A little over 28 years ago, my husband and I stood before God and everyone and exchanged vows.  It was unbiblically hot on that Arizona May afternoon. If sweating was an Olympic event, I would have earned the gold, silver, and bronze medals!

Hours a week before the wedding were spent in a recording studio capturing our rendition of one of our favorite songs.  The product, a perfect cassette tape, was the technology of the day and was cued to play on our special occasion.   Our song was scheduled to be played during communion. It was going to be an epic matrimonial moment.  

NOt always as planned…


But when that part of the service arrived, my soon-to-be husband looked at me with apologetic eyes.  “The tape got ruined.  I am so sorry, love”  

All the eyes in the room were on us. My love whispered, “Please forgive me.  The cassette is damaged.  I did the best I could to salvage it.”

For those of you too young to know the joy of creating a mixtape of your favorite tunes on a cassette tape, or taking a pencil and rewinding said technology, I am praying for you.  The memories of my childhood are equal parts of cassette tapes and hair products.   As a child of the 80s, I could not be more thankful for cassettes. But at this moment, I wished for less fragile technology.

But there was no time to fix the broken cassette ribbon.  The music began and the song played.  Although it was okay, it was the second-best take. The recording of our voices filled the church. It had mistakes, and it had issues. However, the best part was… it had us.    We did our best to honor God with our relationship at that moment and every moment on that day.  On that crazy hot day in May of 1992, we offered our relationship and our future to God.  

Twenty-eight years later, the same is true about our marriage.  We are not perfect.  We make mistakes.  Both of us have issues.  There are places that are broken.  But we have each other.  And 28 years later, we are still desirous to honor God with our relationship every day.

A different Kind of Perfect

Sometimes, things do not work out the way we planned.  In fact, they often do not.   Just like that cassette tape, we had the greatest of intentions. We planned well. Yet, at the end of the day, we are two imperfect people trying to point others to a perfect God.

One of the most amazing things about God is that He takes those weak parts in our lives, the imperfect parts, and displays His grace most beautifully in those parts. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

– 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

I am relieved that in our relationship, Christ is perfected not in our strengths, because those fade.  Christ is perfected in our broken places, in our missed opportunities, and in our imperfection.  His glory is most articulately displayed, not in the admirable areas, but instead, in the areas of lack.  

After all these years, we look back on our wedding day with fondness.  Despite the heat, the big hair, the unflattering bridesmaid’s dresses, and all the components that did not go as planned, our marriage, has been used by God to bless others around us, through us, and despite us.  We are not perfect, but are thankful that God uses people like us, like you, to bring glory to Himself.


Amberly Neese is a popular speaker/teacher, comedian, author, and all-around encourager dedicated to helping you become the joyful person you were created to be.

She helps people like you experience the freedom found in meaningful relationships with God and others. Her bible study, “The Belonging Project: Finding Your Tribe and Learning to Thrive” was released in May 2020 by Abingdon Press.

Amberly is a featured speaker for the Aspire Women’s Events and the main host and female comedian for Marriage Date Night, two popular Christian events that tour nationally.

She and her husband have two teenagers and live in Prescott, Arizona, where they enjoy the great outdoors, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars.

Amberly Neese

Author of “the Belonging Project: Finding Your Tribe and Learning to Thrive” (Abingdon Press, 2020)

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