December is a very special month in the Hemminger household. On the 3rd we celebrated Shawn's 30th birthday. On the 18th, we will celebrate 9 years of marriage. And, most importantly, this month we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. So, it feels fitting this month to announce that I am in the process of writing a second book. I shared about our experiences and God's faithfulness as we raise our beautiful son Benjamin in Reflections from Holland: A New Mother's Journey with Down Syndrome. This time the story will be taking a step back to share Shawn's and my story--before we met, during our courtship, and finally into our lifelong covenant of marriage. God's faithfulness will again be woven throughout this very personal and vulnerable story. I have not chosen an official title yet. A few ideas I am considering are A Covenant Kiss, You Could Marry Him Someday!, or Pathway to Purity. This is where I need your help! Please read the prologue teaser below and give me your feedback. I am open to new title suggestions as well. Thanks!
Gentle Christmas music played quietly in the church sanctuary as guests began to arrive, creating an atmosphere of warmth and peace. Festive wreaths, sweeping ribbons and small evergreens wrapped in soft, white lights added graceful beauty to this December wedding day. As the music continued, the wedding party began their march down the aisle. Two proud mothers each lit a candle, one representing a daughter and the other a son. An eager and nervous groom waited expectantly at the altar for the unveiling of his bride. A song by Twila Paris entitled How Beautiful began to play as the bridesmaids made their entrance dressed in shining gowns of deep red satin. As the song reached verse three, the double doors opened again, the guests stood, and the radiant bride emerged in her beautiful white gown, shimmering with delicate rhinestones, her face aglow with joy.
How beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her groom with His light in her eyes…
A beaming groom made his way down the aisle and took the hand of his cherished bride, gently leading her back up the aisle to the altar as a symbolic gesture of the magnificent day when Jesus Christ will return for His beloved Bride and lead her to glory.
How beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live
How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the Body of Christ.
The wedding ceremony was a touching one full of testimony and loving exhortation, communion, and the exchange of vows both traditional and those personally written by the bride and groom. There were laughter and tears throughout the sanctuary as friends and family happily took part in the celebration. From the moment his bride made her entrance, the groom could not stop gazing at her. He scarcely heard the words that were being shared, so intent he was on his beloved.
Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. The air was thick with anticipation as the minister shared the couple’s unique choice. After two years of courtship, they had decided to save their very first kiss for their wedding day. Grinning from ear to ear, the minister spoke the longed for words, “You may now kiss your bride!” No sooner was the phrase out of his mouth than the groom drew his bride close. Time seemed to stand still as two lips met for the first time, and the church erupted in applause and cheers. Unable to contain his delight, the groom did a little hop, to which the minister responded, “I think you’d better kiss her again!” He needed no more convincing and drew her close once more. As two lips met, two years of longing reached fulfillment, and two lives were knit together in covenant relationship with a lifetime of discovery yet to unfold. This is their story…