Our first stop was Joppa. Scents of new growth and spring filled the warm ocean air. Everywhere I looked, I saw brides, in dazzling white, aglow in the sunset. Bridegrooms delighting in their brides as they showed them around the cobbled square.
Learning, these couples were not married as of yet. It was customary for the groom to see his bride before the wedding. Not wanting to make the same mistake as his forefather, Jacob, who married Leah, instead of his beloved Rachel.
“And in the morning, behold, it was Leah!” Genesis 29:25 (ESV)
As I lay with my head on my pillow, after 24 hours of travel, listening to the Mediterranean waves crash on to the shoreline below,
I asked the Lord,
“Lord, why after all this preparation, beckoning me in the midst of my fears and baggage, why did You show me these brides first? Why the brides first?”
My heart flutters, and my face I am sure is flush, even now, as I recall His answer to my heart.
“Because you are My Bride.”
He saw me as one of those beautiful brides of Joppa;
I was His bride and Jesus was my Groom.
I felt accelerated; I was sixteen years old again!
I literally experienced my youth being renewed as on eagle’s wings.
From my heart, with tears of a joy, I asked Him to forgive me for doubting Him.
Whatever He had in store for me and the trip, as His bride, I would trust Him for every step of the way.
And there, after a year and half of planning, praying, and 9000 miles of travel, my journey began…as a bride.
“My Beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, My love, My beautiful one, and come away…”Song of Solomon 2:13
The last one to share. This essay really touched my heart. I pray you have been blessed reading the thoughts and hearts of fifth grade children.
“Romantic love to me means: someone who you care enough for that you’d do anything for and they care enough for you to do the same thing, or family. As some people like to call it, that is what I call romantic love is: never wanting to be away from one certain person, that’s what romantic love is to some people.
To all romantic love is the thing that bonds people together. To some it is hope, it is the thing that everybody needs, without it, we’d be lost, we would be emotionless robots.”
Written by a Fifth grade boy in a single parent house.
“You might think Romantic Love is mushy and gross but im shure when you get older you will be interested.
Take your perents as an example my perents have been maired for about 15 years. You have to have a bond with someone. Its not about how cute they are its about what you like about him or her. If I was looking for a guy I would want someone who is helpful, smart, sweet, loyal, honest, understanding and sporty.
Some people have been mairied for 75 they ate at the same table and sleep in the same bed. They love each other a lot. They have a bond.”
Written by a Fifth grade girl in a two parent house.