I stood on stage waiting for the soloist to arrive. My college choir was at the beautiful Lake Junaluska assembly grounds in Western North Carolina for a retreat and to sing for a conference. The building in which we were performing was cavernous, round and ringed with ceiling-to-floor windows; it looked out upon the peaceful lake and stone chapel.
The soloist arrived, took his place at the podium and our choir director raised her baton. The beautiful voice of the young man filled every nook of the building. His talent and his testimony blessed me. Truth be told, I lost my place in my music in awe of such beauty.
A year later I received my engagement ring under the cross that overlooks Lake Junaluska. The large cross, sitting on a native stone base, is outlined in light bulbs and can be seen from any spot on the grounds. I said yes to my future husband and to a life of Christian ministry under the light of that holy symbol.
I walked down the aisle of the Memorial Chapel at Lake Junaluska on my wedding day. My waiting groom was the young man that had sung the solo and captured my heart.
This week marks our 45th wedding anniversary. We will walk the assembly grounds and again bow at the altar in renewal of our vows. We will stand underneath the light of the cross and will thank our Lord for a beautiful and blessed marriage. We will celebrate the gift of two wonderful children, one that now resides in heaven (she also married in the same chapel.)
I am indeed blessed to have been married for all these years to the love of my life. I pray for you young couples as you stand at the threshold of your married life. I rejoice with you older couples who have weathered storms and who stand firm within your bonds of marriage.
That wonderful husband of mine gave me the most precious anniversary gift…a light bulb that lit the cross at Lake Junaluska encased within a handmade wooden case.
God, give us more years to share our love with each other and to proclaim our love for You.
Yes, I am a blessed woman.
Happy 45th, my love.