I have never really been one of those girls who dreamed about their weddings. I never dreamed about the husband, or the dress, or the venue. But the one thing I knew for sure is that if the day would come, and I’d be walking down the isle, the wedding march would definitely be banned. I have a serious, unexplainable problem with the wedding march. It just has a way of triggering involuntary, severe reflux and cringing deep in my bones.
This aside, I really do love weddings. Not because of two people who love each other and decided to take the next step. That never seems to be quite enough to make a marriage work, now does it? No. I love weddings because of the privilege of witnessing a covenant between a man and a woman, resembling God’s never-ending and unconditional love for His bride. I love it when a marriage is forged in purpose and not preference.
I have shot my fair share of wedding films. Spectacular weddings, weird weddings, romantic weddings, fun weddings… And then we shot the latest wedding. Everything went extremely well. We showed up early. We had ample time to capture moments and details. I even stopped somewhere during the shoot and thanked God for making everything work together so perfectly. No stress. Just a blissful, beautiful wedding shoot. Until it wasn’t anymore. The urge to investigate the possibilities of time travel grew exponentially in a matter of minutes.
We arranged the bride’s details neatly and creatively, if I may say so myself, on a stack of rustic, wooden under plates. After placing the shoes, perfume and intricate earrings and bracelet on the steps of our little masterpiece, we discovered that the background was ruining the whole effect. So we moved. Well, to be honest, I moved, determined to find the perfect spot. I assessed every possible angle and eventually found a beautiful backdrop. As I proceeded to put down our little leaning tower of details, I discovered that one of the dainty little earrings were not there anymore.
My heart started beating in my throat, as I went through all the possible conversations with the bride and all her possible reactions. “I don’t know how to say this, but we - and by we I mean I - have lost one of your earrings… Maybe you could start a trend today and just wear one earring?” Gulp.
Now, after working with brides for a few years, you kind of know not to mess with a bride or the picture she has of her perfect day. Don’t mess with the bride, or she will mess you up. Or her mother will. Scary stuff.
With all the scenarios playing out in my head, I informed my colleague of the disaster at hand. He turned a palish-grey. Not his greatest colour. Nevertheless, he remained quite calm, and we started tracing my steps to find the missing earring.
We found it. In pieces. Destroyed. Beyond repair.
I’m proud to say I cried on the inside like a winner, staring at the broken links of the fragile little piece of costume jewellery in my hand. I remember breathing the Lord’s name and a simple “Help?”. My colleague started fiddling with the links, trying to fix it. I was too distracted with the conversation I was having with the bride in my head to help. I asked our assistant to get a pair of tweezers in a brief second of clarity. Off she went.
I couldn’t believe my eyes as he held the earring next to the other one, trying to see if it was the same length. In my moment of complete panic, he was fixing a piece of jewellery so small that it almost disappeared between his fingers. After a few minutes he held the earring next to the other one. I gasped. Out loud. You couldn’t tell the difference. He fixed it. Impossible.
He gently placed the finished product in my hand. “There you go.” Cool as a cucumber. There were still a few beads in my hand. Weak links he didn’t use. I disposed of them, took a deep breath, thanked the Lord for a crafty, problem-solver of a colleague and pushed the record button. The day was saved.
When I stumbled through my front door that evening, my darling sister made us a warm cup of yum while I shared this story. “What a day,” I said, “It could’ve been a complete disaster.”
Then it hit me.
How often do we get lost on the journey? Stepped on. Destroyed. Broken beyond repair. We lose hope of ever being whole again. We believe the lie that we have lost our value and that the privilege of living with purpose is only reserved for a select few.
I was there. For so long that my brokenness became a comfort I held on to. It was woven deeply into the details of my identity.
How powerful are those two words? They make me shiver even just typing them now…
Then Jesus gently scooped me up, held me in His hand and started gathering the broken pieces. He took out the weak links. Added stronger ones. He strung me together with His love, and breathed new life over the pieces of myself that I deemed unworthy and forgotten. He made me new. Taking the time to add precious gems and stones to reflect the rainbows of His light.
What was once broken, has been made beautiful.
What was once lost, has been found.
What was once without purpose, has now found its place.
And now, dear one, now is the time to shine.