The most touching wedding story I’ve ever read!
A few weeks before the wedding, Melissa tore her Achilles tendon. She was originally told she was okay to deal with the tear after the wedding. However, after getting a second opinion, she was in emergency surgery just days before the wedding. While this was occurring, her father’s health began to deteriorate. I was aware that he had Parkinson’s, and that we’d be making special arrangements for him. But, his health took a turn for the worse, and we weren’t sure he’d attend the wedding.
I coordinated with the groom to carry the bride back down the aisle, and she would be alternating through the day between crutches, a wheelchair and standing single-legged with her hurt leg in a boot. Her father was able to attend, and family members wheeled father and daughter down the aisle in matching wheelchairs. To say that there was not a single dry eye in the house was an understatement. Her father was able to give her away, stay through the ceremony, and was able to join for a few quick photos.
The bride and her family amazed me. Melissa never complained, never wavered and was the epitome of strength. Eric, her groom, was supportive, attentive and simply wonderful. They were able to dance their first dance (I was so thankful that they were “Tall” and “Small!”), do a group dance to the “Wobble” and enjoy the entire day. By the wedding’s end, Melissa father was back in the emergency room. Melissa and Eric went to the hospital instead of their after party. The following morning, a brunch was held at the Marine Room. Melissa’s mother hosted over 80 guests, and I was not sure what to expect when I arrived. Melissa, Eric and their families were smiling, gracious and happy and greeted their guests, as I was on hand to coordinate and design additional florals.
Melissa’s family returned to the hospital immediately after the brunch to be by her father’s side. He was grateful to be visited by close family members and friends from afar. He passed away unexpectedly late that night, the day after he gave his daughter away. It was horribly sad, but the strength this family showed, Melissa and Eric in particular…was incredible.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8, NKJV.)
We serve such a loving, gracious and generous God. He loves you so much that there isn’t anything He wouldn’t do in order to have a relationship with you. The Bible tells us that sin separates man from God. But God doesn’t want to be separated from us. That’s why He sent His Son into the world—to pay the penalty for sin so that you and I could live in eternity with Him.
So many people today think they have to earn their way to heaven. They think they have to be “good enough” or “do the right thing” in order to be accepted by God. They want to “clean up” before they come to Him. But notice what today’s verse says—salvation is a gift from God. You can’t earn a gift. You don’t pay for it. You can only receive it by faith. If you’ve never made Jesus the Lord of your life, I encourage you to receive this free gift. Let Him fill you with His eternal peace and joy so that you can live the abundant life He has for you.