To us!! Four years ago- Saturday, May 14, 2005- Mike and I said forever to each other! It has been the most incredible four years of my life- abundant in challenges and bountiful in blessings. Mike and I were discussing several days ago how it feels as though we have always been a part of each others life. You could stretch that to the joking negative of "I feel as though we've been married forever!" or focus on the positive- that I think my life truly began when I married Mike. And so we HAVE always been a part of each others life- this beautiful, holy, God-ordained married life.
I don't remember what I woke up singing the morning of our wedding day, although I do recall singing Marvin Gaye (jokingly) at some point- "Let's Get It On". It was at least in half-jest!! :) I drove to Dallas for my hair updo, then back to Salem mall's Clinique counter for my makeup (trial run completed several weeks prior, of course). When I arrived at the church I immediately ran into Mike and one of his groomsmen- I believe it was Clinton. I figured it was okay if Mike saw me since I didn't have my dress on yet. He didn't look so well and actually appeared nervous- which in turn made me nervous since I didn't really expect that from him. I told Clinton not to let him run off (again, in half jest) and Clinton assured me he would tackle and pin down as necessary.
Mike and I shared our special moment (with everyone peeking in of course) and I don't know if I have ever felt more beautiful. It was pretty emotional then and I thought that would be it and we'd get through the ceremony just fine- unless Mike (sensitive soul that he is) felt the need to shed a few additional tears (on account of my overwhelming beauty or perhaps the vastness of our chosen committment). Surprisingly enough (to me), I was the one to get choked up during our vows and Mike was my steadfast rock who held my gaze and carried me through. At the time our future was uncertain with Mike's job in limbo due to budget concerns. As I was vowing to follow him wherever the Lord may lead us I considered the fullness of my vow- that as a wife I will support and follow my husband wherever God is leading us, even if that means to the corner of the world. What an incredible decision to make and what a necessary one! Our pastor has pointed out that we make our vows before we understand the depth, before we can know the fullness of their meaning, before we see what the future will bring; the purpose of making this committment at the beginning is so when the trials come the committment has already been made and that is what we stand on- because if we waited until it was already painfully difficult, we wouldn't survive the storm (and who would perhaps make such a committment if we truly knew all that it would entail?)
So Mike did great and didn't seem to be nervous at all. I only had one "Oh no, I can't do this moment" right before my bridesmaids and I were about to leave the dressing room to walk down the aisle. I suddenly felt so inadequate to be making such a vast, forever vow. My inspired bridesmaids all prayed over me and I was overwhelmed with the peace that passes understanding. A few minutes later and standing with my dad as we waited to walk down the aisle I was nothing but excited. Well, and a little bit giggly- my 21-mo. old nephew had filled his diaper with an extremely odorous offering and as he walked cheerfully down the aisle I could almost visualize a thin green trail of stench wafting along behind him.
The ceremony was beautiful and when we got to the reception all I remember thinking is how much I wanted to get going and get out of there!! We had a couple bites of our cake but didn't eat any of the food- too busy smiling and talking to everyone I guess! After we left the reception and changed we actually ended up coming back to the church on our way up to Portland and got a couple of "goodie" bags to tide us over until we made it to dinner (which ended up being at a Shari's close to our hotel in Portland).
It was a wonderful, incredible day that I recall with the fondest of memories!! What a start to this life's journey!!! Four down and here's to many, many more!!!
**Honeymoon pics to follow** :)