The Wedding

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

I woke up to birds chirping from outside my window. The sun shown through the shades and spread warmth inside my bedroom. I awoke with anticipation of the day. This day that I had long been waiting for. It was finally here, today was my wedding day.

I got up to pee but quickly returned to my bed as I was eager to sit in the knowing of the day. I didn’t want it to pass too quickly. I wanted to savor each and every moment.  I also had to finish my vows. Although I had things written down, I didn't like any of it and I was hoping for inspiration from the day.

Words flooded my mind and soon flooded my paper. As they poured out, Madeleline carried my things downstairs and greeted the other bridesmaids who had come over for breakfast.

I quickly finished my vows, relieved that I had something. I tore them out of my journal, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, packed my last things and made my way downstairs.

There sitting/standing around our island were my friends and family. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such love. I was very thankful, faintly remembering what it had been like just months before.

I passed out the presents I had put together and the shirts I had made. We finished breakfast {though I barely ate anything}, loaded the cars and made our way to the nearest Starbucks—because apparently you get free Starbucks on your wedding day.

The sky was a radiant blue housing wispy clouds a stark contrast to the lushes green of the trees and grass. It was an extraordinarily beautiful day, yet another prayer answered.

We stopped at Target {which held the nearest Starbucks}, got our drinks and made our way to the Lodge where we were getting married at. With each passing mile my nerves deepened, not the kind you have before a race or a recital-where you are terrified you will mess up or something awful will happen-but the kind that are naturally built into excitement.

We had been waiting for this day for what seemed like forever. This was the day that our lives were to become one, that our souls were to mingle and our hearts join as we vowed our life to one another.

As we pulled into the Lodge it was already busy with preparations. Everyone was scurrying around unloading things from the cars and bringing them inside. Decorations were being placed, flowers were put into vases, signs were being strewn up.

I was quickly pulled away to begin my own preparations and relaxation {despite my protest}. My best friend Madeleine’s sister did my hair for the wedding and we quietly sat away from the hustle and bustle listening to music and talking. Little by little my other bridesmaid’s joined us in the back room and got ready. It was a simple scene, not a lot of makeup flying around, no rushing, soft, quiet.

Time passed and we took some pictures outside. I cried with my mom and mother-in-law and wiped tears from Maddie’s eyes. I prayed with B and soon the guests started to arrive.

Before I knew it music had begun and my cousins were laying down the runner. My bridesmaids trickled down the isle leaving my father and I standing in the doorway. Chairs shuffled and we began to walk.

The faces starring at me were a blur as we walked down the isle. I had no thought of looking to see who was there, instead I was focused on the one standing at the end of the isle looking at me. I was also crying.

There were a lot of tears shed during the ceremony. Our pastor welcomed everyone, Maddie read from Isaiah, our pastor proclaimed the immense love Jesus has that allows us to love as he shared the Gospel with our friends and family.

Then B and I shared our vows. I read my vows first but barely got a word in before I lost it. I took several long pauses in between words so that I could be understood. I shared a bit of our story, how B made me feel and how beautiful he is to me. He shared about our friendship and how he had waited for me, how he had always known he would marry me. We exchanged more traditional vows, rings and happily and eagerly kissed! 

We walked down the isle hand in hand as Mr. and Mrs.

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

We greeted everyone as they exited the ceremony and made there way into the reception area. Everyone was eager to greet us and congratulate us {the exact opposite of when we got engaged}.

We took pictures outside and made our way into the reception. I was thrilled to be Mrs. B. Oh how glorious it sounded ringing loud across the Lodge. Everyone stood and cheered as we walked in to John Mayer’s Wildfire. We ate food, we danced, we talked, cried, laughed. Joy was certainly overflowing from our hearts.

Somewhere in the magic of the night, B’s dad took hold of the microphone and took people through our story, revealing things even I had never realized. He talked about how he and B’s momma had prayed for B’s wife that she would be protected, kept safe. B himself had prayed those thoughts, and here I stood never having a broken heart, never having been hurt because I had never really had a boyfriend before B.

B’s dad talked about how the Lord had brought us together and cultivated our relationship, building it out of our childhood friendship and into a blossoming marriage.

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

Through his words I was able to see all the Lord had done, how intricate and wonderful his plan was. In hind site I saw all the pieces he had placed and in the moment my heart sang in praise of his glorious design. Oh how great is our God that he gave us such a story.

Our story is one of faith, walking in the light of a living God who provides all we could ever need. When people opposed us and saw us as silly and foolish, God showed faithfulness providing everything when we had nothing.

Our story is one of love. The love that was poured out for us on the cross, calling us home, marking us as sons and daughters. That same love that has been given to us to lavish on one another in the shadow of his abundance.

On that August night our love was on display for all to witness and embrace. It could be felt as it marked that place in time. Our love was so deep, so enriching, so joyful that it pointed to a larger source than we ourselves could muster. That August night was a small taste of the love the Father has for all his children.

We are just mere vessels for his abundant love.

As we feasted on BBQ and green beans, celebrating the new bride and groom we were taking part in a larger story. It is one with a bride and groom, with a feast and a celebration but it has yet to happen. We live in the now but not yet.

The bride foolish and naïve was rescued, saved by the strong and loving groom. He bought her with his own blood, pouring it out on Calvary to be able to take his bride home. When she finally arrives there will be a feast, a massive celebration with food, laughing, dancing, celebrating. A wedding like the world has never seen.

Our wedding was extraordinarily beautiful, much like the day God provided. It was seemingly perfect. There is not one thing I would change, but it is just a mere glimpse of what is to come.

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

original photo curtesy of Eldreth Photography.

Marriage, weddings are reminders of the greater purpose. They are real life examples of the larger story, the bigger picture, in the land of milk and honey.

B and I left with hugs and kisses, hands shot in the air celebrating the new beginning that had finally begun! We were sailing off, boat afloat in the water God provided {if you allow me to use the analogy}. 

We got in our car and drove away into a full moon. Our adventure had begun and we were off to get to know one another amidst the mountains of North Carolina.