15 years ago,
I woke up to bright sunshine after a night of little sleep. Anticipation, nerves, and excitement ran through my veins, and every moment felt new, sharp with sweetness and excitement.
My soon-to-be husband, my dad, and my uncle all unloaded a moveable floor onto my parents back lawn next to their old patio. Instant dance floor.
My mom, my aunt, my best friend, and I folded a few more origami cranes, and walked through the plans for the food. We didn't have caterers, but family and friends would all pitch in to make sure the trays of food were put out and taken away at the reception. (In reality, I think my aunt and a church friend did 90 percent of the work.)
A friend of ours from our church brought my finished dress, and I eagerly put it on. It was perfectly lovely, and just right for me. Designed by a talented woman, stitched with care, and with added features like snaps to hold up the short train of my dress when I wanted to dance later, and the flowing sleeves to hide my surgery scars on my arms but not constrict my ability to hug everyone. No shop dress could have been as beautiful or fitting.
My shoes were another matter, purchased to please friends who thought I should wear heels. But I wore them for the ceremony, and the pictures, and then kicked them off to run and dance barefoot at the reception.
The wedding took place in a small brick church, stuffed full of family and friends, some of whom sat in the narthex because of the lack of seats inside. Pastor Martin lovingly conducted the ceremony and said a few short words about marriage. He had planned something a bit longer, but with the heat inside those brick walls, it seemed best to keep it short and sweet.
My aunt stuck her tongue out at my husband to keep him from getting the jitters, and we all shared laughter together throughout the ceremony. My husband's hands were warm just like mine, and we were both nervously happy. Despite dating for five years, we were still slightly cautious about this big step . . .this union between man and woman, husband and wife, bound together by the Holy Spirit, by our Lord Creator, and our Savior. We knew this would be forever, a lifetime commitment.
Then, we celebrated! We were married, we signed the papers, we walked to our reception through a grassy field behind the church, and into my parents back yard blooming with flowers that my family and I had planted just for this day. The apples were ripening on the old apple trees, we were tempted to stop and pick the last blueberries, but we continued on to the crowds at the rented tables, and immediately were swept into one grinning conversation after another.
My cousin and his band started to play fun music, and we danced, and we danced. Then we stopped to eat, and then everyone started to dance. We danced, and talked, and danced again until most of our guests had gone. Some were disgruntled that we didn't follow the "regular procedure" of being swept away in a limo after cutting the cake, but we wanted to celebrate with our friends and family on our wedding day. Our friends and family who stayed understood, and celebrated with us until after the sun went down. My cousin's band said they had never played before for such a lively, fun crowd.
My husband and I went away together, in our car bedecked in well wishes, into our future together, with face muscles that ached from smiling for hours on end.
And today, 15 years later, we are still smiling, and celebrating, still going into the future together with every step and every moment, with our Lord and Savior holding us close in our commitment to each other and to Him.
I am so thankful for my husband, my marriage, for our family and friends, and for our Savior who binds us together at all times, and in all seasons.
"Two are better than one,
because they have good return for their work;
if one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly