I remember standing at the bottom of the stairs in the church basement - alone - waiting for my dad to come back and get me. He was upstairs, where I could hear the violins playing, escorting my mom down the aisle. All of the other bridesmaids were waiting to walk down as well.
I was alone for the first time all day. And I did what anyone would do.
I cried big, heavy, wet alligator tears. It was a release of emotion I'd been holding in for hours, weeks, months? I don't know, exactly. But I was overcome with thankfulness and pride and relief and nostalgia and so on and so on and I cried.
My dad walked me down the aisle, with a smile on my face that Andrew still remembers. He says it's the most genuine look of happiness that he's ever seen on another person. I felt it.
When we were all gathered at the altar, we sang Great is Thy Faithfulness.
We wanted to incorporate it into our wedding because we whole-heartedly believed every single word. Thou changest not, thou compassions they fail not. As thou hast been, thou forever will be.
The ceremony was perfect.
The reception was perfect.
And we lived happily ever after.
This past Sunday, we sang Great is Thy Faithfulness at church. Andrew reached over and grabbed my hand because it's our song. And I cried.
This isn't just our song. It's our anthem. These people?
They had no idea what their happily ever after would look like. Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
They didn't know what the next three years would hold. They didn't know that it would be filled with so much good and so much scary that there would be days when they didn't know which way is up. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
But they knew that God brought them together. And that He made them life partners because the life He wanted for them would be so much easier to navigate if they came together, under Him, to live it. Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
They knew this: they loved each other. And as naive and immature as they were (and probably still are) they held on to that and jumped right in.
So on Sunday, I couldn't believe what God has done for us since we picked that song for our wedding ceremony. I couldn't believe how He had followed through on every single promise that we'd believed in that song. All I have needed, thy hand hath provided.
And I cried.
Today, I am thankful for a God who loves me enough to bless me with a husband like the one sitting on the other side of the room right now. And I'm thankful for everything that He's taught me, through loving that boy, in the last three years. And I'm thankful that they'll both be at the end of the aisle for a long, long time.