All that rain birthed a veritable Eden in our friends’ backyard. The grass was thick and lush and greener than anything I’d seen in a long time. Everything was blooming. It was the most perfect August day.
Of course it was hot – and then muggy. And everyone running around in long sleeves, and tuxedos, and dressy dresses that sometimes clung to the skin in damp patches. I was organized beyond belief. With my folders and charts and timetables and everything in order. Everything had been planned to a tee – the perfect shades of purple and green, just the right candles (enough to clean out the local World Market stores) in mix and match glasses with hand-crafted bead charms. The perfect shade of lavender and periwinkle hydrangeas – scoped out months (well, years, honestly) in advance – and silently snipped away on a covert midnight mission to the suburbs. Just the right hue of Chanel for my lips: not too pink, not too red, not too much of anything but beautiful.
It was elegant but casual. And run by an organized woman (control freak) – me – which mean I could be seen before the wedding, enjoying friends and family as they arrived. Greeting them barefoot on the lawn and then running back to fan Shawn before he overheated. I handed out hugs and directions and didn’t take a moment to sit down – except to sign the marriage license. It was all under control. I was ready to do this.
And then it was time.
Standing at the back of the garden, hearing Twila Paris’s The Child Inside You cue up and watching my friends start walking down the garden path, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t breathe. All the direction and control disappeared into the summer air as it was my turn to walk down the path to meet the man I was going to marry. That was such a surprise – did not see that coming. I wasn’t having doubts. I wasn’t afraid. I just couldn’t believe it was really happening and that it felt so very real.
I heard the familiar words of the ceremony that we had crafted together. I heard the scriptures we had picked out. And then it was time to say the vows.
I, Rebekah, take you Shawn,
To be the husband of my days,
The companion of my house,
The friend of my life,
And the father of my children.
We shall bear together
Whatever trouble and sorrow
Life may lay upon us.
And we shall share together
Whatever good and joyful things
Life may bring us.
With these words,
And with all the words of my heart,
I marry you,
And bind my life to yours.
Three short paragraphs that would change the rest of my life. This was the no matter what. The even if. The it doesn’t matter, we’re in this.
Marriage is serious business and lots of hard work to do. There are days that it will feel like you are just bearing up under the trouble and the sorrow – those can be long hard days. But there are always good and joyful things to balance them. The important thing to remember is that once you’ve made that commitment, your lives are bound and you become one with each other.
The girl in the picture that stood barefoot in the grass that day is not the same woman who writes today. She doesn’t yet know some of the hard things that will come her way. She doesn’t yet know the desert journey she’ll be asked to walk. She doesn’t know the frustration or anger or grief she will be asked to battle with and bear.
But she also doesn’t know about the amazing little child she’ll carry and give birth to. She doesn’t know what a faith journey this man will go on, and how much he’ll learn along the way. As much as she loves him at this point, she can’t even imagine the spiritual leader he’ll become, or how he’ll pray for her and support her in the coming years and show her that love is a verb. And she has no idea of the things – small and large – that he will do on a daily basis to make her journey into physical struggles with chronic illness so much easier.
This man, who is the husband of my days, the companion of my house, the friend of my life, and the father of my children, he is amazing. We have walked through so many things that I could never imagine. They have shown us that we shall and can bear together whatever trouble and sorrow life may lay upon us. And that we shall and will share together whatever good and joyful things life may bring us. May there be more of them.
I do not have much of anything, but I have my words. Always my words. So once again, with these words, and with all the words of my heart (every last one of them), I marry you, Shawn Pierce, and bind my life to yours. Always.
I'm linking up with Crystal Stine and company again today; joining the Behind the Scenes link up. A place to make a connection beyond the Pinterest perfect ideals; to look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it; to say hi, this is me in all my messy real-ness. Sounds like a good time to me.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!