Updated: Oct 8
A brief recap of my testimony, followed by a beautiful message inspired by God concerning the Feast of Tabernacles:
Many years ago, I separated from my boyfriend Joe, entering a time of great heartache. God led me through this desert, using it to bring transformation in me. One of the ways that God showed up for me in the desert was by speaking directly to me for the first time, giving me a promise. He said, “Susan, you and Joe will be together.”
I fell more in love with the Lord.
Shortly after, God confirmed His promise to me by writing Joe’s name in the clouds.
However, despite God’s confirmation my promise didn’t happen right away. In fact, it was 7 years between this moment with the clouds and my wedding day. But God used this waiting season, or this Bridge Story season, as He inspired me to call it, as a means to get His Bride ready for her wedding day.
As it says in Revelation 19:7, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come,and his bride has made herself ready.”
Two of the most important steps that God revealed to me on my journey were first, that we begin living lives that testify to Him, and second, that we begin rehearsing for things to come.
After a lengthy journey to teach me the importance of testifying and calling me to live a life of testifying, God then called me to rehearse. After a retreat on the Biblical Feasts He said, “Susan, if you honor My appointed times, I will honor yours.” Waiting on a promise God gave me to return Joe to me, my own bridegroom, I knew in my heart what God meant. So, I set out that year to honor God’s appointed times and other festivals.
After making it to the end God proved His faithfulness for Joe ended up asking my father for my hand in marriage. God was faithful! My promised bridegroom had come. And I walked across that bridge from promise to fulfillment.
After my Bridge Story waiting season came to an end, or my wedding preparation season, after I had accepted God’s call to live a life of testifying to Jesus and had rehearsed, in His eyes I became a bride made ready, for my wedding day finally came. Almost exactly 7 years to the day that God wrote Joe’s name in the clouds, I married him. And only in God’s way, by His doing, did our wedding represent all 3 fall feasts - the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
First, the Feast of Trumpets:
During my Feast of Trumpets message, I shared about how the shofar sounded at our wedding, shocking us all for we had not been told the wedding was starting and I almost took off my dress to use the restroom one last time. But something inside of me stopped me and I the am so glad for -
Without a warning the trumpet sounded and at that point we didn't have time for anything else. Good thing I was ready! Dressed in white and ready to go! I knew God was speaking,
For, someday all of us, without warning will hear that shofar, that final trumpet blast. I pray we are all ready.
Second, the Day of Atonement:
What truly made me ready? Was it really the fact that I had my white wedding dress on? No. For due to his love for me Joe would have married me while wearing anything. But this wasn’t always the case, for there was a time when I was so ugly, consumed with my idol worship that I wouldn’t have married me. But as it was, my journey of transformation had made me new, or renewed. But even this was a journey made possible first and foremost by the Blood of the Lamb, the covering of Christ. His atoning sacrifice, His shed blood is what makes us a pure and spotless bride as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). He truly is the “dress” that adorns us and the only One that can truly renew us.
Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles:
At first, I wasn’t sure how God included this feast into my story, but God then assured me that He would give me the words to say. The following day, He woke me up at 1:20am with a warm sensation in my heart followed by an instant vision in my mind and a clear message that followed. I wondered why God chose to wake me up in the middle of the night to give me these words regarding Tabernacles but then what instantly came to my mind was a verse from Matthew 24 where Jesus talks about the Bridegroom coming like a thief in the night. He will come like a thief in the night to tabernacle with us. So, what better time to commune with God over this idea.
Well, the clear vision and message that God woke me up to give me was this, that JOE, my bridegroom, provided the huppah, the covering. He was the one determined that we have a huppah. He designed it and built it completely by himself with the help of his father. He constructed a beautiful wooden wall and then made the poles that held the beautiful white linen covering. He then decorated it with wood stumps, flowers, and lanterns.
I had very little to do with this. The only thing I added to the final set up of the huppah was being led to place a menorah on the table under it. Wanting a Jewish inspired wedding but still longing to embrace the fact that I was a Gentile, I briefly struggled with using a menorah instead of just candles until God led me to the perfect thing. It was in fact a menorah but it’s base was the grafted in symbol. It had the ichthus (the Christian fish symbol) with a cross in the middle. It was Perfect!
I remember, during my bridge story waiting season, asking God a question. I did so during a moment of weakness, and I say weakness, because I didn’t just ask Him a question, I screamed it at Him in anger. But in His mercy, He chose to answer me anyway. I asked Him, “What are You waiting for?” I believed His promise. He had woven many stories into my life that I had written down and had faithfully begun to share, even with Joe. And through this testifying Joe had returned to me for the most part. So, I didn’t understand what I was still waiting for. Why the delay? Do we not all find ourselves thinking the same thing, wanting to ask God the same question in regards to Christ’s return, and also almost in a frustrated, angerly way?
Well, to help us all with this frustration, here was God’s merciful reply. He answered “For the moment when My glory will be best revealed.”
You see, I didn’t understand God’s timing then but now I see. He wants ALL at the wedding feast of the Lamb. He waited for a time in my life, a time He orchestrated, when both Jews and Gentiles would be represented at my wedding. For if you knew my background and the church I grew up in, what a testament this would be to you. For had Joe and I gotten married when I first wanted to marry him, the attendance at our wedding would have looked a lot different. But as it was, at this perfect time in our life, we had both Gentiles and Jews at our wedding. We also had both Jew and Gentile Davidic dancers at our wedding that danced dressed in white.
Only God. We are grafted in. We are all invited.
So, as I walked toward my bridegroom’s covering, the huppah that he had made just for me, I will never forget his face. It was the most beautiful face I had ever seen, one that was truly inviting me to come and tabernacle with him.
I actually saw that same face again last Saturday on the first day of Fall. Between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, Joe and I went to a museum that we have in Kansas that revolves around the birth of Christ. While there, at one point, while listening to a beautiful worship song and looking upon a scene that reflected the moment of Christ’s birth, Joe walked up and stood next to this scene and began looking straight at me. Once again there was that face, and deep within I just knew that it was Christ looking at me through Joe. For this face that smiled and beamed at me penetrated my soul. I then noticed something else, that directly on the other side of Joe was a beautiful tent canopy that they had erected to represent the Feast of Tabernacles. And in that moment, knowing based on my testimony just how much God uses Joe to represent Christ’s return, God brought a phrase strongly to my mind. It was: He came once to tabernacle with us and He is coming again.
Standing between a symbol of Christ’s birth and a symbol of His return, there was the ultimate Bridge Story but it wasn’t yet complete. It is a two-part bridge just as God has revealed to me that Revelation 12:11 is a two-part verse. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Jesus came once to tabernacle with us as a baby and grew up to become the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world, forming the first part of the bridge, but the second part belongs to us. The second half of the bridge, the half that starts where Christ left off is still incomplete for God is waiting on us. He is waiting on us to testify, to also give birth, like Mary, to the Word of our testimonies for the enemy is defeated once again by the Word of our testimonies. Christ is the Word of our testimonies which is why we also hold the same power.
So, I testify that God’s appointed times are alive and well and that He is still using them to speak. For they truly are set up and set apart to be rehearsals for things to come. So, as you reflect on them, especially upon the Feast of Tabernacles, I hope that you feel that nudge, the invitation of Christ reminding you of how He longs for His wedding day to you. He is looking upon all of us with that same FACE, longing once again to tabernacle with us, which is why He also longs/NEEDS for us all to make ourselves ready, to get His Bride ready, by rehearsing and collectively living lives that testify to Him, our ultimate Bridegroom. For, He knows that our collective testimonies will complete that great bridge, that final Bridge Story that will lead others to Christ, both Jew and Gentile, in this final hour, for God wants all at the true wedding feast of the Lamb and for all to join Him under His covering. Amen and amen.