Forever Starts Today.
One of the most stunning photos I found in the planning process was a shot of the back of a wedding program with three simple words on it: Forever Starts Today. I fell in love with the photo and was convinced from that day on that my wedding programs had to have the same, but on the front. What really meant so much to me was the truth behind those three simple words. It’s what the idea of marriage was built upon from the beginning–forever.
For Dustin and me, our marriage was never about our wedding. While we were thrilled to share our commitment ceremony with friends and family, the glitz and glam and over-the-top shenanigans were never really our thing. In all honesty, (whether you believe me or not!:) ) I pushed for a private ceremony for a long time. Maybe I was intimidated by the thought of a huge wedding with all the bells and whistles. At the end of the day, I really just felt that something intimate might be lost with an incredible number of eyes watching us, and that this might cause me to fail to remember our vows and what I was repeating to the person I was going to spend my life with. And that was the important part! The flowers, the video, the pictures — none of THAT makes a wedding. Our vows. The committment. The Heavenly Covenant that we enter causing us to no longer be individuals, but rather two parts of a whole. THAT is what makes a wedding. And that is what I wanted to be sure I remembered.
Dustin finally changed my mind and insisted that I would end up regretting the decision to have a private ceremony. Now, I can truly say he was 100% right. [Did you read that, Dustin? You were right my love. :)] We compromised and agreed upon having only the closest of friends and families there, but even that was incredibly difficult to narrow down. Regardless of the number of people who came, of all the things I remember from our wedding day, the part that shines brighter in my mind than any other aspect was standing in front of my sweet Dustin, holding his hands and reciting our vows to one another.
Seeing Dustin standing at the end of that aisle was everything I dreamed it would be and more. Every single tear that was shed in agony and brokenness during my walk of faith to lead me to Dustin was worth it. Every bit of hurt, rejection and fear that I experienced along the way was worth it. Every bit of me that believed I deserved to have the kind of love the Lord intended for us was worth it! My goodness how I wish I could impress upon every young girl I meet the importance of maintaining the belief in yourself and your Savior that He does have someone out there for every one, and that you owe it to yourself to believe you will find them. I am so proud of myself and Dustin. We both could have settled, but we chose not to because we knew the best kind of love was still out there for us. There are so many things that could have been done differently in our lives. Instead, we chose to believe in the Lord’s plan for us and to believe in each other. We simply trusted in Him to lead us to each other, and you know what? He did!!
As I started walking down the aisle to Dustin, we were both crying a pretty impressive amount of happy tears. When we recited our vows, neither of us could get through them without having to pause and regain our composure. We chatted the entire time we were standing up there, telling each other how much we loved one another and how beautiful/handsome we each looked. I literally felt as though it were only Dustin, myself and our minister standing at the front of that church. Literally! After our ceremony, Dustin’s dad came up and jokingly told him he couldn’t believe Dustin started crying before they even opened the doors with me standing there, and he had to hold back tears the entire service. Our videographer’s second shooter overheard his comment and said “Just be glad you couldn’t hear everything they were saying to each other at the front of the church, we were all about to cry the whole time!” And it was true. We were so happy, the tears of joy would not stop flowing. This day meant so much to us as a couple and was such a special day in our spiritual walks.
A few days after the wedding, I was catching up with a dear friend who was there to celebrate our wedding day. She told me our ceremony was so special, and she could just feel something inside her stir and motivate her to try and find that same kind of love that we shared. The next week she found herself visiting a new church for the first time. Needless to say, I got off the phone in complete awe. What more evidence do we need to show how much the Lord leads us to certain people, situations and circumstances for our good? God was already using our love and I was amazed by this. I was so touched and I couldn’t help but feel that Dustin and I are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
I am so excited to trust and see what the Lord has in store for us!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17