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October 7, 2014

As my heart was quieted, in prayer I was transported and found myself in a castle courtyard on a cloudy day. Soon I was surrounded by Irish Christians from the sixth century. I recognized them from the familiar Celtic icons. One, named Ita, brought me a fine bay horse, fully saddled, and helped me astride. I turned briskly and strode out of the castle walls into an ancient oak forest at a full canter yet having no idea where I was going, just knowing I must go. The medieval lane was densely overgrown and foreboding on either side, yet I told myself, this is no time for fear, just keep riding.

After a very short while I arrived at a clearing with yet another castle. The drawbridge was down and before I knew it my mount passed without hesitation over the bridge and inside the walls where she came to a halt. I looked for some sign of life and the drawbridge mysteriously went up and its massive doors closed behind me. Strangely, I felt safe even though the courtyard and balconies were completely deserted. I dismounted and began to explore a lengthy stone corridor. It ended at two massive doors. Without hesitation I opened one and stepped into a small, Gothic chapel with graceful pillars supporting filigreed arches. High above the altar was a spectacular rosette window showering gently diffused colors all throughout the lofty chamber. There was not a soul in the whole place. It seemed like a secret chapel in a fairy tale land and I wondered, "Why am I here?"

Before I could even consider the answer the rosette window exploded with color and the Lord Jesus descended into the room amidst a golden shaft of light. He was dressed in a festive white bridal garment and stood in the front of the church as if waiting for His Bride. A wave of sweetness rushed into me when our eyes met and I realized it was our wedding day and He was waiting for me. In the next moment I was taken out of my body looking down on this whole scene from the choir loft high in the back of the church. I saw myself standing in the very center of the church dressed in an exquisite wedding gown adorned with pearlescent folded dove wings from the back of my neck to my waist, and from there down shimmery white satin embroidered with pearls cascading onto the marble floor three feet around me. A glorious rosette of angels surrounded me. They were plaiting my hair with pearls and working beneath my veil to put the finishing touches in my hair, preparing me for my heavenly spouse.

Finally they were finished and an angel stepped forward. After a moment's consideration I realized, "You are my guardian angel." I had never seen him with such clarity before. He was tall, light-haired, and had a bearing of stately dignity, formidable power, yet emanating a gentleness wrapped in soft, platinum light. He took one last look at me; his sparkling eyes betrayed a hint of bittersweet joy. This was his last day with me, the day we had all been waiting for, the day he would deliver me safe and sound to my heavenly spouse, his assignment successfully accomplished. A lightning swift thought pierced my heart, "How can I thank you my angel? How can I ever thank you for faithfully standing by me and rarely getting an acknowledgement from me? How can I ever?" He kissed my cheek and lifted my arm unto his as we processed up the aisle to Jesus, who was beaming with joy and anticipation.

Truly it was a fairy tale wedding beyond my comprehension. It was as if my own actions were completely suspended and I was riding an invisible escalator moving me along to the inevitable destiny of joy I had looked forward to all of my Christian life. As I stood before the Lord, the love of my life, the One who had forgiven me my failure, failure after failure, the One who never tired of giving me another chance, the One who upheld me and had to live with my darkest side, as I stood before Him that old life disappeared like a muddy river flowing into a pristine ocean of mercy, completely cleansing me of every impurity. He took a golden ring with three sparkling marquis diamonds and placed it on my finger saying, "With this ring I thee wed," and then kissed me tenderly. Then grasping my right hand we began to lift off the cathedral floor into the air until we had ascended through the rosette window heavenward. I felt enveloped in a sacred wonder that carried me aloft with the spouse of my immortal soul.

We arrived at a palace that appeared to be one giant room open at the entrance with a grand fountain that sprayed delicate curtains of water high in the air. It reminded me of the childhood wonder I had experienced visiting Buckingham Palace fountain in Chicago. Inside, the floors were polished marble and the roof was domed and open in the center letting in a gentle, diffused light. There was no darkness or shadow anywhere, just bright, soft light. The interior was perhaps one hundred feet deep and sixty feet wide with seven grand waterfalls almost reaching the ceiling. There were three on the left, three on the right, each approximately twenty five feet wide that had rock outcroppings with spruce trees, various ferns and flowers between them. At the end of the room stood a massive, fifty foot wide waterfall but in spite of the volume of water flowing it was quiet enough to hear the echoing dove wings as they passed joyfully back and forth. I sensed that all this water flowed from beneath the throne of God the Father and were the headwaters of the river of life.

My right arm was on the Lord's left as He walked with me and I could see my long and ornately pearled bridal train as it swept across the floor. A golden eagle descended from a rocky crag above the first waterfall and landed on my left arm. His talons gently gripped me like human fingers. He was radiant as burnished bronze, intensely focused, and regal as warrior in battle, yet completely at ease on my arm. I sensed he had a special significance and wondered what it was.

Jesus brought me to the first waterfall on the left side. A reclining, white, willow loveseat woven with hearts was waiting invitingly for us. We sat there together appreciating this architectural wonder. I could hardly believe my eyes as the pearlescent water danced and flashed lovely iridescent peacock shades, my very favorites. Magnificent to behold were cascades of water tumbling down, some in gentle sprays, some with great volume. Lavender, aquamarine, periwinkle blue, delicate rose, and satiny white ribbons of color gracefully flowed through the water. Doves flew back and forth, their wings echoing throughout this place of wonder.

The Lord turned and looked deeply into my eyes. "All of this is yours." Not being able to control my thoughts I said, "But I have not yet overcome." He replied, "I have overcome for you. All of this is for you."