The Race Down the Aisle - Guest Post by Amber Wilkinson (Amanda's Sister)

Like a bride waiting for her groom, We'll be a Church, READY for You. Every heart LONGING for our KING, We Sing Even so COME, Lord Jesus COME.

We sang this beautiful song in church a few weeks ago. It literally gave me goosebumps from head to toe. Not only did it give me a greater appreciation for the day Jesus returns, it also took my heart and mind back to a day that is one of the MOST memorable and cherished days of my life. There are very few memories that I will treasure as much as my wedding day. Of course, I will always remember it as the day I married the love of my life, but it will forever be extra special as it is the day I had the privilege of sharing with my best friend and sister, Amanda Grace.

For those of you who attended our double wedding, you heard the story of how God brought the four of us together. I met my husband, Gavin, in 8th grade, and fell in love with him over the next 10 years as we dated (and broke up) and dated (and broke up) and...well, you get the picture! God had a perfect plan for us, and used the most incredible circumstances to bring us together (it's a very long story). He also used Gavin to introduce his best friend Davey (who he met in college) to my sister Amanda! I will never forget the day Gavin called me and said - "I have the perfect guy for Amanda". Ok. Sure. Amanda just rolled her eyes as if she were flattered and annoyed at the same time. She told me several times not to get my hopes up as "these things NEVER work out." But of course, I DID get my hopes up! They met on a blind date, and it was LOVE at first sight. Over the next year, I got to be in on every detail of their relationship - and I have never been MORE convinced that two people could literally be so PERFECT for each other.

But really? A double wedding? Who does that? Well, we did. Partly to save money (I mean our guest lists were basically identical), and partly because we like to be unique. We had never been to a double wedding, and there were definitely moments when I think we both wondered what we were getting ourselves into. If you know Amanda and me at all, you know that we have very similar yet extremely different tastes when it comes to specific things - oh you know, like wedding colors and bridesmaid dresses, and what type of flowers we wanted and where we wanted to get married. However, I'm still in awe when I think about how each detail came together so perfectly, and in a way that showed both of our styles and personalities.

Someone asked me while we were planning - "Isn't it so hard to have to share YOUR day with your sister?" Actually, there is no one else I would rather share this day with. No one else I would want standing by my side. No one else I would want to spend hours and hours (and more hours) making flower bouquets and hand-writing invitations with. No one else I would want to squeal with as we found our perfect dresses - at the same place - on the same day. No one else I would want to share our Mom with as she ran from room to room helping us get into those dresses on the big day. No one else I would want to share our Dad with as we danced arm-in-arm down the aisle to our favorite song - "Goin' To The Chapel". No one else I would want to laugh with through our brother's entire "charge" he gave to us during our wedding ceremony. No one else I would want by my side as we said our vows to our husbands. No one else I would want squeezing my hand as we cried listening to our wedding party pray over us and our marriages. No one else I would want to race down the aisle with at the end of our wedding as hundreds of our friends and family cheered with us. No one else I would want to have next to me as we tossed our bouquets over the banister. No one else would I want in the car next to me waving goodbye as we drove away to our (separate) honeymoons. No one else in this entire world I would rather share this day with than MY sister, Amanda Grace.

This picture says it all. We trash-talked all day about who would win the race down the aisle. I always claim to have "let her win", but she ACTUALLY beat me. She beat me to heaven too. And as I think about our wedding day we shared together, I can't help but think about the eternity we will get to share together. And I can't wait for the day I get to see Jesus. I want to be READY. I want to have a LONGING for my King above anything else in this world. I want HIM to come back NOW more than ever before. If there is ANYONE I know who was literally RACING down heaven's gates to get to Jesus, it was Amanda. I've never been MORE convinced that she was READY. Her heart LONGED for Heaven. And she is with Her KING.

Even so, Come. Lord Jesus Come.