This was my wedding speech, word for word…
When I was an 8 year old girl, I was intelligent and ambitious enough to know that I wanted a career and a beautiful marriage and family. I would kneel down in church every week for probably a year and repeat the prayer: ‘Dear Lord, please let me live long so that I could see what career I have and what my husband and children look like’. I was ambitious and intelligent but I was also more so naive. Firstly, why ask God to let me live only until I can see these things? Why not ask God to give me life into my 80s or 90s so I could grow old with my family and friends and devote years to my craft? Why not pray, Lord, help me to live a long and gorgeous life made up of tiny moments, none of which I let pass without praising you.
I am now pregnant, married and working in a job in which I get to be creative, autonomous and innovative in a sector I love. God has answered my prayers, but now I want to start a new prayer, one which I will pray, not just at church, but every morning I wake up — Jesus, thank you for all that you have blessed me with, please help me to love my career, my colleagues, my husband, my family and all those around me with a revolutionary love, as long as I live.’ This is my heart’s prayer because as 1 Corinthians 13 says, ‘If you have all of these things but you do not have love, you have nothing.’ I desire to love.
The wonderful thing is that because this prayer has been in my heart for years now and without me having to say it in words or a formal prayer to God, he has begun to answer it. The reason I am standing here today, married to Henry, is because Jesus has begun to answer that prayer. He has taken my heart, that heart which at one point honestly believed there wasn’t a single person in the world who truly loved me, that heart that never let a man, or any friend come too near to it, that heart that was so afraid to give that I couldn’t be taken. He took it, he held it in His hands as I gave Him my life and he raised it up with Him as I rose with him into a new life.
Here are just four ways in which Jesus has worked miracles with my heart:
- I used to be fiercely independent. I lived many a time on my own in London. I never really had friends I would see often , but I would always be around people. I liked novelty, I liked meeting new people, I liked being in new surroundings and experiencing new things. I travelled to Italy alone twice and enjoyed the company of strangers. I moved to London alone and never ran out things to explore and people to meet. I lived in Paris for three months without knowing anyone before I moved there, but never spent a week on my own. I took jobs, short terms jobs, internships, that I could leave after three or six months so that I didn’t have to put my roots anywhere. I didn’t really have roots. I didn’t really invest in anyone, only in experiences with people. But when Henry entered my life, I wanted to talk to him every day, and I did. I lived in a five bedroom house on my own in Kingston and every day after work I would call him and we would talk, about life, we would pray together, we would laugh, I would enjoy it, more and more every day. We would meet up sometimes and we would laugh more. Until one night we met up, and I kissed him (heheh) because I had really grown so fond of him. A kiss always changes everything, he was by then the best friend I ever had, the one who bailed me out of Paris when everything went wrong, who made me feel loved when I was most lonely, the man who never asked for anything more than my company. The one who always listened. I found, over time, that with him, I couldn’t be independent, I didn’t want to be. I needed him, I wanted him, and most of all, I wanted to share everything with him. I would say that Jesus softened my heart, brought a man into my life who was gentle enough to enter it with care, and gave me the strength, the trust, the faith and the love to let him stay there. Ever since that summer of 2013 when I fell in love with Henry, despite me breaking up with him and telling him to move on the first time, he has never left my heart. Jesus protected, sustained and nurtured that love until this day
- I was selfish. I have proof. I never really did anything around the house while my parents did literally everything for me. I didn’t say thank you. I had my own brother tell me I acted like I was entitled to everything and that I was unappreciative. I have had three very close friends tell me that I was selfish and cease being my friends. I really never gave enough for anything to be at stake and truly never had the desire to give. I was rude and always defended myself, never thought anyone else’s ideas were worth listening to and pointed fingers at everyone else for my own failures. But I remember the moment before I lunged across the table in that French restaurant in Covent Garden to kiss Henry for the first time. He had suddenly sunken into a low moment as he remembered his father, who had died a few years before. He was telling me how much he missed him. He was also telling me that he had seen his ex-girlfriend’s family for the first time the week before and if heartbreak could be expressed in the face then there it was plain and clear on his. Immediately my heart leapt before me, and took me with it across the table, it wanted to kiss him, to hug him and to say, don’t be sad, I am here, I want to love you, I want to be that love that you have lost, I want to make you smile, to give you the family that you lost, to be your wife, your best friend, I want to make you a father, the father of my child, and to experience that love again, the love between father and son. All of that was in one kiss — because to Henry, I wanted to give, everything. Jesus has again weaved his beautiful nature into my heart and opened the eyes of my heart to how beautiful, precious and sweet Henry was. In that moment I saw him the way Jesus sees Him, and I knew, that giving to Henry would be a pleasure, not a pain. Though I am not perfect and I still withhold things from him, Jesus has made me brave enough to open my heart, my arms, my mind, my world, my everything to Henry, to let him into literally every single corner of myself, even that of my spirit. And though this true nakedness has caused so much turmoil, it is a pleasure to be so naked, for once, and still feel so loved.
- I was unfaithful. I never had the balls to commit to anything. Up until my current job I had never had a job longer than 7 months or a relationship longer than 3 months. I had never lived in a house more than a year and I had changed my degree three times and my career path more times than that. I loved God but I was tossed by the winds of the world, never really standing up for the God who loves me so much, never really showing in my character a real reflection of the magnificent creator of the universe. I felt incapable of committing, of being faithful, of diving in all the way, the shallow just enough for me. Dipping into an experience. Investing in experiences not people. It took me a lot to even get with Henry the first time in 2013 as I was dead scared and had a world of doubts. Even after that I broke up with him thinking I was going to ruin him with my recklessness. I struggled the whole of 2014 thinking that I loved him so much but battling the thoughts that prevented me from committing to him. I even told him to move on in 2014 because I would never love him the way he deserved. But around this same time Jesus was taking me on a journey. He was showing me that when he died on the cross and rose again, he defeated the enemy, and darkness. He defeated the darkness that resides in my heart, He defeated the fear that cripples me, He defeated the compelling lies of the enemy which make me a slave to sin, to unfaithfulness, to my own self-doubt. He took me to india where I gave 6 weeks to serving a small church there, teaching at a slum school, teaching football to slum children and running a camp for underprivileged children. There Jesus told me: ‘You are no longer a slave to sin’, and there I was freed from my fear of commitment. In India He also told me: ‘Bianca, your love is beautiful, go and love with a beautiful love, you have it in you like a well-spring ready to flow out, let it flow.’ It was during a sermon in India about Joseph; how committed Joseph was and how he took Mary as his wife even though the situation was so uncertain, it was there that Jesus spoke to my heart: ‘do not be afraid to commit to Henry, to take him as your husband, for I will protect, sustain, strengthen and nurture that commitment and ensure that it will bear fruit.’ I emailed Henry soon after and since then have committed to him in my heart, forever, and even though it has been phenomenally difficult at times, it has also been amazingly rewarding — a spectacular journey of love and friendship, between Henry and I and Jesus.
- I was proud. I knew everything. In every job I had to prove that I knew everything. I aimed always to be the most innovative, the smartest or the most impressive. I refused to work as a team, preferring to be autonomous since I knew best and did best anyway. I rebelled against authority because even those with years of experience don’t know as much as I did. I found it terribly difficult to say sorry when I did things wrong and I shunned any form of criticism of my work or of me. The truth is that I’m still very proud but Jesus has humbled me in so many ways by taking away my security, by speaking to my conscience and making it hard for me to bulldoze my way by in life without feeling the guilt. He took away my defences and He forced me to rely on others even for food and more recently for emotional support. He sent me Henry, who often a victim of my pride, calls me out on it, reacts strongly to it and refuses to accept it. Because I love Henry, when I see the damage my pride causes to him, the lack of respect he feels, how belittling I could be, how hurt it makes him to be treated like he’s inadequate or not smart enough, as I have tried to prove that I am better in everything. As I see how it hurts him, I break every time. Jesus, living within me, has made my heart more empathetic, wanting and hoping for things that aren’t just to benefit me — things like unity, making others feel loved, giving time to people, understanding others, helping others to heal and motivating others. Literally I can’t explain it any other way. At once I was brutally selfish, now I have the capacity and a stronger desire to love and a weakened need to prove myself.
By all of this I hope to have illustrated that I owe everything to Jesus and can’t go without saying thank you to Him for bringing Henry into my life, giving me a heart for him and for this lifelong commitment. I now can’t imagine anything better than sharing and spending life with my best friend Henry Mungalsingh. Here’s to the tremendous gift that is love, always coming from the source of God’s true love and always staying alive by the transforming power of His phenomenal heart for us, His beloved children.