Wow, it has truly been a life-time since I wrote in my blog. How warm and reassuring to return to this place. The last few weeks have just been tremendously wonderful. If I were to write my own script, I don't think I'd change a moment.
On February 10, at 4:30pm, I walked into my home church to marry my beautiful Gerald. It was completely overwhelming! (a.k.a.: I couldn't stop crying all day!) Mom and Dad both walked me down the aisle, preceded by my best friend as my "Babe of Honour". Dad did the ceremony, and let me tell you: It may be generally intense when the priest asks if you want to take this man for the rest of your life, but try having your own Father ask you! After the ceremony, we all shipped off to a gorgeous hall for a night of great food, dancing, and much love all around.
For anyone who's interested (and I guess I'm saying this cause I always want to know), here's a list of our wedding music:
- Attendants' processional: This Little Light of Mine.
- Bridal processional: I Vow to thee my Country (Holst)
- Hymn: I feel the winds of God
- Choir anthem: The Wedding at Cana (written by Me!)
- Signing of the register: Because He Lives.
- Solo: Perfect Picture (written and sung by Gerald!)
- Lord's prayer: sung to Amazing Grace tune.
- Communion hymns: Be Our Chief Guest Lord, and Here I am Lord.
- Marriage processional: I'm Feeling Fine.
- First dance: Have a little faith in me
- Last dance: Take it with me
I do have to share this really great moment: Gerald and I used the vows written in the Anglican wedding service, but later in the service, we each had special words written for each other. I had given Dad my speech to hold, but he thought that was my speech for the reception. So when it came time to read my special words, they were in another room. Dad made sure everyone had a little laugh over the upset, and went out to get the speech. In the gap, Boni reprised Because He Lives, but we were all standing there a little awkwardly. Gerald looked at me and said, "Well, what do we do now?". And I said, "Well, I guess we sing!". I turned to the congregation, and we had this spontaneous singalong of Because He Lives. It was awesome. Lots of people knew the song, and those who didn't had huge smiles on their faces. As soon as we hit the final bar, Dad walked back in with my speech. A slight mishap that spawned a perfect moment!
Two days later we were on the plane for Costa Rica. If you haven't been to Costa Rica, I highly recommend it. The people are great and the food amazing, but the real show is the natural surroundings. On a daily basis we were treated to volcanos, wildlife, waterfalls, rainforests, cloud forests, and the Pacific Ocean. I didn't have a moment when I wasn't overwhelmed by the beauty and wonder of creation. How people can see this stuff and not believe in God, I don't know!
On a day trip we visited a church that had been made from parts of an old ship. All of the exterior and interior walls were metal! It was just gorgeous, but even more importantly, it was acoustically stunning! I asked if I could sing a little, permission was granted, and I sang It Is Well With My Soul. The sound was awesome. The tiniest softest note traveled right through the whole space. A few days later, I was talking with a woman who had been there. She and her family were on the trip because that day was the anniversary of losing a family member. They didn't want to face their grief surrounded by reminders of daily life. How completely did I understand this! She told me how they were all Christians and how their faith was getting them through. She told me how my song had brought them comfort during these days. I just felt so blessed that she would share this story with me. A few years ago, her story would have been my story, but now God is using me to bless those in mourning. It is awesome what can happen when you just say "Yes, Lord!".
After a week of beaches and sunburns, we hopped on the plane again, this time to spend the final leg of our honeymoon in Nashville. I can't remember if I've mentioned this in the blog yet, but Gerald and I are planning on moving to Nashville this year to further our musical pursuits. Ger had never actually been there, and since we were traveling anyways, we thought we might as well spend some time in Music City and have a little fun. What a great time! Our first night there, we played an open mic at the Hall of Fame Lounge. Ger did "So Far" and "The Last Chapter", the latter of which made the emcee cry! Then I jumped up on stage and we did "My Father's Arms". Everyone was so generous, and we've been invited to perform there when we get back to Nashville.
The next night was the Bluebird Cafe, and an awesome in-the-round concert. The songs were great, and all four singers are friends, so the energy was just infectious. After the show, we followed the crowd to Hotel Preston and continued the musical party. The next day was bumming around downtown, and at night, we saw the Opry at the Ryman. What a treat! I, of course, didn't know any of the country singers or their songs. But the final act was Ricky Scaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Yee-haw! They were amazing! There are no real words to capture that kind of skill and passion. Just impressive!
We got to see some friends, and make some new ones. We met Canadians who had moved to Nashville in various ways, all to follow the big dream. We got great encouragement, and hard advice. And we got tonnes of inspiration! It is so clear to me that God wants us to follow this path. I'm such a homebody, that the idea of actually selling everything and moving is absolutely terrifying. But we are truly fighting for a greater good. We are going for the dream that so many people pack away in comfortable jobs and old age pensions. And the truly awesome part is that we're facing this journey together. Hand in hand. With God and family supporting our every move.
"I feel the winds of God today. Today, my sail I lift!"