I had waited. Patiently anticipating the 24th day of September, 2011 when the Romance “Down Under” couple spotlighted …
I had waited. Patiently anticipating the 24th day of September, 2011 when the Romance “Down Under” couple spotlighted on Just Ask Joyce on March 7th of this year would officially tie the knot. Not only did they tie it, but they intertwined their ropes of love so tightly around Christ, this marriage will never fail.
I made the long trek to Jasper, Indiana – 556 W Haysville Road, Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church for Lane Kimmel and Lesley Sergeant’s big day. Running late due to other commitments of the day, I walked through the doors in the nick of time. There she was – standing in splendor before my eyes. As stunning as I had imagined her being. Radiant. Beaming. Eager. Her blonde tendrils cascading on her shoulders, she embraced me with a smile and gratefulness for coming to hers and Lane’s wedding. (I was the one who felt special for receiving the invite.)
The 500-person-capacity church was packed! Barely a seat left. The attendance was a tremendous testimony to the unique and impeccable character of these two young people. I was seated in the very back of the church – a perfect bird’s eye view of the crowd and the wedding party. Two-by-two the attendants strolled down the aisle to the beat of out-of-the-ordinary music selections for a wedding march. The medley of songs was clearly the couple’s favorites, filled with lyrics of love and depths of devotion depicting their story of romance.
Two ministers would preside: one who had shared in fashioning the groom’s spiritual growth as he witnessed him develop into an unwavering man of faith; the other was a family friend with a passion for serving.
The groom had labored over the tapestry of vows, weaving expressions of his own intricately between the threads of the customary promises. Provisions had been carefully planned out for his bride, down to the dainty hanky tucked in his tux pocket, which she pulled out when emotions spilled forth from her gentle eyes. The couple invited those in the crowd of witnesses whose spouse was present to participate in the “Four Hands” ceremony. It was indicative of their lack of selfishness and thoughtfulness of others, even on their special day.
The Groom claimed his Bride, and they emerged Mr. and Mrs. Lane Kimmel to the beat of “Everything” by Michael Bublé. Oops, “here comes the Groom” to collect his grandmother! It was a beautiful telling moment of the bond the two shared. The Bride’s family had traveled 3500 miles to witness the wedding. Lesley’s grandmother was dazzling, beautifully arrayed in her wheelchair grandeur. The strong family legacy between the two families alleviated the often uncomfortable ordeal of blended family issues at such ceremonies. The long-line-of-love tradition is a model this godly couple is sure to proudly carry on.
An acapella rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” guided the Bride and Groom to the front of the church to dismiss each row, affording everyone ample opportunity to hug and congratulate the newlyweds. Each of them met friends and some family members for the first time, but instant camaraderie transferred from one to the other as their oneness began to surface.
Guests waited patiently to shower the Bride and Groom with blush-to-rich shades of purple petals as the Cathedral bells announced their departure for the reception. Once there, the wall of antiquity donned the history of brides and grooms – a legacy of commitment. Each guest thumb-printed the “Family Tree” of friends and family, gaining entrance into a spectacular showroom decorated by friends. From the chocolate bar to a delicious meal and favors, it was a night of relaxation and fellowship. Entertainment vacillated from toasts to watching the Bride and Groom in a tender dance, and Bride and Dad in a light-hearted traditional decade routine.
I drove away from the reception site feeling as blessed and assured in lasting love as I had been for a long time. It was well worth the wait to witness two young people who chose to honor the Lord with their lives and one who understood that purity was worth the wait.