This is a guest post by Savannah ApodacaThe doors open and I hear the music begin to play. I turn the corner and see the congregation stand to their feet. This is the day I have been waiting my entire life for. As I take the first step, I feel the movement of my long, full skirt, exactly like the one I pictured in my childhood dreams. I hear the lines of the song that I chose to accompany me down the aisle the first time I heard its sappy lyrics on the radio. I look ahead and see my best friends wearing yellow to match the sunflowers in my hands. I reach up and feel the necklace that my mother wore on her wedding day— her most precious gift for my most important day. Every eye in the room is locked on me as I walk slowly and elegantly down the petal-covered aisle toward the rest of my life– the goal I have been striving for, the fulfillment of my deepest desires.
I look at my mother and see tears of joy well up in her eyes. I catch the eye of my best friend and she gives me a look of approval. My gaze turns to the preacher, patiently waiting and prepared to join the coming together of two hearts. After what seems like a lifetime, I arrive at the altar and prepare to meet the gaze of the one my heart has been waiting for. A smile spreads across my face and I lift my eyes, only to behold the most shocking and horrifying sight, one that leaves me confused, crushed, and devastated: he’s not there. What my eyes meet is only an empty space that had been saved for my beloved. But where is he? Everyone told me he would be here.
Feeling flustered and unsure of what to do, I begin to look around the room for something to occupy my time and satisfy the guests. I look first to the groomsmen, thinking that one of them could take the place of my love. But they don’t notice me; their eyes are fixed on the bridesmaids. So I turn around and look at my friends, but they only offer me shrugs and crooked smiles because they are just as confused as I am. The only thing left to do is continue the day on my own. So I stand there for a few minutes and try to smile at my guests. I walk back down the aisle toward the door, though my head is held lower and my gait is much quicker and clumsier than my previous trip. I smile for pictures, dance to my favorite song, and eat delicious food. I listen to my friends and family talk about and celebrate me. But what is there to celebrate? In the midst of these hundreds of people, I’m alone. I have no idea how to do this by myself. I never imagined that he wouldn’t show up.
My mind then turns to the question, “Why?” Why isn’t he here? Maybe he doesn’t like the way the dress looks on me or the way my hair turned out. Maybe I should have been more exciting, funnier, or sweeter… Then he would have come. Maybe God doesn’t think I am ready for him. Maybe I’m just not good enough.”
I watch as the last guest leaves and am met with the painful reality that I am completely alone. I have nowhere to go and no idea what to do. Everything about my life, my whole identity, was depending on what I expected today to be. I thought this would be the beginning, but now it feels like the end. I drop my bouquet of sunflowers on the church steps and cry out, “Why, God? Why didn’t you send him? Why have You left me alone?” As tears stream down my face and drop onto my white dress, a quiet voice catches my attention. “Child, I never left you alone,” the gentle whisper says, “I have always been here, but you weren’t looking for Me. Your eyes were searching for him and became blind to My presence. Let me show you what your life has really been all about…”
I blink my eyes and look around. I’m a little girl again, experiencing the carefree joy of childhood, soaking up the simple beauties of each day. I run barefoot through my front yard, giggling as my brother chases me with a water balloon. I stare up at the night sky in wonder of God’s creation. I hear stories of fairytales and romantic happy endings—but they sound different this time. Now I can see that Prince Charming isn’t the real hero, he is just a reflection of the true Prince. This time I can see that these love stories are not the whole picture, but something to point us to the ultimate love story, a Man who gave up His life for mine on a tree two thousand years ago and showed the world what love really is.
I can see the beauty of love in a new way. Not just love, though. Everything seems clearer and brighter now and I can see my Father’s handiwork all around me. Once I started looking for it, I realized that it’s everywhere. I can see it in the pink flowers opening their petals in the vibrant spring sunshine. I can see it in the clouds dancing across the sky to sprinkle the world with water. I can see it in the people I talk to— the way they smile, the things that make them laugh, the small details that make them who they are. And now, when I see snapshots of earthly love— a young man nervously waiting for his girl with a ring clutched in his hand or an elderly man holding the door for his faithful companion of fifty years— what I feel is not a pang of jealousy, but a new joy in remembering my Savior’s love for me and a reminder that He graciously places the people in our lives to mold us and make us into His image.
As time goes on, I grow up again. I make great friends at church and work hard in school. I graduate from high school and begin college. I get involved in ministry and teaching opportunities, looking for ways to invest in the lives of others. Each day, I learn more and grow closer to my Creator as He gives me grace for each moment and puts me exactly where He wants me to be. But this time around, I’m not waiting for anything. My thoughts are not distracted by a daydream and my eyes are not searching for someone who may never arrive. Instead, I am living, really living. I have my eyes wide open to see my Father and all that He has for me. My eyes are fixed on Him alone.
One Sunday in May, I was leaving church after staying late for a meeting about the children’s program. I was walking down the steps all alone, when something on the ground caught my eye. I turned and saw a bouquet of sunflowers lying on the second step. When I saw it, two lifetimes flashed through my mind and I became aware of God’s gracious gift to me— a second chance. I remembered that day long ago, when I thought my life was over. I had thought that I wasn’t good enough and that God hadn’t given me what I needed. In that moment, I heard a familiar voice whisper, “This is the life that I have given to you, not because you are not enough, but because I am.” As I walked down the street toward my house, I was in awe of God’s mercy and grateful for the new perspective He had given me. And I finally understood that what He said was really true. He is enough.
Guest Post By:
Savannah is a follower of Christ who enjoys writing, baking, spending time with her family, and teaching Children’s Church. She has a heart for working with children and is seeking to earn a degree in Special Education. She is striving to honor The Lord in the time of singleness that He has given her by preparing for marriage while finding contentment and joy in her Lord, taking advantage of opportunities God places in her life, and living each day to do His will.