oh my love [part 4]
The day of the wedding had arrived - and unbeknownst to me, the day I would fall in love with the most amazing man in the world. I was absolutely terrified. And excited. All I could think about was how much I wanted to see Sarah. Carly and I woke up early, grabbed a quick breakfast, and headed out the door at 7am to make the drive over to Langley. I had extreme butterflies the entire way over. We picked up Tessa and then headed over to the florist to retrieve all the gorgeous flowers. The moment the flowers were put into my hands, everything became real. I can’t even describe the emotions I felt, but it was such a mixture of terror, overwhelming joy, nervousness, and surreal peace. (How can those exist in one moment you ask? Who knows. But it did!). We laughed and joked in our nervous excitement all the way to Sarah’s house… and the day was started.
That morning was something I will never forget. Being a part of that initial excitement and emotion before the ceremony, and watching the transformation of woman to bride, was almost divine. There was so much joy and laughter, and I remember never wanting that moment to end. It was SUCH an honor.
The most significant point of my journey through my struggle with marriage and earthly love was the moment that Sarah pulled me aside to read me the letter Chad had written to her on their wedding day. It was the first time I had really cried tears of joy.
In my own mind I had struggled with the idea of being bound to someone forever. The people I had seen in my own life had marriages that either were struggling, utterly failing, or completely failed. There were no joyful moments anymore, and the pain I consistently saw only terrified me more and more. My parents were one of the most obvious examples, and as I watched my mom struggle through life every single day, my heart became hard. I resented marriage. I honestly did. All I wanted to do was run into the arms of God - the only one who would never leave me or forsake me, and the one whose love would never change. I never wanted to give anyone the chance to hold my heart, because it becoming broken would be inevitable. But hearing those words that Chad had written forcibly broke those walls, and those tears and frustrations I had held in for so long, finally flowed. It was such a relief… because finally these two wonderful people had shown me that there could be freedom, love, and peace in an earthly relationship. It isn’t even profound, but for me, it was overwhelming. And I thought: deep down I do want someone who will love me like that. Maybe I could see myself getting married after all….
As we bustled through the morning, I also became more and more excited - and it wouldn’t be me with the nervousness - about seeing Josh that day. As we were laughing and talking at Sarah’s house while she was getting her hair done, Mary Fairley was actively chatting about who she thought each of us should be set up with at the wedding. At first, she thought Tessa and Josh would be a good idea, but quickly changed her mind and decided that Josh and I were meant for each other. Sarah agreed. Everyone agreed. I remember telling them all that I was not getting married, but thanks for their concern - and I was trying to shrug off her insistence… but I couldn’t ignore that my heart was fluttering the whole time.
Tessa and I arrived at the church to make sure everything was in order, and welcome guests as they started to arrive. We walked in, set up programs and the guestbook, and I peeked into the sanctuary and saw Josh and Sam. “Oh boy he looks handsome in a suit.” I turned and promptly walked out onto the verandah to ‘hide’ from him, but it wasn’t more than one minute later then I found him standing outside beside me. Gosh darn those butterflies.
We exchanged a few words of which I barely remember, and then were whisked away into our duties for the day. I desperately wanted to be focused on Sarah, but Josh was always forefront on my mind. During the ceremony, I was constantly aware and so impressed with how much he actually cared. And those little snapshots I got of his personality that didn’t carry any words, was the strongest evidence of his strong character. He cares. He has a sensitive heart. He loves. Basically, he just kept climbing further and further away from my idea of “attainable.”
I was so intimidated and so extremely shy, but he was so handsome. It was a dream. I was constantly aware of how close he stood to me, and his proximity to me at all times. I also constantly analyzed this fact.
He totally likes me.
Uhm, Mikaela, he doesn’t know you, he doesn’t ‘like’ you. It’s never going to happen, let it go.
But he’s RIGHT there! No one stands that close to someone unless they’re interested!
Ugh, just stop.
I stole so many glances when I thought he wasn’t looking - cause I had literally never seen anyone so handsome in my entire life - and every time, I could not have been ready for what my heart would do. All throughout the day, I was so happy. Just carefree and happy. Summer day, wedding bliss, the-most-attractive-man-in-the-world in my sights, and lots of laughs. I could totally do this. I could totally get married… I could totally see myself with him.
The reception was when I really got to spend some quality time with Josh. (Now, I’m laughing as I write this because we were both so incredibly shy that our “quality time” amounted to a few conversations getting to know each other better, and sitting beside each other at dinner). However, through sharing the parts of our lives we were passionate about, I realized how similar we were. He actually loved and cared about all the same things I did!
I always told God that I’d know who I was supposed to be with because they would be passionate about ‘a whole list of things plus overseas missions’, and time after time, the words he would say and information he would give, met everything I had told God was impossible to find in a man.
Aside from his words, his actions spoke that much louder. He was the most respectful man I had ever met. He was chivalrous - always making sure I had enough juice, water, or coffee - and always serving me first. And he was genuine. (I have spent enough time with guys to know if they’re being genuine or just trying to ‘pick me up’). I honestly couldn’t believe it. I had never been treated like this before by anyone. I remember sitting beside him - inching as close as I dared without touching him - watching the wedding slideshow and thinking in my mind “I know I’m going to marry this man one day.” I know that sounds crazy, but even at the time, it didn’t seem strange. There was something about him, about us, that was right, and it was obvious. One day we’re going to be sitting here watching slides of us. I almost reached out and put my hand on his. I almost wrapped my arm through his. But instead I just sat there smiling. Just with a big, stupid grin on my face, and soaked in as much of that feeling as I could.