Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Surrounded by Joy

This past weekend I was surrounded by joy. I was honored to be a part of a wonderful celebration of two lives coming together as one by being a bridesmaid. One of my best friends, Joanna, married the love of her life, Spencer, on Saturday. It was such a beautiful weekend full of laughter, excitement, love and joy. It was clear at the dress rehearsal dinner that God was bringing two people together who are very loved. Words of memories and kindness along with tears of joy affirmed that the next day was going to be an emotional day of celebration and praise to God for bringing these two very special people together. The day of the wedding arrived and seeing Joanna with complete joy was contagious. Although I was not around Spencer much before the wedding, I knew that he couldn't wait to marry his girl. I'm a pretty emotional person when it comes to weddings, but I had no clue how emotional I was going to be during the ceremony. While I was walking down the aisle towards the front of the church, Spencer was beaming. He couldn't wait to see Joanna and be married to her at last. After I found my spot at the front of the church, I looked at the faces of the bridal party and the groom and I found happiness. Tears began to well up in my eyes and I was thankful for the thoughtful, groom's mother that had given us tissues and the pockets in my dress. The time had come for Joanna to walk down the aisle to this beautiful song called, "Hundred More Years" by Francessca Battistelli. Because of my height I couldn't see her walk in so the next best thing was to look at was Spencer's face and let me tell you, what a wonderful thing to see. As a tear rolled down his cheek, he was mesmerized by his bride like time had stood still. Joy had consumed him. That's when I almost lost it. It was such a beautiful moment. When Joanna met Spencer at the front, the love they share together became evident. As the vows were spoken, not only was the bridal party crying, but many guests were crying as well. They weren't crying tears of sadness, but tears of joy. I was surrounded by joy. I will never forget the love and joy that I felt that day. Their wedding reminded me of the joy that God wants us to feel. He doesn't want us to wait for joy, but to find joy now. We may not feel like the time is appropriate to be joyful, but God wants us to find joy in everything. We shouldn't wait for the big things in life to be joyful, but we should also find joy in the little things. I believe joy truly comes from being confident in the promises that God gives us. When we surround ourselves with those promises, we find joy. Psalm 90:14 says, "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Before Jesus was crucified and resurrected, he said "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them" (John 17:13). Acts 2:28 says, "You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence." Sometimes it may be hard to find joy in the present. It may take some time away from your hectic life to find it, but it's there. You may be looking in the wrong places. 1 Chronicles 16:27 says, "Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place." So today take the time to find joy and live in it. Don't wait for it to come to you. Find it. Have a blessed week! :)

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