A Rainy Day
I looked out the window of the hotel room and prayed that the rain would stop. Amber remembers looking out the window of the farmhouse--powerless--as our ushers and wedding guests moved the chairs from the backyard into the barn. We both were probably thinking of how we--along with a group of friends--set up around 200 chairs in the backyard of her late Uncle Jake's farmhouse in preparation for our outdoor wedding ceremony in Bloomsburg, PA.
But on September 12th, 2015 God allowed it to rain.
Umbrellas were opened up as Amber took photos with her bridesmaids and suits were soaked as I posed with my groomsmen.
The only moment I had to comfort my wife-to-be was as I held her hand from around a corner in the farmhouse. I reminded her how God had a wonderful plan for the rain and that our wedding day wasn't about the outdoor games, scavenger hunts and witty signs we spent months creating and planning.
I rejoined with my groomsmen and we made our way to the front of barn where the whole ceremony would now take place. I was met with a sea of faces from many different places. Amber's family, her friends from high school, Penn State, New Hope Church and Church of the Savior, her colleagues and students from LOGAN Hope, my family, my friends from Millersville University, Salem Pentecostal Haitian Church and our church family from Urban Hope all sat shoulder to shoulder in the barn. There were Caucasians with various European decent, Haitians, Jamaicans, African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cambodians, and Egyptians that were all accounted for. Believers and non-believers alike in attendance were about to witness a couple--that never thought the other would be their spouse--be unified by the Holy Spirit of then one true living God.
I was able to hold back tears as the bridesmaids, flower girls, ring bearer and even a cute little baby walked down the aisle of the crowded barn. But as soon as Amber stepped into the barn all the tears that I held at bay flooded down my face. She was so radiant in her wedding dress.
God's most precious daughter was about to become my wife. I did not deserve any of what was about to happen.
From that point the ceremony felt like a blur. I was lost in the gaze of the beautiful woman that now stood across from me holding my sweaty palms. Jason, our pastor at Urban Hope, spoke. My sister and Amber's former student sang in Kreyol and English. My father, a pastor, read from Ephesians 4 in Kreyol. We tied our cord of three strands and my sister sang in French. Then Chris, Amber's pastor from college, delivered a compelling sermon from Ephesians 4.
Then I was allowed to kiss Amber, for the first time.
Oh me oh my....
Let's hit the fast forward button.
After taking our bridal party photos in the rain, Amber and I made our way around the farm taking our couple photos with our amazing photographer, Marisa Albrecht.
Then the rain stopped.
The reception happened. The cake was cut. Speeches were given. I danced with my wife to Josh Garrel's "Heaven's Knife." Then we had a full-fledged, 20 minute dance party outside under the lights and stars to kids praise music, Haitian Christian Kompa and Puerto Rican bachata.
Then we left.
It rained for the majority of our wedding day...but I know now--more clearly than ever--that God planned the rain to put the focus of the day on Him and no one else. Without the rain it would have been too easy for Amber and I to marvel at how well we planned our wedding. God refocused the day to be centered on His Glory and His timing.
Thank you Jesus for that rainy day in September.