When Stories Collide

IMG_5449We are standing at the altar. The bride and groom have come with eager spirits. Families and friends are dressed in beauty with celebration on the shoes. Ready. The day came so fast, and yet so slow. It was years in the making. It is, without question, a love story. And it is also a God story….a powerful story of God’s love seeking, guiding, preparing and providing so that they could find one another and we could all be a part of the miracle. Simply amazing.

IMG_5509My heart and spirit are quivering. I look at Antonietta, the Guatemalan pastor officiating this ceremony with me. I know she understands. We are here by God’s grace. We are standing knee deep in the river of God’s presence. No one could have told us we would be here, and if they tried, we would not have believed it. And yet, here we are. I keep thinking, “is this really happening?” My mother and sister are sitting on the front row of white lined chairs. My Aunts and cousins are beside them. My Guatemalan friends are scattered about in the crowd. Later we will dance and celebrate, but in this moment I can barely catch my breath. This is holy ground.

Aaron & Irene
Aaron & Irene

This beautiful bride was serving as a translator for mission teams long before I knew where Guatemala was on the map. This handsome groom, my cousin, my primo, was teaching himself Spanish little by little long before he knew he would have a family in another country and culture. Both of them trusted that at the right time God would provide a partner with whom their lives and dreams could be lived out well. And God did.

Today it is a wedding. Tomorrow it will be a simple visit between friends. Next week it will be a meeting you didn’t want to attend or a neighbor who is just passing through. God has a way of bringing people and stories together for greater purposes. We are always seeking the “big” thing; “THE” answer; and “the” place. But more often than not, God brings us right to the moment we need to be in to recognize a divine intervention.

Wedding day joys with my family.
Wedding day joys with family.

I am humbled to know that many people said “yes” to God’s nudge in order for this moment to come for this bride and groom. “Yes” to going to another country. “Yes” to teaching troubled teens near the California/Mexico border. “Yes” to writing a check to fund a flight to Guatemala. Yes to attending an information session about a mission. “Yes” to being outside the comforts of home. “Yes” to being the voice for countless people who traveled through. “Yes” to encouraging a young person to get an education and follow their dreams. “Yes” to coffee. “Yes” to providing a room to a stranger. “Yes” to that nudge that simply will not let you go.

The river we stand in right now is getting deeper. The waters of God swept over the earth in the beginning and the river of life is still flowing all over the world. AND….the current is getting stronger every day. If you get the nudge, please say “YES!”

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