I was never that little girl who doodled about her dream wedding. I never thought about what colors I would use, what type of dress I might wear or the man I would marry.
I was far too busy playing under the trees that were scattered over 11 acres around our 150 year old farm house. I would choreograph countless dances and pretend the wind was my music. I would boss my little sister around and pretend school among the fallen leaves and tree stumps. I would go on adventures, pack up the red wagon with sandwiches, juicy juices and walkie talkies and head down to the bottom less spring that was on the other side of our field. I never stopped dreaming, imagining, pretending, dancing. I was told I could change the world. And I whole heartedly believed it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved to plan. It became a hobby. I planned every one of my birthdays since I was five. I planned my own baptism like it was a wedding. Carefully I chose the appropriate invitations, paper and guests and the pool party that immediately followed. I suppose I thought if I was going to go down in the water I should invite everyone else too as well. Even now, I plan. I plan youth group events, I plan dates, I plan what I am going to wear tomorrow and the goals I want to accomplish for the week.
Never did I plan on falling in love. I didn’t even try. Actually, I ran as fast as I could from it in the beginning. Falling in love required me to be vulnerable, self-aware, other-aware, co-existent with another. I was fearful of losing my natural born independence and sassiness. I struggled with allowing someone to take care of me. I was hesitant to share my my flaws and my unique talents with someone. No longer was I choreographing a solo beneath the trees; I had to learn to partner, to trust another with my weight. The fear of being dropped hindered
me us. I had to become familiar with the words us, we, together. I wasn’t sure I wanted to grow up…with someone else.
Lucas danced in and graciously and patiently helped me vulnerably peel back my layers as I tried to do the same for him. He never tried to tower over me. And when he tried to pay for all of our dates I sassily pulled out my purse; he used to hate that. He wanted to be the best man he could be for me…and he was and is. He quickly learned that being the best man for me wasn’t doing everything for me but allowing me to join in and do things together. Being the best man for me didn’t mean he had to lead me, direct me, or be the headship of our relationship. We found rest and peace in equality. Becoming his equal and him becoming mine is the most important life breathing act we have, has and will continue to live out. When we consciously made had that conversation at the beginning of our love falling we drastically reduced the opportunity for competition, control, hierarchy and manipulation. We decided to dance with sweet abandon. We said hell to a led waltz. We wouldn’t be slaves to submission.
Now, of course, we have our struggles. Oh, have we had our struggles already. But we struggle together and not under the heel of one another. We find the embrace of our hands and the locking of our eyes and remind each other we were made to do this together. Us, we, together. Those words have made themselves at home in my heart now and keep making more and more room to do so every day of marriage.
Someone, who I unfortunately can not remember told me something very, very important at the very beginning of our engagement. This person told me that planning a marriage was far more important than planning a wedding. Planning a wedding was easy in comparison to planning a marriage. I could imagine, envision and dream up the most beautiful wedding (which, although I am biased, our wedding was so breath-taking and spirit- filled) and I could easily put those plans into action. Whether if it was collecting broaches for my broach bouquet or trying on dresses I could fulfill that plan with little effort. But planning a marriage that rests on equality, breathes love in and breathes forgiveness out, holds pain and struggle up to the light and remembers the words us, we, together takes more than dollar bills, a wedding planner or a hot glue gun. It takes back breaking work, an extreme amount of vulnerability, honesty and unconditional forgiveness. Sometimes, it seems impossible and sometimes it just is. We fall short of forgiveness and we lit bitterness creep in. We break down. But we break down together. Us, we, together.
So, although planning my wedding was a time I will always cherish and adore; I hope planning our marriage takes precedence. I hope that love always wins even when it doesn’t seem it will. I hope equality always reigns. I hope that our children will better understand real love, God, forgiveness, compassion, communion, service, selflessness and adoration because of the love they see us share with one another. I hope we always value each other’s worth, talents, gifts, flaws and uplift and celebrate them. Together.
Us, we, together.
You are my beloved and I am yours. I can close my eyes and remember how much God’s Spirit enveloped me as I walked down the aisle to meet you. The wind was spectacular and it literally took my breath away- I felt God. The wind reminded me of the the days when I used to dance solo under the trees as a little girl, I felt God then too. When my eyes met yours, no longer was I fearful of abandoning my independence because with you, I knew I didn’t have to. You embraced it. You celebrated it and encouraged me to become more of the person I was created to be- you still challenge me to do this every day. There were so many holy moments on our wedding day- the wind, the spontaneous slow dance during our ceremony, the tears on your cheek, they way you watched me walk to you under that God filled tree, your hands in mine and mine in yours, the whispers you breathed into my ear. May we take these holy moments into every single moment of our marriage. Grunt.
Us, We, Together