My husband and I went to a wedding last night.
It was (as most people describe weddings) beautiful. I knew the bride and groom from a summer-long leadership training program in Colorado. They might be two of my favorite people in the whole world.
To be honest we don't talk that often, and the chance of us seeing each other more than once every two years is slim, but sometimes, I meet certain people and think, "I'm really excited that I get to spend eternity with you."
I thought this about each of them individually, and then they got married so all of my x-chromosomes just went crazy. Resulting in me being super emotional at their wedding.
Kyle and I have been to a few weddings since we've been married, and it turns out they are ten times more enjoyable after you're married for several reasons. I'll share two.
The first is that you spend your time looking around realizing that you never have to plan your wedding again. You don't have fifty thousand decisions waiting to be made about things that you would never give a second thought about in normal, non-engaged life. For me this usually happens by a constant inner-monologue.
There's what I say out loud, and the immediate thought that follows in my head:
"I love her flowers." I remember staring at magazines for four hours one beautiful summer day picking out my bouquet, and then three months later when I thought about how it would look in real life it took me five minutes to pick something else.
"This cake is so good." My wedding cake was the first carbs I ate in six months without feeling guilty ... oh wait, I didn't get to taste my wedding cake. OH WAIT, yes I did, when my husband shoved it up my nostrils and some of it fell in my mouth.
"She looks beautiful." When I got a spray tan it made my hands look orange for a week.
The second reason really hits me during the ceremony. During the most recent wedding the pastor began sharing about the roles of a husband and wife in marriage. It was powerful and honestly a great reminder for Kyle and I.
I remember when the roles of husband and wife were addressed at our wedding. It too was powerful and good, I'm sure.
I say, "I'm sure," because to be honest I only remember snippets. This is what I remember thinking:
"Of course I will respect Kyle. Why wouldn't I?... He looks SO GOOD in that tux."
As I watch the bride and groom come to this part of the wedding I usually start to laugh. Not out of mocking the bride and groom's joy, mind you. Rather at the knowledge I have now - that I'm sure several people thought when they watched Kyle and I exchange vows and make covenant to love and respect each other for the rest of our lives:
They have no idea.
How can you? How can you know how difficult and how hard it is to really, truly respect and love someone unconditionally - especially when they don't deserve it. That's often when it's needed most.
At no other time do I feel more loved by Kyle than when I'm feeling completely unlovable and usually being a jerk/whiny baby/nagging control-freak, and he turns around and gets me flowers or takes some time to hold me until I feel better or takes me out to dinner.
What makes this part of the wedding so enjoyable is that I get to really appreciate what the minister says. Mainly because my brain isn't hyped up on the adrenaline of realizing Kyle and I can make out as much as we want (AND MORE) and no longer have to worry about keeping our raging hormones in check.
Also, it reminds me that there are still stages of life we have to walk through where the level of difficulty is such that we've never experienced and never could fully prepare for. (read: birth and children) That's a scary thought. Looking over Kyle's and my engagement and first six months of marriage has been thought-provoking.
It makes me realize that sometimes it's good to not know exactly what the road ahead looks like.
Especially if you're someone who holds onto her five-year plan with a vice-like grip. The best thing for me is for God to put blinders on that force me to walk by faith.
It's comforting to be on the other side of one of the tough stages - however small a stage it may be. It encourages me for the next one and makes jumping into the unknown slightly less daunting.