premarital counseling. Mike has been in her corner throughout her fight with cancer. Bre has loved and accepted Micheal’s daughter. You won’t find a better kid than Asia, but becoming an instant parent still takes a lot of courage and grace. There’s something about navigating extreme times before entering a lifelong commitment that makes vows extra firm.
The doors open wide, and there’s Breanna ready to take a stroll with her Daddy for the final time while bearing the last name he has given her. She is absolutely gorgeous, her elegance derived not just from her appearance but from the beautiful person we all know her to be.
As the scene develops, I wonder about the analogy in the Bible of marriage to our relationship with Jesus Christ. The church is called his bride, and I imagine all of creation watching our processional. On the day that we will be presented to him, will Jesus be like Mike was on Saturday? We will have been through a lot with our Savior. That day will be the culmination of all of our struggles, of our commitment to him and his sacrifice for us.
It helps me to remember that Jesus looks forward to that day. It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that he loves me that much. If you’re struggling with this thought, I suggest going to a wedding of two awesome people. Go against the grain for a split second and check out the groom’s expression as his bride makes her appearance. It will remind you of the unshakable hope that you have because of how much Jesus Christ adores you.
Congratulations to my great friends, Michael and Breanna Mahon!