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