Love is in the air at our house! All conversation no matter what topic it starts out on ends up being all about THE wedding! How many days left, Judy? All this wedding planning has made me remember 26 years ago when I was planning my own wedding and had everything ready….except for the GROOM!
Jacinto and I knew each other for five years before we got married. When we first met, he did not speak English and I did not speak Spanish, but the spark was there! We started with a long distance relationship writing letters back and forth in the dark ages before emails and text messages. Then we were engaged for one and one half years before we got married because he wanted to finish up his studies at the Bible institute before we got hitched.
We decided to get married in my beautiful home state of Tennessee so the last few months before our wedding date of June 21st I went back home to plan all the wedding details. I found the wedding dress of my dreams, picked my bridesmaids, flower arrangements, cake, decorations, music, etc. Everything was ready except for one BIG problem–where was the groom????
Jacinto had visited the United States several times with a tourist visa. Then his family moved to Florida. At that time it was almost impossible to get a tourist visa if you had family living in the USA because the American consulate claimed you weren’t really going to the USA as a tourist but planned to remain in the country.
Jacinto’s visa had expired so he needed to renew it. As he stood in line waiting for his turn at the USA consulate in Mexico, he knew if he told the truth that his family lived in Florida, he would probably be denied the visa. It would be very easy to lie. No one would know the difference if he said he had no relatives in the USA, but Jacinto thought, “How can I expect God to bless my future ministry serving Him if I don’t tell the truth?” So he determined not to lie. He told the truth, and his visa was DENIED!!!
He called me and told me what had happened. I was not a happy bride to be! A missionary friend told me, “This is Mexico! You can’t tell the truth here! Everything is done under the table or with bribes!” However, Jacinto was determined to be truthful and said if he could not get the visa we would just get married in Mexico. “What about all my wedding plans?” I fretted.
I visited a lawyer to ask for some advice. I was told that there was no way Jacinto would receive his visa in time for the wedding. We would have to change the date, and he would charge us around $1500 to process the paperwork! I left his office feeling very discouraged.
We asked our family and friends to pray with us for his visa. People constantly joked with me, “So you have everything ready for your wedding except the groom, ha ha!” At first it was kinda funny, but as the wedding date got closer and closer I could barely smile stiffly.
A church friend who prayed for us daily suggested I go to a local political office and ask for help. That would never have occurred to me. I went and they sent me to Memphis to the American passport office where I was informed that Jacinto needed a special fiance visa. I filled out all the paperwork myself, and it only cost $40!
We still weren’t home free though. We had to take the paperwork to the USA consulate in Hermosillo and apply for the fiance visa there. By faith, we purchased tickets to fly back to the states. By faith, we went ahead with all our plans to be married in Tennessee. Three weeks before the wedding I flew to Hermosillo to be at Jacinto’s college graduation. After his graduation, we had an appointment at the consulate. I cannot describe how nervous we were going to that meeting. We had many, many people praying for us and that calmed our hearts.
At the consulate we were directed to the office of an official who looked at all the paperwork and congratulated us on our upcoming wedding! He even told Jacinto how he could become a US resident after the marriage! His visa was APPROVED, and we left the consulate floating on air! Yahoo! Here comes the bride and now she knew her truth-telling groom, whom God honored for his integrity, would be waiting for her at the altar!
“A faithful man shall abound with blessings….” Proverbs 28:20