This past weekend, one of my dearest friends got married. The story leading up to her wedding day is incredible. She waited a very long time for God’s perfect match for her, and He gave her just that. I wanted so badly to be there to witness the sheer joy on her face because I knew most all of the story. We were single young women, speculating and crying together over loves that would not be. We knew the details of each crush and listened to the other swoon when the she found true love.
This is her time, and while I couldn’t actually be physically present to watch her rightfully bask in the fruits of waiting for God’s perfect timing, I have loved hearing every detail I could from the first time her now-husband sent flowers a half year ago until now.
On the day that she exchanged her vows, I stayed home with my kids and their snotty noses while my husband was at church camp for the weekend. Hundreds of miles away, she donned her white dress and radiated a beauty that can only come from a bride in love while I threw my hair in a pony tail and sighed at the sight of dark circles under my eyes.
I won’t lie. I was disappointed when the funds for a plane ticket never miraculously appeared so I could be a part of her wedding. I’d have much rather been posing for pictures in a bridesmaid dress instead of nursing my summer cold with two kids demanding my attention. But God showed me that I needed to focus on my life’s current chapter rather than fantasizing of fairy tales like we women like to do when we’re at weddings.
We tend to lose sight of the beautiful thing we have in a good marriage as we sigh over the romance in the dramatic airport declarations of love from the movies (See Lisa-Jo’s post about this here. It’s a good one!) In reality, that rarely happens.
In fact, I lived through a dramatic airport scene, but it involved getting thoroughly dumped with the guy driving off into the sunset without looking back twice. Take it from me, the fairy tales aren’t worth dreaming about. The Godly men of character, on the other hand, are worth every laughable chick flick misstep.
So I got engaged in a parking lot. But it was to a man who woke up Christmas morning in a cold, empty dorm room so he could spend the day with me after saving up all of his money to buy me a gorgeous ring.
I haven’t had a so much as a weekend away with my husband in 5 years, but I have a husband who supports me living my dream of being a stay-at-home mom by working hard and going without a lot of things so we can do what we believe is the right thing for our family.
Instead of getting roses randomly delivered to my doorstep from the love of my life, I get a man who has already taught my four year old how to pick wild flowers for me and daily proves that he values spending time with his family. As a bonus, he even cleans up the kitchen after I make dinner!
If I focus on the fairy tale version of what happily ever after looks like, I’d be quick to bemoan the fact that my newlywed season is over. But I’ve grown to chuckle more and more at the whole dramatic airport scenario society deems romantic. Airports are dirty, noisy, and far from cozy, so let it go ladies!
Love is not having to feel less loved when you have extreme bed head and are in desperate need of a shower.
Love is having the man who has promised to care for you in sickness actually doing it even at the cost of getting sick himself.
Love is enduring hardships together and finally getting to a mutual place of feeling hope because God’s gotten you through enough difficulties together thus far.
It’s feeling loss together and bringing children into the world together.
It’s being met with a hug when you’ve succeeded and the same hug when you’ve failed.
It’s forgiving and choosing to remember no more.
Love is taking over the bedtime routine when son and mom’s heads collide and mom gets distracted with her first bloody nose.
I may not have been able to attend my precious friend’s wedding last weekend, but I could happily wish her well because as much as I wanted her to have a wonderful wedding day, I can’t wait for her to experience what ever after does to grow their love. The day-to-day that turns into year after year – that is the truly beautiful part of love and marriage, and it’s greater than any fairy-tale version.
Here’s another great post I read about marriage this week as I was cooking up the one I just wrote. It’s worth reading, too!