It seems like only a few months ago when I posted the “Serendipity” of our love story on Facebook. In reality, it’s been almost a year. We’ve had a full and blessed year with calendar months flying faster than I can flip the pages. As Autumn paints her vibrant red and gold across meadows and mountains, I decided to honor a request to post more about that romantic love affair that’s blossomed through the years. Capturing one of God’s touches in our marriage, I am writing a slice from the Silver Anniversary moment (many years ago).
We’ve enjoyed many “serendipitous” moments, but our Twenty-Fifth Anniversary had God’s fingerprints throughout. From the planning to the celebration, it reflected God’s gift to us. We chose Kauai as our romantic destination. Visions of Elvis Presley’s movie, “Blue Hawaii,” danced through my thoughts on strains of the “Hawaiian Wedding Song.” Yes, I’m one of those romantics.
As the travel planner in the family, I headed to our local library (one of those old-fashioned places to find information before Google) to uncover the ideal venue. Names, prices, locations swam before my eyes. But one site continually drew me back. Odd, I thought, as they listed little about their ceremonies. An inner nudge convinced me to call the Aloha Church of Kauai. Glancing at the clock to verify Hawaii time, I called their number. A warm welcome greeted me, but the feminine voice on the other end seemed confused when I inquired about their arrangements for couples renewing wedding vows. Unable to answer my questions, she assured me the women’s ministry leader would give me a call.
The mystery grew.
In a couple of days, the pastor’s wife called. She wondered where I had heard that their church provided such events. “In a library book,” I offered. Stunned, she explained Aloha Church had never performed such ceremonies nor had they published anything about renewing wedding vows in a library book!
Red warning flags waved across my mind.
However, before I could utter my hesitation, the lady peppered me with questions. Was I a Christian, a member of their denomination, and what was I expecting at this event? With reservation, I explained our dream–a sunset setting preferably on the beach, music, flowers in my hair (a Haiku), and a photographer. She said she would consult the pastor and call back.
The phone rang the next day. It was Hawaii. The pastor’s wife assured me they could handle it. But there were stipulations. Before planning our celebration, we were asked to attend their church service. Afterward, arrangements would be discussed. A graciousness couched her expectations. A desire to create a memorable moment for fellow believers was reflected in their heart. Tugged to at least test the possibilities, I agreed.
After arriving in Hawaii, we located their temporary tent-fashioned church. As we worshiped together, our hearts began to see God’s plan. We talked about our ceremony with the pastor and his wife. The women’s ministry would arrange flowers for my Haiku and a Lei for Tom. The music ministry would provide the romantic requests, and there would be a photographer. “All we ask is a love offering,” the wife explained. Graciousness and humility.
A few evenings later, standing on a grassy knoll–not a sandy beach–before the sun set that June evening, we experienced a love that could not have been created by the trendiest or fanciest venue on the island.
God’s presence hovered over our small gathering. Joy danced in the women’s eyes as they set the handmade Haiku on my head. The pastor’s wife, camera slung over her shoulder, handed me the Lei for Tom. Strains of the “Hawaiian Wedding Song,” strummed by a member of their music team, ushered in the repeat of vows before the pastor. A few dance steps followed–in the middle of the ceremony. Warmth beyond any human plans penetrated our hearts as we celebrated with our new brothers-and sisters-in-Christ. Our first love which God had orchestrated was repeated in a way I could not have planned. The moments became a heavenly treasure stored in our hearts to remember always.
Have you had one of God’s touches that changed your life? I would love to hear about it. Contact me here on my site.
From My Heart to Yours,