The Labyrinth: A Bridal Journey
At our church’s women’s retreat last year, we were able to experience something that was new to most of us… walking a labyrinth.
While skeptical at first, but trusting the leadership, I jumped in.
A labyrinth is basically a maze drawn on the ground, in this case on a cloth laid on a ground. You walk on it to the middle, and allow the Holy Spirit to talk with you as you journey together.
So, began my journey…
My experience with the Labyrinth actually began three days prior as the Lord prepared me for what He wanted to do. I came into this weekend with some huge things Abba was moving me towards, and yet I felt ill-equipped to carry it out. I needed my heart settled and prepared for what was ahead.
As I stepped on the Labyrinth, I began to see what some would call an open vision. The Bridegroom, Jesus, took me by the arm and said, “We are going on a bridal journey.” The first thing I noticed was how handsome, gentle, and kind He is. I was taken aback by His beauty. He showed me a gorgeous wedding dress, and said it was time to get dressed. As I thought about that, I realized that I was still wearing a garment of shame and had a cloak of fear on my neck. Gently, He asked me if He could take that now. I was was afraid of being exposed in front of Him, but He caringly whispered, ” I will not expose my bride. You will be covered with a robe.” Still, I hesitated, and He said that He wanted to exchange wedding gifts. He showed me a box to put my garments in. That was to be His wedding gift from me. So, I put my garments of shame and fear in the box. Placing the lid on, it was quickly taken away.
As I opened the gift from Him, there was a large, stunning engagement ring in it. I stumbled over my words and said, “This is too much. I can’t take this.” He just looked at my with his kind eyes saying, “This is what I want you to have.” I allowed Him to slip it on my finger. Next, He said, “I need to wash you now.” He gently asked me first, as He washed each part of me. As we got to the feet, again, I felt like this was just too much, to which He replied, “I have to wash these too, dear one.”
We began the process of putting on the dress, the hosiery, and the shoes (They were glass slippers of course.). Next, He began to open gifts, and give me jewels. Every time he opened a box, I protested, “Jesus, this is too much. I can’t accept that.” Over and over He would say, “Daughter, bride, I want you to have this.” I would accept. He gave me an amazing necklace, bracelet, and finally a crown that out shone anything I’ve ever seen on any queen. I was overcome with emotion. Even though I was now dressed in these incredible things, as we walked, I felt awkwardly deformed, like nothing fit right. Somehow wearing these things only made my deformity stand out more.
He asked me to look into a mirror. I wouldn’t. I told him how I felt. He took me back to my mother’s womb, and said I created you here. I knit you together for a beautiful purpose and reason. He then showed me the part of me that had been with him all through the years of me growing up, when I was going through torturous abuse. I was dancing, playing, running over hills with him. He said, “I kept you safe right here with me as you suffered. I protected the inner part of you here with me, until you were grown up and it was safe. You are not broken. You are not deformed. Look into the mirror now.” I thought I’d see deformity, someone ugly, untouchable, but instead I saw fire in my eyes. The fire of Holy love. I saw beauty. I cried.
Next, he gave me a diamond vase that was made of small pieces, broken pieces fused together. I was afraid I’d drop it. He said when he put together brokenness, it is indestructible. You can’t break it. He said it held all my tears and brokenness. It was precious to him.
He kept telling me over and over that this is the place of intimacy that I fight from, where I live from. Here the enemy couldn’t touch me. He kept repeating over and over that there was no evil in me. But only light. Taking him by the arm, we walked down the aisle. Arm in arm with Him, I wouldn’t stumble and fall again. “Out of this intimacy is where you fight and win.”, He said over and over again.
So we walked together to the altar. He said His vows to me. That He’d never leave me. That nothing would cause us to be separated. That His love is forever and ever. That everything I have is His and everything He has is mine.
I said my vows to him. That I would respond to his love.
We both said, “I do.” We take each other.
Then he kissed me in a holy, loving way.
After this, He said, ” Now I need to prepare you.” He began to show me my armor. I wish I could put to words how pure it looked. It was sparkling white, brilliant. He gave me each piece. The breastplate was especially bright. Then he placed the belt around my waist. I was worried about my wedding attire, that I would have to take it off. He said the armor fits right over it. So, he slipped on the boots, and helmet. I picked up the shield, which became like a force field around me. Finally, He showed me the sword. It was brilliant as well, golden and studded with gems on the hilt. He asked me to pick it up. As I did, I saw it said “Praise”. I turned it over in my hand and it said “Word of God”. I flipped it back over and it read “Intercession/ prayer”. It was amazing.
As we walked out of the labyrinth together, I felt my bridegroom beside me saying, “We will walk this out together, arm in arm, from this place of intimacy, with my authority, because it all belongs to you. You have my name. All my authority is given to you, because you are married to me. Everything I have is yours. Everything you have is mine. You are mine and belong to me. Dream with me now!
To ensure I would not chalk all that up to an over active imagination, one of my prayer buddies from home sent me these scripture verses shortly after I had completed walking it. As I looked up a text message appeared on my phone, I read Isaiah 61:10 “…he has clothed me with the garment of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. and also, Romans 13:11-12 …”put on the armor of light.” She had been up that morning praying for me to see myself as the bride.
It has been several months since this event. I wish I could say that I have remembered these images and words in the heat of every battle. Some days, I’ve run away scared. Others, I have followed my love and seen victory. Though this experience is very personal to me, I felt the Lord wanted me to share this. We are the bride of Christ, and He is getting His bride ready for the wedding day. Take His hand and journey with Him.