I held on to Emma’s arm tightly as we walked around the empty room. She smiled as she tilted her head to talk to me. I breathed in and out slowly. Emma knew I was nervous, she could sense it in my eyes. My heart pounded wildly, butterflies swarmed around in my stomach and every muscle in my body was tight. Emma talked to me to pass the time. Her sweet laughter eased my thoughts. She looked beautiful with her hair all done and her gorgeous cream dress flowing with every step she took. I looked down at myself still in shock that I was the one wearing white. The sparkles on my dress glistened in the sunlight from the windows above reminding me of the day I first tried it on. That day it was so hard to imagine actually wearing it. My blue shoes peeked under the lace hem on my dress. My curls hung down my back brushing my neck and cheek. My eyes were tired as I remembered my sleepless night; the longest night of my life. The excitement of the next day and the promises it held were more than my sleepy mind could grasp. Then finally the sun came up and that morning I woke up on the day I would marry my best friend. So many thoughts dashed through my head, so many memories overflowed me. As I waited hours for that afternoon to arrive, I tried to let it sink it. I dreamed of this very day, this most important day, this anxiously awaited day, ever since I was a little girl. I had been to so many weddings in my life. It seemed easier when I was younger to wait; days flew by then. But once I got older the wedding day seem so far off. And now finally, after months of planning I was the one walking the aisle. Excited, nervous, anxious, overjoyed, thankful; all these emotions and more consumed my soul. I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving followed by a prayer of need every ten minutes that morning. “This is torture.” I thought to myself as I listened to the endless ticking of the clock on the wall. I looked at my bridesmaids all dressed up. All these girls here to stand next to me. To support me. To love me. To encourage me. I was very humbled.
As I stood behind the closed, dark brown, wood doors holding my Father’s arm, dressed in his best suit coat, my heart beat faster with anticipation. I held my flowers tightly and looked down once more at my dress. “This is it Kelle. Are you ready?” My Dad spoke, breaking the silence. I nodded as I heard the music queue. Slowly the coordinators opened the doors. I followed my Dad as he took a step forward. Slowly then quickly, one by one, our guests rose. I gasped. So many dear friends and family stood up awaiting this moment. So many individuals supporting us, my mind could not grasp that moment. Then after two steps I looked frantically for Michael. It seemed so far up the aisle as I searched for him. Then, within seconds, I spotted him standing next to our pastor, smiling calmly. Instantly, every nervous, anxious emotion fell to the floor. I left everything behind me and walked forward calmly to my future. As I walked I kept my eyes locked on Michael’s. Murmurs from the people, music flooding the church, our bridal party standing in place; everything set the stage for the covenant that was to take place. Slowly walking, my mind flashed back to last year, January 6th, 2014 when we first began. The very first day I opened the door; the very first smile that sprang forth, the very first words spoken. I know how people say "their life flashed before their eyes" and we all roll our eyes in disbelief; but mine truly did. I thought of the long nights we spent talking about everything; from church to school, to farms and cows, from Jesus to our faith and cooking to child training. The Monday nights of sitting together pouring out our likes and dislikes and the many walks over the bridge together flashed through my head. I remembered the heartache I felt every time he drove away from my house and the excitement I felt when he came over. Every step I took closer to him I was reminded of every heart to heart talk that drew us closer together. Every day we counted down to our wedding, every night we said goodbye, every date we wanted to last forever was all coming to an end with one simple walk. As we came to the end of the aisle, Michael took my hand and led me up to the altar. As we made a covenant before our friends and family and before the Lord, I blinked to keep the tears back. I had prayed for Michael for so many years. I had prayed for him before I knew him. Now to stand up here with him, holding the hands of my soul mate, I thanked our dear Lord for His blessings before me. I looked up in Michael’s eyes and vowed to be his forever. The Lord was present that day and looking back He was present even when I couldn’t see Him; on those hard days, on those long days of waiting, wondering if I would ever find the right one. But the Lord knew my desires and He knew my heart. My job was to wait and trust Him. As we were pronounced man and wife I felt every ounce within me break forth with abundant happiness and joy.
To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides. I never could quite grasp what love felt like. I knew what it meant to love my family or my friends. But I never knew the feeling of being truly loved so much as an individual by someone else that they would want to spend the rest of their life with me. That feeling is beyond words. It’s a humbled feeling. Someone to love you despite your flaws and weaknesses. Someone to love you when you’re ugly or moody. Someone to love you forever and never leave you. To love you when you say the wrong words or the right words at the wrong time. Someone to love you sacrificially every day. Someone to give you all of themselves and want nothing in return. It reminds me a lot like the love of Christ. No matter how ugly my self is or how many days I neglect my quiet time, God still loves me. It humbles me every time I feel Michael’s love to know that Christ loves me more. So much that He gave His Son, Himself, for me. I don’t deserve Christ’s blood. I don’t deserve forgiveness. But God chose me. Not because of anything I did or anything I said. He chose me. How utterly blown away am I. I am humbled that the Lord placed Michael in my life. My love for Michael grows more every day as does the love for my Savior. He knew I needed Michael. He knew what personality I needed to match mine. He knew where I needed to live. He knew Michael and I would be better together than as separate individuals. Yes, the road was hard. Yes, it was long. There were days that I felt like God wasn’t listening. But He was, in His timing, not mine.
Marriage is a beautiful thing. It’s not all fairytales I used to dream about when I was younger. It’s not easy. It takes work. There are those chores that appear everyday that I'm responsible for now. Cooking meals. Cleaning sinks, towels, muddy pants and socks. Mud stained floors. Getting up early before the sun to fix a hot breakfast. Bundling up to help him do chores after a long day. Eating supper late. Rejoicing with him in triumph. Encouraging him in heartache. All those endless duties. But the joy that I have waking up every morning looking into Michael’s eyes, the contentment I have preparing a home for him to help him succeed and the happiness I feel holding his arm make saying “I do” so much more worth it.
“I see who God is making you and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to His throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, “I always knew you could be like this. I got a glimpse of it on earth, but look at you now!”
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.”