The day was perfect. Early enough in May that there was still a tinge of Spring coolness in the air under a bright sapphire sky. People milled around a sparkling pool, laughing and talking. Someone gave the signal and as a group everyone moved down the hill to the dock.
The matron of honor smiled and began her walk down the green grassy aisle. No music played but nature sang as the wind blew through the tall pines and the sun rained down. With heart pounding and nervous hands holing tight to the bunch of white tulips in her hands, the bride walked towards the group. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown taunted at the edge of her mind but couldn't find a foothold as she fixed her gaze on the face of the one she loved.
She was halfway down when the groom turned with a smile to his best man and the preacher, "I'll be right back." With strong, sure steps he reached his bride and murmured something in her ear, one arm sliding around her waist as she reached up and kissed his cheek. They finished the walk together and stood before God and their people, pledging their lives to one another.
I can't remember what Rob said when he came and got me. I just remember feeling safe. As a single mother, even surrounded by family like I had been, I had been alone. For years the feeling of abandonment had threatened to overwhelm me. I fought hard against being vulnerable and exposed. But he didn't leave me alone, waiting for me to come to him. With steady strides he came and got me. He tucked me under his arm and drew me close to his side. I was safe, I was protected and cherished. I belonged to him and in that moment, more than ever before, I knew that he was a man that would imitate Christ and His bride...coming for her...to give himself for her.
Marriage is a picture, albeit an imperfect one marred by sin, that should reflect our God, His Son and His relationship to His bride. In the past eleven years I have experienced that in ways impossible to put into words. Rob drew a picture on our wedding day when he came and got me. Christ calls us...redeems us...but he doesn't wait for us to find our way to Him. He comes and gets us. Other times Rob has shown me forgiveness, unconditional and complete, that mirrors the forgiveness Christ gives His bride. He shares his love for me generously and without restraint.
Last year, a few days into our camping trip, a woman made the comment that I am a well loved wife. My heart swelled with something akin to a godly pride...not that I was so special to be loved in such a way but that she had seen the way my husband loved me. To me it was such a clear illustration of letting your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16) This is how we are called to live our lives before an unbelieving world...so that they can see God's goodness to us.
We're celebrating eleven years together today. It is a rich, beautiful life I have been given with this man who loves me so. It is a glorious gift of God's mercy and provision and goodness.
I am blessed.