Confession time. Before meeting my husband, I had a total of three dates. Three. (Well, honestly, it might have been two. I have one memory blending with another, but I am going to be generous with myself and say—three.) And this includes all my schooling years. Zippo boyfriends. Not a one. I seriously believed something was wrong with me!

My eighteenth birthday rolled around and TDH—my reference for the hubs, Tall, Dark, and Handsome—asked me out. On a date. After a few weeks, casual evolved into serious. And…the poor girl finally landed herself a boyfriend. (note* I have known him prior to this for five years as my close friend.)

Next, came the four words. Four words that held the power over my destiny. My future happiness swung over my head like a pendulum. I was fearful it would come crashing over me, leaving me scarred by the shards of my broken dreams.

I am getting married.

The four words that left most girls giddy brought anxiety to me. Was it because I didn’t want to marry TDH? No. I was afraid…frightened to tell my family. I thought they wouldn’t understand. Not give “us” a chance. Say I was too young. Too naïve to know what true love was. Even though, I perfectly knew. True love came in the height of six-foot-two and as loyal as the sunrise.

That was my impending conversation in my “JCPenney scene.” The talk with my family. Yes, it was awkward. But it helped me. I always sought others to direct my life, and walking against the current of other’s expectations allowed me to drift on the waves of God’s grace.

Have you had a situation that was difficult? Maybe you knew you would disappoint people, but had to stick to your guns for your own happiness?

In the end, I came out with a diamond on my finger and a date set. So I invite you to my wedding: Staring into the Sun (second edition)




One hundred pairs of eyeballs stared.

Rachel exhaled the breath, she didn’t realize she was holding. Okay, she made it past the candelabras without catching on fire. A major plus considering a bottle of Aussie hairspray was doused on her head. Wouldn’t have been so excessive with the aerosol if it wasn’t for the mid-June humidity declaring war on her hair. But, she cleared the four sets of blazing candles with ease. Not even a spark. Now to conquer the rest of the aisle.

Left foot. Right foot. Trying to keep in time with the “Wedding March” was a lot simpler yesterday in her flip-flops. Who on earth convinced her to wear four-inch heels? Nevermind. She could do this.

Her layered gown swooshed with each stride. A few sniffles and sighs floated by her ears. And she was pretty sure that the repetitive honking sound was someone blowing their nose. She swallowed the giggle that bubbled up in her throat. Oh great. That better not cause her to hiccup. Or worse. Dear Lord, please. Give her the ability to control her bodily functions for ten more steps.

Hands holding roses dangled in the aisles. Hands that belonged to people who have left a mark on her heart. As Rachel passed she collected the flowers from family and friends. It meant more to her than holding bridal bouquet, she was clutching memories.

Then…the world stopped. Well, not really. But to her, the moment he came in view, her surroundings faded. Now, it was just him and her. Scott and Rachel.

Man alive, the way he filled that Italian suit sent shivers to her toes. But what arrested her heart was the way he looked at her. His bronze-colored eyes held a watery sheen. Come on, ankles, don’t give out on me.

When the preacher went to procure the communion elements, Scott leaned her direction. “Rachy…you’re stunning.” Mercy, there was that look again.

The reverend better hurry before her mascara decides to stripe her face. Her fault for not wearing waterproof? Dumb.

“No tears, Fuzzhead.” A smile played on his lips. Fuzzhead, his nickname for her when she was fourteen. Goodness, has six years really passed? Six years of drawing hearts around his name. Six years of dreaming for this day to come. This day. She bit her lip, tasting the grit of her lipstick.

The preacher returned and handed them the communion elements. Gazing at the bread and the juice in her hands, she had a I-get-it moment. This was deeper than a formality. Bigger than a poofy dress and fancy hair. It was in essence about Him—Jesus. How He surrendered His life for the church. To cleanse her. To beautify her. To make her who she was destined to be, by the forfeit of His life. That was love. Devotion. Sacrifice.

Lord, help me see. Let our marriage be worthy of Your shed blood. For You to be our focus.

In unison, they partook of the elements. Scott caught up her hand in his. The warmth of his grip melted her heart. She smiled at him, the first man to hold her hand. To tell her she was beautiful. To say those coveted words—I love you.

A peace settled in her soul. It didn’t matter if there was one more difficulty to face. One more quandary before her freedom was secured. Things were different. Fear had no hold on her. She lifted her chin, setting her sights on the wooden cross above the baptismal. It was time to stare into the Son.



Thanks for reading! It was gushy, I know. But truth can get oohey gooey, right? Don’t forget about the giveaway, the three e-book series The Mark of the Lion—a thank you from me for reading my post. To enter, just leave a comment below. Tell me your favorite love story, a fun memory of your own, or just say Hi!

I will announce the winner on Friday’s post. Thanks, friends 🙂


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