Thursday, September 11, 2014

The best day.

It's a humbling thing, planning a wedding.

You compile a guest list - recounting all of the ones held dear who share a part of your story - a congregation far greater than could ever be fit into a reception hall.
You clean out closets - an attempt to purge possessions only to find yourself in a heap of worn denim, track and field ribbons, sticky notes and birthday cards, all piecing into a glorious mosaic of memories.
You collect pictures - reminiscing over albums set in backdrops of wallpapered bedrooms, high school locker hallways and outdoor campfire glows - each well worth their own thousand words.

Layered through and through you find yourself at a crossroads - 
standing between who you were and who you get to be.

Looking back over my shoulder I see the crowd of witnesses beaming…

Generous ones who shared with me their milkshake straws, popcorn bowls, and a seat around their kitchen table.
Supportive ones who drove me to the arena on frigid winter nights, watching my figure skating routines from the bleachers.
Vivacious ones who urged me to crank up my Ace of Base cassette hits and others who pulled me off the couch to dance on the balcony or in the rain.
Tender ones who listened to my ramblings and asked the tough questions under dark skies and winding country roads.
Brave ones who ran with me through sprinklers and acted out scripts under beaming lights.
Strong ones who held me through the night and prayed over me at my weakest.
Patient ones who edited my psychology papers and endured embarrassment in the passenger seat as I choked the standard transmission for the fourteenth time.
Adventurous ones who taught me how to waterski and trotted alongside me on dusty goat paths.

Teammates, neighbours, mentors, roommates, sisters, mothers, coaches, confidants, teachers, believers.
All who sang back a song when I had lost mine. All sharing a part in growing me up and surprising me with joy - revealing to me a better glimpse of Jesus.


And then my head turns forward.
Eyes gaze upwards to the one my soul loves.
The depth found in his kind eyes who see me and know me. The joy of friendship and family and the little piece of heaven I have found in him. His hand that reaches out to lead me into a continuing story. And I can hardly wait to begin.


It's a humbling thing, planning a wedding.

Because you are reminded that in and through this crossroads, all of the love and beauty and emotion can't simply be bottled up or contained in one day. It flows deeper and reaches higher than we could ever justify no matter how many of our favourite people are reunited or how beautifully the church pews are decorated or how magically the photographer captures it all.

As our worlds and memories collide, we are awakened with the realization that we are but a breath and our heavenly Father is the Author of this ever-evolving, creative, mysterious and awe-inspiring story. Only He can reconcile and sustain us as we leap from where we have been to where we are going.

In one month, Ryan and I will take hands and make our covenant promise. We will be surrounded by our conglomerate 'home teams' of college roommates, best friends, pen pals, pastors, travel buddies, students, co-workers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and celebrate our best day.
But in the midst of that much anticipated date on the calendar, we acknowledge the best days we've already been blessed to live, and the ones that are yet to come. Not just the moments that make us laugh and rejoice, but the days that break us and move us and shape us into who we are becoming.
Each day that goes by reminds us ever clearer of the faithful presence and love of our God, and brings us one step closer to the most glorious day ever. The one that dims all the others when we meet Him face to face, and our hearts are home forever.

As C.S. Lewis writes in 'The Last Battle', his final book in the Narnia series ~

And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.