Nine years ago today, I was nervously getting ready for a wedding rehearsal and folding programs with little brown satin ribbons on them.
We practiced walking down the old carpet in the tiny chapel and we played it super cool. We ate Italian food in the fellowship hall, with checkered table clothes and garden lights. I made strawberry smoothies with my cousins and watched a movie and went to bed early.
My dad would marry us and my aunt would play piano and my cousins would sing and my dad would also put a peanut butter cracker on the communion table as a joke. We would say “I do” and Cameron would attempt to wipe my tears away by literally smearing them down my face.
No dancing or toasts or extra attention, thankyouverymuch. A reception my mother (and her crew of workhorses) worked really hard to decorate and prepare food for. We would have iced coffee instead of champagne and we would chat with friends instead of throw a bouquet. We would leave amidst family cheers, heading to a honeymoon in the mountains and our first Thanksgiving together.
I loved our wedding. I loved our wedding photos. Our wedding day was beautiful and clear and cool and we had so much fun.
But those dancing, dipping, laughing kids up there? I barely know them. Nine years ago us had no.blooming.clue. We were wounded and scared and hiding and saying “I do” had not begun to peel back the layers injury we’d carefully wrapped around our hearts.
God, who is rich in mercy, somehow let us see in each other what was possible with grace.
He gave us the gift of bumbling through those first few years, peeling back anxiety, fear, pride, strongholds and, amidst lots of yelling, He started to administer the sort of love only possible when and a man and a woman are surrendered to Christ. He used the fire in Cameron’s bones to keep me from backing down, cowering in fear and kowtowing to anxiety. He used my persistence and persuasion to compel Cameron out of the darkness and into the light. He used our collective determination and willingness to let stuff go to make room for healthy conflict resolution. We take an argument by the horns and don’t let it go until it’s resolved. Nothing festers here. We drag it into the light and we call sin sin and we call each other to higher living.
We hardly recognize ourselves now – and this is a good thing.
We met one hot summer after I spent three months refusing to be introduced to him. We dated for six months before getting engaged on Valentine’s Day (much to my horror. Cliche, much?). We were engaged for nine months -almost to the day- of our wedding. We were married for two years when we experienced our first miscarriage – twins. Two years and two more miscarriages later, we welcomed our daughter through adoption. When she was 18mos old, we started saying “yes” to adoption again – three times we’ve walked through the open door, three times God’s said No. Not this time. Not this baby. Not your family.
It’s a good thing we are being made new. Because now? A decade into our love story and nine years into our marriage? We can walk together – equally yoked, equally passionate, equally gifted & called, equally made in the image of Christ and equal to the task of waiting for another baby. We can wait with grace -and without sometimes-, because our home has been made into a safe place for the (now) three of us.
We are being made new and we are known and so we take one step at a time, one day at a time.
Tomorrow, there will be flowers. (I know, because I ordered them. Nine years in and we’ve agreed it’s just best for all if I direct that.)
And there will be a date day sponsored by two selfless parents and one generous friend.
We will get to sleep in.
And we will wake up and say, “I do. I do. I do.” all over again, till death do us part.
Love you, whodie. Glad to be your wife.