Wow, I find myself still pretty intoxicated by the whole experience.

I woke up Saturday morning at 5 AM to the sound of thunder and torrential downpour. Even though the schedule didn’t have me at the church until 10:30 I showed up at 8 and was already in my tux by 10.

As I spent those few hours alone in the church waiting for Kevin, my best man, to arrive I watched through the windows as the rain continued to saturate the air outside. That image keeps coming back to me of pure sheets of water flowing from heaven so profusely that it looked as if I could open the doors and swim straight up to the clouds as though New Life Church was miraculously relocated to the bottom of the ocean.

And that’s how I feel. Completely drenched in God’s blessing.

Sarah and I wanted our wedding to be a worship service first and a wedding second and that’s exactly what happened. By the time half past two had rolled around the torrents outside had lessened to a drizzle. As the worship started the waves of God’s presence had crashed into sanctuary to start the new flood. When I left the stage and joined the congregation to sing “Not to Us” The Spirit has so pierced my heart and engaged me in worship I completely forgot I was getting married at all. I remember the song coming to a close and the sudden snap of a realization that I needed to be back on stage with Pastor Tracy to receive Sarah when she walked down the aisle.

Standing on the platform looking to the door in the back my heart started to pound. From the angle I was at I could see Tom, Sarah’s dad, and I knew that Sarah was standing next to him even though I couldn’t see her. The tears started to well up inside of me. By the time she’d reached the platform to grab my hand my cheeks were wet and apparently I was so overwhelmed by emotion that I held her hands just a bit harder than I actually realized.

I can remember hearing Tracy’s voice and feeling blessed that such a good friend was marrying us. I was so struck by Sarah’s beauty and the intensity of the moment that I’m not sure I heard any of the content that Tracy was speaking. I’m looking forward to watching the video and listening to Tracy’s wise words for our marriage.

We lit our unity candle to the Nooma video Flame. As Rob Bell spoke about Raya, Ahavah, and Dode (The Hebrew words for: best friends’ love, commitment love, and sexual love respectively) His words seemed real for the first time even though I’d watched this video a hundred times.

Sarah had the inside of my ring inscribed with the words Raya, Ahavah, and Dode as a pre-wedding gift. I gave her a bracelet charm reading “I love you.” I’m still amazed at the depth and complexity of our love and the Big Flame that I’ve finally experienced with Sarah.

When it got down to the end of the ceremony and Tracy pronounced us “Husband and Wife” Sarah was apparently so overwhelmed by emotion that she kissed me just a bit harder than she actually realized.

For the last three days Newburgh has been completely covered in rain. That is, except for a few hours on Saturday afternoon when God brought out the sun so that Sarah and I could take some wedding photos downtown.

Everything is amazing. It’s like that worship service is still going. From the dinner afterwards, to our first night as one flesh, to opening gifts yesterday. That emotion, that vibe of God’s immense power hasn’t ended. We were completely humbled by the love and support that was showered on us by all of our friends in the process.

Perhaps the most humbling of all has been what God has done between Eve-Marie and I. When Sarah and I got back to the church after taking pictures downtown I picked up Eve-Marie and said, “I love you.” She held me and said, “I love you, Daddy” and tears flowed again. I told Sarah about this and said, “I really felt like Eve-Marie’s Daddy.” She said, “You are Eve-Marie’s Daddy.”

“Happiness” is such a pale word to describe what I feel.

So here I am in my office trying to shift my focus from marital bliss to youth ministry and God keeps saying, “Linger in this moment a little longer. I’ve blessed you in a very special way and if you really want to minister to youth, if you really want to love them, you need to know my love.”

No other event in my entire life has brought me closer to God or taught me more about His nature than becoming Sarah’s Husband and Eve-Marie’s Dad.

9 Responses to “Married”

  1. 1 Anonymous March 29, 2006 at 4:39 am

    I am happy for all 3 of you! Sounds like your wedding service had more “flare” than mine; but you know me… Grats!

    In Christ,
    Kermit Rickenberg 🙂

  2. 2 jennnnnnnnnnnnnnnn April 6, 2006 at 1:33 am

    i love to hear this. thank you for posting your thoughts so transparently. tom and i are encouraged!

  1. 1 Wedding as Worship Part 1 « Inept as Icing Trackback on July 27, 2007 at 3:06 pm
  2. 2 Wedding as Worship Part 2 « Inept as Icing Trackback on July 28, 2007 at 10:06 pm
  3. 3 Wedding as Worship Part 3 « Inept as Icing Trackback on July 30, 2007 at 9:44 am
  4. 4 Wedding as Worship Part 4 « Inept as Icing Trackback on August 3, 2007 at 10:09 am
  5. 5 Wedding as Worship Part 5 « Inept as Icing Trackback on August 3, 2007 at 10:55 am
  6. 6 Wedding as Worship Part 6 « Inept as Icing Trackback on August 5, 2007 at 2:37 pm
  7. 7 Wedding as Worship Part 7 « Inept as Icing Trackback on August 5, 2007 at 2:54 pm
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