A Forceful Presence

A Forceful Presence

“And suddenly there came a sound
from heaven,
as of a rushing mighty wind . . .”
Acts 2:2 (KJV)

            Six weeks before my twentieth birthday, I was getting married.

            It was the time in young girls’ lives when we’d all graduated and gotten jobs. The next step was getting married. I looked forward to being a wife very much, and was determined to go through with the wedding even after my fiancé’s aunt and uncle warned me that it was not a good idea.  “Are you sure you should go through with this?” they asked in concern.

            As the wedding day approached, my excitement grew. When the day dawned, it was bright and sunny. “You know you don’t have to do this, don’t you?” my mother said before we went into the church. Maybe I did, but I wasn’t backing out.

            Right before the ceremony, my dad walked me in the back door of the church. To get to the altar, we had to make a right-hand turn.

            When I made that right-hand turn, a forceful wind pushed me back. I knew immediately it was the Holy Spirit, but I wanted so desperately to be married, I tried to convince myself everything would turn out well.

            “I can make it work,” I repeated to myself as Dad and I made our way down the aisle. I remember little of the wedding ceremony except my debate with the Holy Spirit.

            “I can do this,” I reasoned. “Just give me a chance. I can, I’ll show you. I can, I’ll prove it!”

            Through all my protestations, the Holy Spirit never wavered. It remained right up in my face.

            Nonetheless, I went through with the wedding, and needless to say, the marriage did not work. That made me sad because I thought I would be excommunicated from the church. (I wasn’t!)

            Years later, when my mother and I discussed my early marriage, I finally told her about being pushed back by a forceful wind.

            “I felt it, too,” she said in awe. “It took my breath away!”  Joan McCarthy